When the story of the Californian octuplets broke out, the public initially responded with well wishes and curiosity, as the mother wished to be anonymous. When it was later revealed that the mother already had six children, aged 2 to 7, questions were raised about the ethics and the wisdom of such a decision. By the time that she appeared on television for an interview, public sentiment starting to sway towards criticism. Some may argue that it is none of the public’s business. But, actually, it is. Her circumstances place a tremendous burden on the public.
This is a divorced mother, forced to live with her own mother due to the fact that she cannot afford to take care of her kids on her own. She initially had stated that she was not living off of taxpayer’s money, But now, it has come to light that she receives food stamps as well as disability checks for three of her children. She then states this is a temporary situation. How temporary? She already has a huge student loan debt as she is “studying for an advanced degree in counseling”. I don’t know how she can be a counselor to others if she cannot even see her own way through her unwise decisions. She has not shown any social responsibility. Even her own mother has complained about her actions.
What really irritates me is that here is another young woman, already many times a mother, who is condoned by the government to undergo further fertility treatments to have children. After all, it is the government who is paying all the bills.
The mother has now gone into hiding due to threats from the angry public. Although I can understand their reaction, they should channel their frustrations towards the government for allowing this to happen. Some years back, in Massachusetts, the court had decided in favour of a 21-year old mother of five, who wanted to undergo fertility testing. Although she won, I don’t know whether she went ahead and had any fertility treatments. If the government can use some common sense rather than sticking to the “letter of the law”, we can deal with real-life problems in a realistic manner.