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Posted at 9:39 AM ET, 02/13/2009

Comment Box: Is Angelina to Blame for the Octomom?

By Liz Kelly

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie lead their children through Japan's Narita International Airport in January. (Getty Images)
Comment Box

In the wake of the recent birth of IVF octuplets in Southern California, I wonder where you think the bright line should fall for deciding when celebrities' children are off-limits for snarking and when they're fair game? [Snip] And evidently Octomom was looking for an outpouring of publicity and support, and seems to be trying to channel (if not surpass) Angelina Jolie, and now even has a website seeking donations. So, where's the line on kids, Liz? -- Nosy Parker

I'm pretty sure I'm on record about where the line is vis-a-vis celebrity kid stalking, but to recap: If Katie Holmes strolls calmly down a New York street with Suri, knowing she will be swarmed by photographers, then Suri is fair game. The celeb (in this case Holmes) knows what she is getting her kid into and made a decision at some point to put the kid out there. The rest of this answer is easy: anything else falls into the invasive category. This includes telephoto vacation shots, cellphone pix shot at a private birthday party and stolen baby pix.

But I'm more interested in the motivation for your question. I could be wrong, but it sounds like you're assigning blame for the phenomenon that is Nadya Suleman to tabloid journalism and the over-hyped coverage of celebrity spawn.

For anyone who has been out of the country or just awoke from a 14-day coma: Nadya Suleman is a California woman whose recent delivery of octuplets brings her total tally of offspring to 14. Aside from the fact that she has a flock of kids under the age of 7, our prurient interests have been captured by her methodology (IVF) and her uncanny resemblance to gigantic star and mom of six Angelina Jolie.

Was Suleman emulating Jolie? Maybe, in her mind. This morning rumors of letters Suleman supposedly sent to Jolie surfaced and, despite Suleman's denial, it does appear that she has undergone certain medical procedures that have given her a few features remarkably similar to Jolie's. All of which is fascinating and makes Suleman appear even more freakish than we'd thought, but in no way implicates Angelina Jolie. Because if Angelina didn't exist, something -- or someone -- else would have pushed Suleman down her path to parental excess. Angelina may have been a fuse, but Suleman was a firecracker waiting to go off and any fuse would have done the job.

Blaming Angelina or the high profile of celebrity kids is akin to blaming Marilyn Manson for the Columbine tragedy or Paula Abdul for the death of failed "American Idol" contestant-turned-stalker Paula Goodspeed. All are convenient, easy excuses, but ultimately just a way to avoid assigning personal responsibility -- to the actions of others or for ourselves.

Nadya Suleman, in my opinion, is a sick woman. And limits on paparazzi pics or celeb baby buzz won't fix that.


Comment of the Week
"First of all, I love that you have chats from 2-4 because it spans my super boring graduate statistics class." -- A Celebritology Live participant (who may be set to take statistics for a second semester)

By Liz Kelly  | February 13, 2009; 9:39 AM ET
Categories:  Brangelina, Comment Box  
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I think if you are a star you can expect that people will want to know about your children and that the paps are going to take pictures. That being said, just because they are star children does not give anyone the right to be invasive to them. They are just children after all.

Octomom made her own problems. As much as I loath Angelina she is in no way responsible for the mess that is octomom.

As the parent of a premature baby, I have to say both the doctor and octomom should be brought up on charges for the suffering and medical problems that those babies have and will have.

Posted by: supersonic1 | February 13, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I think octomom has a mistaken impression that her 8 new children are going to be fun and possibly get her her 15 minutes of fame. The 15 minutes of fame I can see, but I can't imagine how much fun 8 new children are going to be, just think about the cost of diapers alone!!! I mean, many couples that have multiples are supported by a large network of people to help them out because it's a difficult task. I think it selfish if she was trying to have that many children, especially when she already had 6. It feels like a slap in the face to the women who are trying so hard just to have one.

Posted by: flutterbyjen | February 13, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

If Angelina is why Octomom wanted to have all those kids then she should've gotten Angelina money. Angie can afford her kids...and many more! Krazar!


Posted by: linda1413 | February 13, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

There are some big differences between 14 kids borne by a single mom who does not have the financial wherewithal to raise them, and a wealthy woman ADOPTING a number of children and later with her wealthy partner having 3 biological children. Some folks would say that three biological children are too many, but it is certainly within the realm of reason. And some people would say that adopting 3 kids is also too many-- but again, with the financial resources of an Angelina (including the nannies), it's not completely outlandish.

