Friday, March 27, 2009

Octuplet Mom: Future Child Welfare Case?

The case of the "Octomom" seems destined for the child welfare system (in California)...

The constant tit-for-tat surrounding Suleman has kept the story alive two months after she made medical history as the mother of the world's longest-living set of octuplets. But it appears to have won her few friends.

Suleman has characterized herself as naive and too trusting of others, but those who have been close to her see it differently.

"They have a unique way of using people," former publicist Joann Killeen said of Suleman and her parents. "Manipulating people, getting what they want and moving on."

No friends or relatives have come forward to publicly vouch for her. She's told psychologists who examined her for a work-related injury and news media that she's been too busy having children to maintain adult relationships.

Suleman, who has no siblings, has sparred bitterly with her mother on the Internet, and her father has questioned her mental stability.

Perhaps most notable is the absence of a father to her 14 children, who were all conceived through in vitro fertilization. Suleman has taken a vow of celibacy, saying she doesn't believe she should date until her babies graduate high school.

Public fascination with Suleman began to sour before she ever left the hospital, as her identity was leaked and details of her life began trickling out: She had six other children at home and had been jobless since 1999, living on disability payments, food stamps and student loans while birthing her brood.

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