COMMENTARY | According to the Associated Press, Nadya Suleman -- aka Octomom -- is on the verge of losing her home and owes up to $1 million in debts. She has 14 children, three of whom have disabilities that require government support and eight of which are all the same age. While it's evident Suleman needs some serious support, I think her financial woes are the least of her concerns.
Suleman's larger problem seems to be what is going wrong in her head and who, besides her children, she surrounds herself with. A single mom of six on welfare, she delivered eight children in 2009 with the help of a doctor willing to provide her with in vitro fertilization.
She received a lot of book and movie offers, followed by endorsements and interest from the talk show circuit. She has posed topless and has entertained the thought of being an adult entertainment star to help support her family. She has been investigated by social services and she has filed bankruptcy. She has turned down advice, has plowed through attorneys and publicists, and she has denied offers of help.
The woman's life is clearly on a downward spiral and it seems that the people in her life are doing little more than sitting back and watching her make one mistake after another. And the saddest part of all is that the people who are most likely to suffer from Suleman's multiple issues are those little kids, who certainly didn't ask to be part of such a saga.
Having fourteen children by in vitro fertilization with no means to support those children should have been the first tip-off to those in Suleman's life that psychological help was in order. That should have been clear to them before the last eight were even conceived. The running up of debts, the expensive hairstyles, the celebrity boxing match and a whole lot of other negative attention-seeking behaviors were screaming sirens. This is a woman who needs help. Serious help. Now.
And while I'm not generally an advocate of randomly saying of someone else's situation that the government needs to step in and take the kids, I can't help but wonder if a temporary placement of the kids might be the best thing for both themselves and their mother. Parenting isn't easy. Particularly not with 14 kids ages ten and under. Certainly not with financial problems. And certainly not with the sort of psychological issues that Suleman is undoubtedly suffering from.