This poor woman is sick. You can't blame that on Angelina. Leave her out of the discussion.

Posted by: raisinmountaineer | February 13, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Liz, I neither stated nor implied that Angelina was in any way responsible for Octomom's decisions; only Octomom is, along with the fertility specialist who enabled her to pull this publicity stunt at the expense of eight unsuspecting premature babies who will have to live the rest of their lives affected by their mother's and that doctor's decisions. On the other hand, I have nothing but the utmost admiration for the medical team that delivered the eight babies as professionally as possible, for the sake of these children.

However, am I "assigning blame for the phenomenon that is Nadya Suleman to tabloid journalism and the over-hyped coverage of celebrity spawn"? Darn right, and even more so to those who make it profitable, namely the consumers of their product. When a tabloid or magazine cover featuring celeb children (or Octopuplets, Duggars, or any other familial curiosity) sells substantially more issues, or a website consistently gets significantly more clicks on stories about them, we're telling the free-market system to carry more stories on these topics. We have to make it unprofitable for celeb media to run stories we find objectionable by voting against such coverage with our dollars, and with our mouse-clicks. In an earlier era it was tourists coming to Québec to gawk at the Dionne quints, and before that traveling freak shows, so I suppose there's always been curiosity about oddities, but as those things have been castigated for their inhumanity, I'd hope we can learn to surpass former societal levels and follow our better natures. Octomom isn't substantially different from earlier generations of child-exploiters, except for using newer media.

As to Liz' final comment, that "limits on paparazzi pics or celeb baby buzz won't fix that," well, they won't hurt either. At least it's worth a try. But the most effective way to put an end to this is the lack of a large enough paying market for such products. We just have to muster our self-control to make sure those who seek to profit, don't.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 13, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Nosy_Parker's right, but I also would lay some responsibility, if not blame, on Octomom's parental units (for not getting her the help she so obviously needs) and on the medical professionals that helped her have the first six kids. Someone should have been raising a red flag after children #1, 2 and 3, and definitely after number 4.

Just because she's not out there with an Uzi shooting up a shopping mall doesn't mean she's not a danger to herself or others. Just by having children 7-14, she has endangered 1-6.

The first thought I had when all this first came out was that she was after a reality show a la the Duggers. I'm not wild about what they're doing either, but at least they have the means and the family structure to support all those kids.

Posted by: memphis1 | February 13, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Excellent points, Memphis.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

How does an unemployed woman on benefits from the state get money to have IVF in order to conceive 14 children?!? I understand that sometimes parents are surprised by pregnancy and children are unplanned and the parents can find themselves in an uncomfortable financial situation, but this woman did it on purpose!!! I cannot understand the rational behind that at all.

I feel her choice to continue to unnaturally conceive child after child at the state's expense is selfish. Some women cannot have one child, let alone 14. Some women cannot burden the expense of IVF, yet she not only has had IVF I'm not sure how many times, but she has also had plastic surgery ... at least to her face. All expensive and unnecessary medical procedures.

She wants to get a tv show on TLC and wants other people to support her children. That's evident not only in the fact that the state is supporting and will continue to support her children, but in the fact that she started a website requesting donations to support her family. I'm shocked and appalled that she continued to have children she knew she couldn't support. The state needs to step in and take her children away and give them to parents that can care for them appropriately.

Some women use men to fill their lives, others food. This woman uses children to make her feel good. It's her drug and she needs an intervention.

Oh, and I don't think Angelina's to blame. It seems like a completely different situation to me, aside from the fact that they both have a gaggle of children.

Posted by: flutterbyjen | February 13, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

While Angelina is not to blame for a sick woman trying to emulate her, she is kinda to blame for the glamorization of having large families. Angelina has her own issues. She has all those kids to promote her image as this good person who cares about the world. Now that she is earth mother, few people talk about the blood necklace, the cutting and the other pyscho-things she did (and probably still does).

So, Octomom sees Angelina glowing from every darn magazine cover and getting tons of attention for being such a good mom. She wants that attention to. How to get it? Have a lot of kids. Obviously, she is not thinking straight because while Angie's reasons may be suspect, she can afford all those kids. Nadya does not have the means to support a large family. Even six was too many for her to support, let alone adding to it.

