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The popular television show “Eight Is Enough” aired in the late 1970s and fascinated viewers of all ages who followed the trials and tribulations of the Bradford brood, eight independent children headed by their father, Tom. In the last 30 years, doctors have created in vitro fertilization, a procedure for artificial impregnation, and as a result, the ­Gosselins, parents of a set of twins and sextuplets, became stars of TLC’s hit show “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”

The surge of reality shows, YouTube, and Facebook provides many with the ability to capture the eyes of the country and hear their name spoken around the world. However, parents should not seek stardom by having a large family, nor should they get a free pass in child rearing because they have more kids than most. The parents of this nation need to grow up, face the realities of parenthood, and assume the full ­responsibilities of child rearing.

When a couple wants to have a baby, they must consider whether that child will truly benefit from the life they can provide and whether they understand the responsibilities involved in raising a child. The recent case of Nadya ­Suleman, a mother of octuplets, shone a huge spotlight on the responsibility of parenting.

Unmarried, unemployed, and living in her mother’s home, she already had six children younger than eight, three of whom are disabled, and receives money from the state to care for them. When ­doctors announced that Suleman had given birth, through in vitro fertilization, to octuplets with pride and excitement – reporting that the delivery was “amazing” and the mom was “incredibly courageous” – the 46-member medical team expected praise and high-fives. Instead, jaws dropped and talk of her courage changed to questions about both her judgment and the doctors’, as well as the ethical concerns about fertility treatments.

Instead of the vital role of a father in their lives, these eight new babies have only a sperm donor. In addition, some publications reported that Suleman plans to use her fame to launch a tele­vision show. Though she denies claims that she is seeking fame, Suleman has employed a publicist and an agent. She says that all she wanted was babies, but one has to wonder if she was thinking of their need for comfort and love when she decided to have this many children.

In the United States, no one can dictate how many children families have. However, the country needs some sort of counseling, similar to the advice a ­doctor gives a patient who smokes three packs of cigarettes a day. They simply state the consequences of smoking before the damage appears and bluntly ask the patient to stop. If adults know that they will be ­incapable of or even unable to provide for the needs of children, then they should reconsider becoming parents.

In the case of Suleman and many others, the cost will be paid by the American taxpayer. Millions have been spent to care for her babies in the neonatal intensive care unit and supply her large family with diapers, blankets, and clothes. Realistically, Americans have a stake in the outcome, and we must not encourage a repetition of this by putting Suleman into the spotlight. Clearly, the necessary measures must be taken to ensure that parents’ reproductive rights – or media ambitions – do not come before their child’s right to a decent life.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 29 comments. Post your own!

pkattubadi said...
Jan. 11, 2012 at 7:23 am:
I agree with this because people should not just get many kids for the fame they should kids to enjoy the life of parentong snd taking care of them really fair.
 
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LeAnn said...
Nov. 30, 2011 at 9:19 am:
I totally agree with this article.. It is so wrong for famlies just to have a lot of kids just for FAME! I am like so against that
 
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HeartBreaker2010 said...
Sept. 13, 2011 at 10:37 am:
I Agree, why would the gov. help these people when all they care is about the money and fame, if the gov. were smart they would put an end to this, it's not the gov.s job to be giveing my money to these people who have so many kids and don't feel like supoorting them, it's like come on use your brain that's why you have one... people just need to grow up before having a huge family.
 
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electricpogostick said...
Feb. 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm:
I couldn't agree more. First of all, six children is way to many, so to even get invitro was just ridiculous. People are so stupid and they only think about themselves. They have no buisiness raising children. Great article.
 
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Phantom_Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 5, 2010 at 2:38 pm:
I agree. I can't stand how people who are so broke that they can barely afford the kids they have insist on having more. Do they really think that's a good idea? Especially when it's used for fame-that I can't stand. Children are not meal tickets. They are children-human beings that need love, not a video camer in their faces.
 
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purpleink112 said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm:
I definitely agree with you. It kills me to see people using their children to gain publicity. Plus, using fertility treatments to have kids can be really dangerous, because it can cause the kids to have disabilities.
 
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CaseyLeigh This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 16, 2009 at 9:18 pm:
I absolutely agree with this article. Good job!
 
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SMILEZ:) said...
Oct. 22, 2009 at 12:57 pm:
I dont think its right that people are having kids just cause they want fame
thats not right. i mean they can have all the babies they want but to love them not just cause fame WOW..
 
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Cleo said...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 5:25 pm:
wow, you make some really good points. i definitly agree, the only way it would be alright for that lady to have fourteen kids, is if she was actually able to care for them all. good job!
 
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Lauren S. said...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm:
I agree with the opinion of this article. Regardless of your opinions on abortion, it wasn't like this woman was going through the course of a normal relationship and ended up having that many kids- she went out of her way to get pregnant using a sperm donor. She knows she doesn't have the resources to care for the kids the way they deserve to be cared for. She's looking for fame and fortune and to make something out of her life that until now she hasn't, or she's looking to fill ... (more »)
 
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tweedle dee said...
Aug. 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm:
i agree with Nicoooooooole. the gov. doesnt need to be sending money to people just because they wanted alot of kids. have however many kids you want, but make sure you can care for them before you do. we have plenty of friends with seven, eight, even ten kids, but they dont get money from the state or have a television show, and they're real families. people just need to be more responsible.
 
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yemi F. said...
Aug. 8, 2009 at 11:45 pm:
i think people should be able to have as many kids as they want.
 
fandangopink replied...
Oct. 12, 2009 at 8:29 pm :
Well yeah... but can they care for them? Will the child have a good life? It's not the government's responsibility to make sure kids are well taken care of. That's up to the parents.
 
SMILEZ:) replied...
Oct. 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm :
i agree the parents are the ones that are suppose to be taking care of their babies not the government.
 
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Nicole U. said...
Aug. 1, 2009 at 2:44 am:
Agree , if she was given sperm from a donor, how did she get it ? the goverment SHOULD be keeping records of all this . Its wrong that everyday people that are struggling with there kids and money have to give money to people that selfishly have kids that they cant provide for.
 
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Ari110 said...
Jul. 17, 2009 at 2:20 pm:
It's my opinion tht the government shouldn't pay for these children. There parents/parent need to get up and make money so they can support there family on there own. Also i think its wrong to get doners so you can have a child, would u want ur kid 2 grow up with out a father or mother?
 
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Aileen_Polanski said...
Jul. 14, 2009 at 2:30 am:
some people just don't know the meaning of stop. they need to learn it!
 
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brookiemonsterx@gmail.com said...
Jun. 13, 2009 at 3:14 am:
I love this article! It's really interesting and it's a point of view I have yet to come across- until now that is. I think I now share your opinion! Good work :)
 
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chas said...
Jun. 6, 2009 at 2:23 am:
interesting topic, babies, kids, teens, young adults, everyone is a person that matters and thinks and is human. i think abortion is very wrong, unless there is a serious problem with the woman, the child is human, "a bunch of tissue" to a infant is wrong, would you call an adult that. "oh your just a bunch of tissue"? you don't realy matter. this is almost the same thing, it dosn't matter about the kids, they're just a bunch of tissue, its me, money , fame, all that jazz. i understa... (more »)
 
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Jenna C. said...
Jun. 4, 2009 at 7:36 pm:
I agree! There are families out there that only have two or three kids that need money more than Kate. She had a perfectly good job as a nurse and she just threw it away. It's not fair that she gets all this money just because she has eight children.
 
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