Kaiser Hospital May Not Release Octuplets to Mother Nadya Suleman
The mother of the now-famous Suleman octuplets, born in Bellflower, CA, revealed to talk show host "Dr. Phil" that the hospital may not release the octuplets until she can prove that she can properly care for them.
Nadya Suleman has become the focus of a heated debate over ethical practices surrounding in-vitro fertilization after she had 8 embryos implanted last year, despite already having 6 young children to care for. Suleman is a single mother who lives with her parents in their small home, and relies on government assistance and family support to care for her other 6 children.
Dr. Phil McGraw, who has taped two episodes with Nadya Suleman for his daytime talk show, said that Suleman called him yesterday in distress after speaking with the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center:
"What she is telling me is that unless and until she has a better living arrangement, that they are not likely to release the children to her," McGraw said.
Suleman, a single mother who already had six children before giving birth to octuplets Jan. 26, lives in Whittier with her mother in a three-bedroom house that is in pre-foreclosure. Suleman has no job and relies on government assistance, including food stamps and disability income for three of her six older children.
The hospital is concerned that Suleman does not have the resources to care for 14 children, though officials declined to comment specifically on her case due to confidentiality.
The hospital has a policy not to release pre-term babies until they have reacehd 35 weeks of development (usually the infants will have reached a weight of about 5 pounds), and the Suleman octuplets are at 34 weeks of development and are all in stable condition.
Social workers are assigned to evaluate the capabilities of the mother and family to care for all premature babies, according to hospital policy.
"If they feel there's a risk to a baby, they contact Child Protective Services and Child Protective Services would make a determination as to whether or not there's a reason for concern," Bermudez said.
The agency could place a protective hold on a baby while determining whether the home environment is safe. The children also can be placed in temporary foster care, she said.
McGraw, who has met and interviewed Suleman at length, said he too is concerned about her ability to handle 14 children on her own. "I don't think she has the money, the space, the transportation, the supplies, the manpower, I don't think she has any of that in place at this point," he said.
Suleman will need to secure a bigger home to accommodate all of her 14 children, especially as her mother's 3 bedroom home (where the 6 older Suleman children are currently residing) is slated for foreclosure due to their inability to keep up with mortgage repayments. Angela Suleman, Nadya's mother and grandmother to the octuplets and other children, is ten months behind in payments and owes $23,000. She will also need to prove how she will financially care for all of her children.
Nadya Suleman revealed on a television interview that she has not had sex in 8 years, and met her sperm donor and father to all 14 of her children, David Solomon, at a nightclub.
Suleman is accepting donations through a website, money which she claims will go straight "into a trust for the kids."