If you do not have the unadulaterated adoration of the press for large families, instead of asking the tough questions while admiring families (families NOT single motherhood), you don't get unbalanced women having large families to get attention. Will these unbalanced people do something else to get attention? Probably. But hopefully, it will not be something that affects innocent people.

The eight little babies had NO say in this. If they get a reality show, it is just more exploitation of those children. I don't watch these reality shows for a reason. If people stopped watching The Duggars and Jon & Kate +8, it would reduce the exploitation of children.

Nosy is right. This is no different that what was done to the Dionne Quintuplets. Surely, we as a society have evolved since the 1930s?

Posted by: epjd | February 13, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Nosy, memphis and flutter...all of you make very good points. Has anyone seen her on Dateline. I heard they showed the house she was living in (not her parents') and it was absolutely atrocious! I don't mean normal messy you have when there are children...I mean absolute disgusting mess from not cleaning for quite sometime. I have to check it out myself...or do I really want to. Krazar!


Posted by: linda1413 | February 13, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

flutterbyjen, By Octomom's standards, Angelina hardly has half a gaggle (so far).

On a serious note, I vaguely recall reading that Nadya had received an insurance settlement several years ago, possibly for a back injury, and it was this cash she used for her IVF treatments. Maybe someone can provide a URL to this story.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 13, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I blame the friend who probably told her once that she looked a little like Angelina Jolie.

I blame the Duggers for promoting unnaturally gigantic families. Even my immigrant grandmas stopped at 8 each! C'mon, if two practicing Catholics who couldn't speak English could limit their families to 8 kids--in the 1930s...It's not rocket science.

I blame the doctors (especially) for (a) doing a sketchy fertility procedure on a single woman who had multiple children. Apparently the same doctor did all the IVFs.

I blame her parents for choosing to house her and the kids and helping her along. Each of those kids was conceived in-vitro, after she divorced her husband. After the second pregancy, didn't they realize there was something severely amiss?

Posted by: mdreader01 | February 13, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

At some point in the past, I remember Angelina Jolie saying she would never have children as long as there were kids who needed to be adopted. It struck me as a cool idea, and I kind of admired that sentiment.

Of course, fast forward, and I think she is unstable and has made some bad decisions about having a big family. Mia Farrow did the same thing. It is nutty.

What I find hard to swallow is that this Octomom is living off tax money. How did that happen? If people can't afford kids (or pets) they shouldn't have them. Of course this is an unpopular view, but it makes sense to me.

And yes, cleaning up 8 poopy bottoms is no dream, but sending kids to drug treatment, or having them in detention centers, kicked out of school, is no picnic either. Not that this is a given, but their chances don't look good. I can't fathom that these kids will get the attention they need.

Posted by: chocolatetiara | February 13, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Plus - for all those who defend Angelina and go on and on about how well she can afford lots of children, I still think:

1. She hasn't been able to meaningfully have a lasting adult relatinship in her life. That points to a lack of her own stability. (her father? Her ex-husbands? Her weird incest-act with her brother?)

2. She can't commit to marrying her partner, for a variety of less and less plausible reasons, each trotted out at a different stage, while most recently she says "the kids want us to marry." What sign of emotional stability is that? Of parenting skill? The parents wait for the children to make complicated, adult decisions for them?

3. I'm no fan of Aniston, either, but the fact remains that Angelina helped break up a marriage to form her "family."

4. She talks about her children (as does Brad) like they are a doll collection. "We have one from Thailand, our daughter born in Africa, etc."

5. She's done absolutely nothing as a parent to demonstrate to me her incredible parenting skills that the press blab on about. They move constantly, the children (who are school age) don't attend one school for even one total semester - the aimlessness can't foster security. And NONE of her frantic moves seem nuturing.

6. She went from having one child to having 6 in under 3 years!

So - Octomom reminds me (and others now as well) of Angelina's same compulsive behavior. Am I blaming Angelina for Octomom? Not specifically. But Angelina's behaivor could have been the model that Octomom followed - similar to copycat criminals.

Posted by: Amelia5 | February 13, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I see exactly two people to blame for this: the fertility doc, who seems to have thrown his code of ethics to the wolves, and Octomom. I'd argue that if you're sufficiently connected with reality to negotiate your public appearances, you're sane enough to realize the consequences of raising fourteen kids by yourself on public funds, Angelina or no.

