"Obsessed with children"

The story of the 33-year-old single mom who gave birth to octuplets just keeps getting weirder.

By Sarah Hepola

Published February 2, 2009 4:15PM (EST)

Last week's heatwarming medical-miracle story -- woman delivers eight babies! -- quickly curdled into an ethical morass, as questions arose about how and why 33-year-old single mother Nadya Suleman, who already had six children by in vitro and was so strapped for cash that she reportedly filed for bankruptcy last year, was implanted with embryos that resulted in the birth of octuplets. (She was "just hoping for one more girl," according to Saturday's LA Times story. Gah! What to say?!?)

Now the story gets weirder as the woman's mother, Angela Suleman, seems to be joining the dissenting chorus against her daughter's actions. As a piece in the Guardian explains:

"[She] is not evil, but she is obsessed with children. She loves children, she is very good with children, but obviously she overdid herself."

Angela Suleman also revealed that her daughter's obsession with children caused her considerable stress, and led her to seek help from a psychologist, who had told her to order her daughter out of the house.

"Maybe she wouldn't have had so many kids then, but she is a grown woman," Angela said. "I feel responsible and I didn't want to throw her out."

Obsessed with children? In case you're curious what that means, exactly, a story on Yahoo enlists a medical professional to ask the pertinent rhetorical questions:  "To what degree are her esteem and identity based on being a mom and why has this from a young age been such a preoccupation of hers?" 

Well, one thing is clear: This isn't going to be the feel-good tale of "The Duggars" and "Jon & Kate Plus 8. " But we'll keep you posted on the book deal developments. Fourteen kids don't pay for themselves, you know.

Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget."

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