Mother of octuplets gives first interview

I always wanted a huge family says 33-year-old single mother of 14

The woman who gave birth to octuplets in the US has broken her silence and told a TV interviewer that she grew up as an only child dreaming of having a large brood of children.

Nadya Suleman’s eight newborns are the longest known surviving octuplets in the world. She now has 14 children under the age of eight.

Nadya Suleman, who left hospital in the early hours of Thursday  morning, told America’s influential breakfast TV programme, the Today show, that she suffered chronic loneliness and clinical depression during a childhood she described as ‘dysfunctional.

Officials at the southern California hospital said the six boys and two

girls born to Suleman on January 26 remained in good condition.

In the interview, Suleman said that she wanted to undo the effects of her lonely depressed childhood with the closeness children could bring.

“That was always a dream of mine, to have a large family, a huge family,” she told the Today show. “I just longed for certain connections and attachments with another person that … I really lacked, I believe, growing up.”

All of Suleman’s children were conceived through in-vitro fertilisation with sperm donated by a friend.

Suleman has come under criticism from columnists, commentators and bloggers in the US who have accused her of being irresponsible and bringing children into the world that she cannot care for. And of cynically trying to exploit her new babies and the celebrity they bring for profit.

The two publicists Suleman employed last week confirmed “There are lots of potential opportunities out there and she’s looking at them carefully”.

But one of her friends, Jessica Zepeda, said it is wrong to say she got pregnant for profit and that Suleman just loved children.  

“She’s not even interested in that right now,” said Zepeda. “There’s a lot of people saying really negative things but they don’t know her.”

Suleman’s mother, Angela Suleman, who is caring for her daughter’s six older children, who range in age from 2 to 7, thinks public opinion will change once people have had a chance to get to know her daughter more.

“She’s a very likable person. “She’s basically normal except for this obsession she’s always had with children.”

The babies are expected to remain in the hospital for several more weeks. Suleman’s publicist said, ‘She’s happy to be out of the hospital, although she misses her children. She can’t wait until they join her.’


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