On the plus side, Octomom can now field her own, family-only, volleyball tournament, and still have two kids left to serve her lemonade and Clomid cocktails.

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | February 13, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

If Octomom had devoted her spare time to helping the poor and fostering children who would otherwise be lost in the foster care system, adding to her brood by adopting children in need of families, then yes, I'd say that would be Angelina Jolie's fault. If this woman is attempting to imitate her, she has failed to imitate her actions, only her physical appearance and a loose appearance of a photo of her family. No one would be angry at Octomom if she had accepted government money in order to take care of a large family of foster children to whom she had chosen to devote her life. She would be a hero, like Jolie.

Posted by: MisiaFine | February 13, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I am sick of this topic.

Posted by: jezebel3 | February 13, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"The state needs to step in and take her children away and give them to parents that can care for them appropriately."

flutter - I would be very careful about advocating what the 'state' should or should not do ... lest they come knocking on your door.

Posted by: BraleyPJ | February 13, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Angelina to be blame for this although I think she is crazy herself. I think the state should take all the kids away from the Octomom and give them to parents who are waiting to adopt, that sure will give all of them a good life. There can absolutely be no future for these poor kids living with Octomom who have been put in this situation for no mistake of theirs.

Posted by: mmanjula | February 13, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Octomom clearly needs phychiatric care, not more babies and not more plastic surgery.

Back in the old days, I went to a Catholic college. Three of my classmates came from big 12-, 14- and 16-kid families (huh, I wonder why it was always even numbers). All of these kids were well cared for on single incomes, and every single one of them went to college.

Would I ever have that many kids? Nope. But if Angelina Jolie has the resources to do it, well then gods bless her - because you never do run out of love.

Posted by: kbockl | February 13, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Blame Canada.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | February 13, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Once Nadya Suleman scammed the fertility clinic into using the $10K turkey baster, it was all over. Ob-gyn staff had no authority to selectively abort. Suleman's initial decision to add to her already too-large brood was the Rubicon.

I think that Mickery Rourke is THE man for Suleman. But even Mickey would probably kick Suleman out of bed for having gas.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | February 13, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, am doing my part by completely ignoring any magazine or television show with this woman. She is mentally ill, and these children should be taken away from her. The doctor who performed the procedure should be investigated, too. Terribly irresponsible.

Posted by: fft5305 | February 13, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

What all of you guys have said already. :-)

As a Californian, I am particularly resentful that she is living off our depleted (or empty) coffers. People who, you know, actually WORK are being furloughed, we don't have enough money for our teachers, firefighters and police officers ... the list goes on ... and this nutbag milked $168K (which I'm sure is only the tip of the iceberg) in so-called "disability" to fund her plastic surgery and bazillion implanted IVF embryos. Just makes me sick.

I think with the $300K Clown Car Vagina supposedly got for her TV interview, she needs to repay us taxpayers here in CA. Maybe I'll call Ahnold and ask him to send her a bill, pronto.

Posted by: Californian11 | February 13, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Liz - it's ridiculous to blame Angelina. I'm not a big fan of hers, but yeah, she can afford a big family.

What I honestly think is more to blame is some parts of the media who glamorize the whole big-brood-multiple-birth thing. Exhibit A is the McCoughey (sp?) septuplets & Diane Sawyer. They go on & on about how great it is that they have septuplets, even praising them for what I see as rank hypocrisy ("We didn't have selective reduction b/c we don't believe in playing God." So what is taking fertility medicine??), while minimizing the downsides - the financial burden being one, the health issues most of the septuplets have being another HUGE one. There's barely a mention of it. Watching some of those shows, you'd think it was all rainbows & sunshine & puppies & unicorns. Someone who was a little out of whack could easily watch those interviews Diane does every year with them & think "How great. They got a free big house, a free big car, free diapers out of it, all their friends & family kicked in to help babysit & feed the kids, isn't it wonderful??" And again, hardly any mention of the health issues & financial hardships. Because all you need is love, right????

Posted by: blahblah6b | February 13, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

One other thing: I think being pregnant is her drug. I mean, she's basically been pregnant the whole time since she was 25.

