Octuplets' Family Has Bankruptcy History

Peel said that while the family can save money by buying goods in bulk, it will lose out on the cost benefits of "hand-me-down" clothing -- with all the children being the same age, she said, there won't be any clothes left to hand down.

And then there are the costs beyond adolescence, like college. By the time the octuplets turn 18 in 2027, the Web site SavingforCollege.com projects that four-year tuition at a public university will cost $87,200 per student.

If all eight octuplets head to a public college, the family could find itself stuck with tuition bills totalling nearly $700,000. That sum rises if any of the children go to a more expensive private college.

"The good news for this family is I'm sure they're going to be given a lot of things that will be very helpful," said Peel.

The Gosselin Family

In years past, families with sextuplets -- six infants born at the same time -- have received everything from free cars to new homes to guaranteed college tuition.

Jon and Kate Gosselin, the parents of twins and sextuplets and the stars of the television show "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" on the TLC network, speak openly about the free vacations they've received in exchange for free publicity on their show. Kate Gosselin also received a free tummy tuck courtesy of a physician who was also featured on the show.

The Chukwu family, who gave birth to the first-known octuplets, one of which died a week after birth, put out a call for donations when the children were born in Texas in 1998. It worked: They received cash contributions, volunteer help with child care, a year's worth of grocery and diaper donations and more.

Nkem Chukwu, the octuplets' mother, said the support the family received after the birth proved critical. She said the California octuplets' family should also ask for help.

"They need help. They need support from their community, from their church," she said.

And, she added, they have to "take it easy, just one day at a time."

With reports from ABC News' Allison Ehrlich, Joanna Schaffhausen and Gina Sunseri.

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