Our country appreciates a nice big family story. Look no further than the Brady Bunch, Eight is Enough, Jon and Kate Plus Eight and the Duggars. We watch them, we laugh, we cry, we send food, diapers and baby food by the cartful.
So what about the octuplets?
The recent story about the California octuplets born to a single mother with six other children has most people feeling chilled. A quick online search will turn up dozens of hateful comments urging the mother to give some up for adoption or questioning the ethics of the doctor who gave her fertility treatment.
I agree with much of what I am reading in terms of the ethical questions. These extreme multiple pregnancies are dangerous and taxing to the mother as well as the babies who often require intensive, long stays in the NICU. Certainly there need to be limits on what is legal and what is required of doctors ethically.
Further, I do take issue with having children you can’t afford. Not everyone who has a baby needs to be wealthy, but they at least ought to be able to provide their child with the basics. Since we don’t know the mother’s financial situation, it seems people are only guessing that she will require public assistance. And therein lies the outrage.
Outraged or not, we are still talking about eight little babies. And they have needs. Why are we so outraged by this mother and not by the other families with more than 10 children who take handouts?
The way we feel about how they babies got here is irrelevant in light of the fact that they are here. We need to support them and remember that, at some point, they will be able to read and do Google searches.
Are hateful diatribes lamenting their existence really what they need to see?
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