Posted by: blahblah6b | February 13, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Random thoughts: Charles Caleb Colton may have been correct that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," But Otto Binder was also correct in saying "it's a Bizarro World" in Superman Comics. Octomom may THINK she is a trailer park Angelina Jolie, but be otherwise competent. Perhaps it is an inheritance from our Puritan past, but what makes us think that giving someone public funds allows us to dictate their behavior. Don't think it will work with the corporate CEOs either.
And not only have we not evolved as a society since the 1930s, we haven't evolved much since the invention of writing.

Posted by: reddragon1 | February 13, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Octomom may THINK she is a trailer park Angelina Jolie, but be otherwise competent.

Perhaps our resident legal team could weigh in on whether Octomom's children's rights trump her own, when there's a conflict; I'd think the kids' best interests would come first.

One major problem is thatshe doesn't seem to have a team in place to help her with all those kids (shades of the Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe), and I doubt it's reasonably likely that one person with at most only an older parent or two for help can take sufficient care of 14 children aged 7 and under, including 8 premature newborns.

Lawyers? Dr. hodie? Anyone else have expert observations to offer?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 13, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

If there can't be a legal case made to show that the society (the municipality or the state) has standing and a compelling interest to intervene in Suleman's afairs, then tough. Let Suleman and all the kids die of starvation.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | February 13, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I have worked in animal rescue for a decade now and we call people who have too many pets "horders." It changed from "collectors" because we wanted to reinforce the idea that this is not natural or healthy. It is even now recognized in the psychiatric world as a disorder.

But we never refer to people with too many kids that way. I find this very interesting. And if what that poster said is true, that her house is a mess and full of stuff, that to me says she does have a hording issue and it is reflected in junk and kids.

Add to that the fact that she is clearly lying about having never had plastic surgery (that face did not happen naturally) and you've got yourself a woman with issues!


Posted by: mwalkerg | February 13, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I am sick of this topic. -- jezebel3

Me too, Jez, me too. But then again there aren't that many things that come along where everyone can have about five different opinions on. I'll definitely be skipping the movie, but can't wait for the 1-year birthday party sponsored by Mickey World.

Posted by: rashibama | February 13, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The best reason for keeping the topic in the public eye (with abundant disapproval) is because, as we read this, some whackadoodle and her craven fertility doctor are undoubtedly already contemplating a litter of nontuplets. They need to be thoroughly disabused of any notions of potential profitability, public adulation or fame from such a decision.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 13, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

But then again there aren't that many things that come along where everyone can have about five different opinions on.

Posted by: rashibama | February 13, 2009 3:07 PM

That's why I'm sick of this topic. It's mostly knee jerk blah, blah. Did you hear that... blah, blah, she's on food stamps, blah, blah, her mother was a teacher, blah blah, her church is buying a house for her & the kids, blah, blah,.

Wash, repeat, rinse.

"Is Angelina to Blame for the Octomom?" is a dumba$s, high school Queen Bee topic. You can do a lot better, Liz.

Posted by: jezebel3 | February 13, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

There is no "bright line" on celebrities who market their children. And make no mistake -- when Jolie/Pitt posed on the cover of W magazine, it was to raise interest for their film. And she has gone on record to say that her twins were conceived with IVF. That she/they sold images of their newborns, and Pitt actually sold his own photos of her breastfeeding is more testament. As a child of divorce and an actress who has repeatedly rebelled/cried out for help with outrageous behavior, it doesn't take a doctor to see a huge narcissistic streak coupled with a longing for love in Jolie. And the countless interviews about her army of international children are done to illustrate her progressive, generous, and noble heart. Most of the population is savvy to this kind of manipulation, but there are others -- Suleman is surely an example -- in whom this strikes a visceral response. That Suleman sent Jolie letters of praise, may have been a plea for support. Investigators may be reviewing those letters now. If they contain a references to Suleman's pregnancy then there can be little doubt. Other posters have noted that Jolie is, and will likely remain, an affluent individual who can support her children. But because her public demonstration of her love of children inspired, in part, Suleman's actions clearly notes a causal relationship. Certainly this was not Jolie's intention (just as the ugly backlash was not Suleman's) but my feeling is that there will be a change in how celebrities include their children in their careers.

Posted by: isle782003 | February 13, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

If they contain a references to Suleman's pregnancy then there can be little doubt.

Posted by: isle782003 | February 13, 2009 3:25 PM

Little doubt of what?

