The California woman who gave birth to octuplets on Monday, although once married, apparently had all 14 of her kids out of wedlock by artificial means -- and various public records raise questions about the family's ability to support them.
ABC News has learned through San Bernardino Superior Court Records that the 33-year-old California woman, whose name is Nadya Doud or Nadya Suleman (she filed to have her name changed to Nadya Suleman in 2001 -- though it was not clear if the request was granted), divorced her husband, Marcos Gutierrez, in January 2008.
Okay, "Doud" is both a British name (e.g., Ike's mother-in-law) and an Arab name. Since her father says he used to be an Iraqi military man and that he was born in Iraq, I'm assuming that it's Arab. The grandfather is very Iraqi-looking.
Suleman is a Middle Eastern name -- King Solomon, Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, tennis player Harold Solomon.
Gutierrez is a Hispanic name.
Whittier, where Nadya lives with her parents, who, by the way, are divorced but still together, is now the suburb of choice in the LA area for affluent Mexican-Americans.
The document indicates "no children of the marriage," suggesting that Gutierrez was not the father of Doud's previous six children.
Meanwhile, the woman's mother, Angela Suleman, said her daughter has been obsessed with having children since she was a teenager, according to an interview she conducted late Friday with The Associated Press.
"Angela" sounds Christian, so I'm guessing Assyrian Iraqi Christian. Or maybe Angela is Hispanic and she married an Arab? Kind of a longshot, but you couldn't rule it out -- like Salma Hayek, who is half-Arab, half-Mexican.
Angela Suleman told the AP that all 14 children were conceived through in vitro fertilization, because her daughter had always had trouble conceiving because her fallopian tubes were "plugged up.'' She said that while all the kids came from a single sperm donor, the donor is not Marcos Guitierrez.
An AP review of birth records identified a David Solomon as the father of the oldest four children.
Could it be that "David Solomon" used to be "David Suleman?" And then these octuplets could be the product of Iraqi cousin conceptions! Which might bring about the Grand Convergence of iSteve Obsessions, causing the universe to begin imploding upon itself, the purpose of its existence fulfilled.
Doud lived with Gutierrez for about three-and-a-half years from August 1996 until January 2000, when she moved back with her parents, Edward Doud Suleman and Angela Suleman, living at several addresses, records show. The parents were granted a divorce in Las Vegas in 1999, but evidently still live together.
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
You got to give Mr. Gutierrez credit for having the brains to bail out before the craziness got a full head of steam.
After leaving Gutierrez, Doud began having her 14 children.
Another set of court documents may raise the question of whether Doud will be able to afford care for all those kids. The public records indicate that Doud's mother filed for bankruptcy in March 2008.
The family currently lives in a three-bedroom home in suburban Los Angeles. Bankruptcy court records show that, as of March 2008, the family owned a second home in the same area.As of March, Edward Doud Suleman, apparently the octuplets' grandfather, was working in Iraq, according to the bankruptcy filing. The couple's combined monthly income was listed as roughly $8,740, but the filing indicated that Angela Suleman expected their income would rise from her husband's employment. It said that he would earn $100,000 a year. The document did not specify Suleman's husband's occupation, but Suleman told the Los Angeles Times that her husband was a contractor.
The LA Times says grandpa is in Iraq working as a translator, which fits with his being an Iraqi native.
Not surprisingly, the British press has juicier details. (Warning: not all juicy details in Fleet Street newspapers are necessarily accurate). John Harlow of The Times of London reports:
THE single mother of octuplets born in California last week is seeking $2m (£1.37m) from media interviews and commercial sponsorship to help pay the cost of raising the children.
Nadya Suleman, 33, plans a career as a television childcare expert after it emerged last week that she already had six children before giving birth on Monday. She now has 14 below the age of eight.
Although still confined to an LA hospital bed, she intends to talk to two influential television hosts this week — media mogul Oprah Winfrey, and Diane Sawyer, who presents Good Morning America.
Her family has told agents she needs cash from deals such as nappy sponsorship — she will get through 250 a week in the next few months — and the agents will gauge public reaction to her story. ...
US public reaction has been mixed: many have asked how an unemployed single mother can raise 14 children, as her first six have already strained the family budget. Angela and Ed Suleman, Nadya’s parents,bought her a two-bedroom bungalow in the suburb of Whittier in March 2007, but soon after got into debt and had to leave their own home.
They filed for bankruptcy and moved in with their daughter and grandchildren. Last week her father said he would return to his native Iraq to work as a translator and driver.
Angela Suleman, who is caring for the first six children — one of whom is autistic — while her daughter is in hospital, said yesterday that she had consulted a psychologist over Nadya’s “obsession with children”.
Nadya Suleman, who describes herself as a “professional student” living off education grants and parental money, broke up with her boyfriend before the birth of her first child seven years ago.
The identity of the octuplets’ father remains unknown, but local reports suggest they were conceived with frozen sperm donated by a friend she met while working at a fertility clinic. He is the father of her twins, born two years ago.
Michael Tucker of the Georgia Reproductive Clinic, Atlanta, said Suleman’s story stunned him. “We are policed by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which frowns upon implanting more than two or three embryos at a time. It is remarkable that any practitioner would undertake such a practice.”
The babies, born nine weeks prematurely by C-section, were attended to by 46 medical staff, who expected seven babies. When the eighth — a boy — appeared, doctors were “confounded”.
Meanwhile, the New York Times Magazine has an article by Emily Bazelon about how wonderful it is that so many more college-educated women are choosing to be single mothers: "2 Kids + 0 Husbands = Family."
According to data compiled by Lucie Schmidt, an economist at Williams College, the birthrate for unmarried college-educated women has climbed 145 percent since 1980, compared with a 60 percent increase in the birthrate for non-college-educated unmarried women. The number of first births for unmarried college-educated women reached a high of 47,000 in 2005, the last year for which numbers are available, compared with about 670,000 first births to non-college-graduates. “Even though the absolute numbers are small, what’s striking is how fast the birthrate to the college-educated group has increased,” Schmidt says.
No, that's just the oldest Stupid Journalist Trick in the book -- you take something that's fairly rare, that had a very small denominator, and announce that it went up an amazing umpty-ump percent. Journalists just have to be clever enough, though, not to take it too far and say things like, "Since 2000, the number of Chinese players in the NBA has increased infinity percent!" Judging from the statistics above, college-educated women made up only 6.6% of all women having a first birth out of wedlock in 2005, which isn't much.
No one has shown, however, that there are similar risks for the children of college-educated single mothers by choice. In research that’s not yet published, McLanahan has found that college-educated single mothers generally experience less instability and stress related to men than other single mothers.
Fortunately, Nadya Suleman has a college degree, so everything is presumably copacetic. In fact, she is more or less working on a Master's in counseling! From ABC News:
Records show that Nadya Suleman (a.k.a. Doud) held a psychiatric technician's license, though it was not clear if she was currently employed. She holds a 2006 degree in child and adolescent development from California State University, Fullerton, and as late as last spring she was studying for a master's degree in counseling, college spokeswoman Paula Selleck told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.