- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 1, 2009

LOS ANGELES | The woman who gave birth to octuplets last week conceived all 14 of her children through in vitro fertilization, is not married and has been obsessed with having children since she was a teenager, her mother said.

Angela Suleman said in an interview that she opposed her daughter, Nadya Suleman, when she decided to have more embryos implanted last year.

“It can’t go on any longer,” she said in a phone interview Friday. “She’s got six children and no husband. I was brought up the traditional way. I firmly believe in marriage. But she didn’t want to get married.”

Nadya Suleman, 33, gave birth Monday in nearby Bellflower. She was expected to remain in the hospital for at least a few more days, and her newborns for at least a month.

A spokeswoman at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center said that the babies were doing well and that seven were breathing unassisted.

While her daughter recovers, Angela Suleman is taking care of the other six children, ages 2 through 7, at the family home in Whittier, about 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

She said she warned her daughter that when she gets home from the hospital, “I’m going to be gone.”

Nadya Suleman wanted to have children since she was a teenager, “but luckily she couldn’t,” her mother said. “Instead of becoming a kindergarten teacher or something, she started having them, but not the normal way.”

Her daughter’s obsession with children caused Angela Suleman considerable stress, so she sought help from a psychologist, who 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 Suleman said. “I feel responsible and I didn’t want to throw her out.”

Yolanda Garcia, 49, of Whittier, said she helped care for Nadya Suleman’s autistic son three years ago.

“From what I could tell back then, she was pretty happy with herself, saying she liked having kids and she wanted 12 kids in all,” Mrs. Garcia told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

“She told me that all of her kids were through in vitro, and I said, ‘Gosh, how can you afford that and go to school at the same time?’ ” she added. “And she said it’s because she got paid for it.”

Mrs. Garcia said she did not ask for details.

Nadya Suleman holds a 2006 degree in child and adolescent development from California State University at Fullerton and, as late as last spring, was studying for a master’s degree in counseling, college spokeswoman Paula Selleck told the Press-Telegram.

The news that the octuplets’ mother already had six children sparked an ethical debate. Some medical experts were disturbed to hear that she was offered fertility treatment and troubled by the possibility that she was implanted with so many embryos.

The eight babies - six boys and two girls - were delivered by Cesarean section weighing between 1 pound, 8 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces. Forty-six physicians and staff assisted in the deliveries.


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