Posted by: jezebel3 | February 13, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

With respect to terminating parental rights, this is dependent on particular state law, but in general, the state would have to show that the kids were in some kind of danger - being abused or neglected - in order to take them away from her. If that kind of showing can be made - and it may be possible if the chaotic house is any indication, then the "best interest of the child" standard comes into play in figuring out what to do with them. Not that any one could reasonably argue that being a ward of the state is in a child's best interest, but there it is.

I agree with Nosy that this highly disapproving public discourse may help others, especially doctors, think twice before doing this again.

And, I would like to add my voice to those expressions of sadness and sympathy to the poor little babies who will suffer for the bad decisions of the mom and doctor.

Posted by: VaLGaL | February 13, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, the law does not allow the state to take the children from Octomom just because she is poor. It's not a mess that the state wants to return to. Now, the living conditions may be enough evidence of neglect to warrant placing the children in foster care. If it is truly unsanitary and dangerous, not just messy or poor.

Over on Lisa DeMoraes chat someone asked her if Octomom would soon be an episode of L & O. Pookie said yes. Owe the humanity.

Posted by: epjd | February 13, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

VaLGaL and ep, I seem to recall a follow-up news story on the septuplets born about a decade ago, where the two parents (not just one) had a veritable mini-army of helpers on rotating duty in order to keep up with all of their new babies' round-the-clock needs (as well as those of one or two older children), with precise schedules planned in advance as to who would be on duty when, and performing which infant-care tasks (feeding, changing, bathing, cuddling, etc.) as well as routine housework (laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.). Although that family appeared to be handling their situation well, the logistics alone were daunting. I cannot foresee Octomom mustering the necessary team of responsible individuals loyal to her vision of keeping eight infants (as well as six other children agees 7 and under) all together in one household. Frankly, I wonder how she's managed with her first six children.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 13, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

ages, not agees

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 13, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

If Suleman is on the state dole, then there are regulations and standards to which she must comply. If she doesn't comply, cut off the aid. If the state then cannot find a compelling interest to justify take the children, so be it. Let natural selection take its course.

Has anyone noted how easy it has been for Suleman to become a mega-breeder/child hoarder, while potential adopters have to jump through flaming procedural hoops and ante up low 5-figure adoption fees?

I can't speak/write for anyone else, but in my lexicon, the words "Nadya Suleman" have become classified as an obscenity.

Posted by: angelos_peter | February 13, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Nosey - you are right about all the workers. Jon & Kate plus 8 had them too, but they don't really show that part, which is part of the problem. Yes, I have seen the show a few times. In one, they mention that one of their friends is someone in the community to be feeder, for lack of a better word. But they too had lots of help with the feeding, diapering, etc. My understanding is that they still have a lot of help now too (camera people, producers included) that you just don't see it, so it looks like Kate single handedly takes care of all 8 kids by herself when she doesn't.

Posted by: suzannepdc | February 13, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

sorry - that should say "someone in the community who volunteered to be a feeder"

Posted by: suzannepdc | February 13, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"If Katie Holmes strolls calmly down a New York street with Suri, knowing she will be swarmed by photographers, then Suri is fair game."

Oh, horse puckey. People have lost their sense of dignity. BFD, Katie HOlmes and child. Good grief - what a bunch of celebrity freaks the world has become.

If you see someone you recognize, a simple "hello" or nod of the head is sufficient then be on your way.

Perhaps some day these moron paps will stop being paid for intruding on people's lives. They play right into the hands of Jolie, Spears et al. Funny how other, more talented actors can lead quiet lives. Do you ever hear of people trailing Meryl Streep or Jessica Lange etc etc?

Posted by: itsagreatday1 | February 13, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's my weigh-in: Could Octomom and Angie have something in common? a need to collect kids? some unresolved issues from their childhoods, extreme narcissm, etc. etc. Yep- you bet. BUT here is the difference, Angelina and her partner are millionares many times over- I as a taxpayer don't have to think or worry about how will those kids get fed, housed, etc. Octomom on the other hand is already relying on federal aid (courtesy of US taxpayers) and possibly state aid (courtesy of California taxpayers)- do we have the right to get a bit nosy and wonder where the hell those kids are going to live and how they're going to eat- I think so.

Posted by: plamar1031 | February 13, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Jez -- sorry, little doubt of a causal relationship between Brangelina's marketing of their babies and Suleman's octo-antics.

Posted by: isle782003 | February 13, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

One thing to remember is that if the state steps in & takes the kids, that will not only further burden taxpayers, (who do you think pays for foster kid support), but it will also set a precedent for the state to take away kids if the parent(s) are poor single moms. Even if it isn't intended that way, a good lawyer could have kids removed for just about any reason.

Posted by: Bren21157 | February 13, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, horse puckey. People have lost their sense of dignity.

Horse puckey, indeed! If Katie Holmes strolls calmly down a New York street with Suri, fearing she will NOT be swarmed by photographers, then Katie's people will probably contact the paps to make sure they know so they can show up and start snapping away.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 13, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Even if it isn't intended that way, a good lawyer could have kids removed for just about any reason.

Nonsense. The laws nowadays are more the other way around, in that sometimes kids can't be rescued in time from abusive parents who have gotten a good lawyer to represent THEM.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | February 13, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one not in a time warp? Angelina ADOPTED her first child in 2002, the same year Nadya gave birth via IVF. She ADOPTED her second child in 2005. I don't know how many kids Nadya had by then, but if it had anything to do with an Angelina fixation, they would have been adopted and not manufactured. In 2006, Angelina gave birth for the first time. By then, Nadya had 4 kids via IVF. 2007, Nadya has twins via IVF, and Angelina ADOPTS another child. A year later, Angelina has her twins. I'm guessing she & Brad didn't need any artificial means of procreating, as they're both pretty hot and probably doing it like bunnies. So that's THREE children she has given birth to. Hardly a burden on society. Okay, maybe after they had their twins, Nadya felt like she needed to one-up (or 7-UP? the eight was a surprise) Angelina. But as far as the first six go, anyone with any concept of time can't blame it on some Angelina fixation.

Posted by: anniegoolihy | February 13, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

In a word in answer to the headline, NO! Ms. Jolie has no culpability for this trainwreck. Octomom is, IMHO, certifiably crazy. Her parents should have had her committed when she wanted to have more than six, with no husband, with no money. The fertility doctor needs to be brought up before the medical board and sanctioned. The lawmakers need to be busy now writing new guidelines for what is acceptable for fertility doctors. This whole case is a travesty, particularly in these hard times, to expect other struggling Americans to pay for this poor, misguided woman's poorly-thought-out decisions. The saddest part is those poor children. What kind of attention will the first six get now that eight more are on the way home. It was extremely inconsiderate for octomom to have done that to her mother. She's already raised a family!

Posted by: emtyn1 | February 13, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Amen to everything Nosy Parker said. It's not about blame, it's about recognizing the damage that can be done by a celebrity obsessed culture.

The thing is, I try to boycott the paparazzi obsessed media, but it does no good considering how many other people are willing to reward magazines, tabloids and programs that feature celebrities being chased by photogs. My protest and indignation is irrelevant. I even have many friends who say, yeah, I hate the way they cover those celebrities but I've gotta have my celebrity fix so I subscribe to all of them.

And I could not disagree with Liz more about Suri being fair game. She's a child. On a public street with her Mom. Why should she have to hide behind walls? Even the celebrities who try to hide their kids get photographed with them -- even while trying to shield them while papps click away. Fair game my a##. Their parents are fair game, and that's it.

Posted by: msame | February 14, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Her 14 children will become an additional 2.1 million people, on an already overcrowded planet, a thousand years from now.

Posted by: alexwilson67 | February 14, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Angelina Jolie is to "blame" for this, but I think she's has displayed a similar nuttiness.

Nature did not intend for women to have more than one child every 9 months. Now and then twins would occur, but for the most part it's one woman, one baby. If you look at the way nursing works most women wouldn't have a another child for 2-3 years. We were "designed" to be that way.

So I put Brad-Angelina in the same category with the mother of octuplets -- more focused on having the children than actually parenting them. It's sad.

Posted by: RedBird27 | February 16, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The Octomom is obviously manipulating the system for her gain, using her l4 children under the age of seven as chips in the poker game. No question there.
HOWEVER, One other person is to blame for what will be an extremely expensive future drain on California's coffers.-----the physician who arranged the IVF, knew there were 8 embryos emplanted, knew the single mother was unemployed, knew she was unbalanced, and went right ahead. The AMA does not police its profession. The State of California should sue.

Posted by: drzimmern | February 16, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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