Supporters Donate to Octuplets' Web Site, California Could Foot Hospital Bill

Coming Home Costs Octuplet Family Too, in Money and Attention

Suleman, who was already a single mother of six before her octuplets were born, is also eligible for federal assistance of more than $1,900 per month because three of her six children are disabled.

Despite the mounting price tags, Suleman said on the "Today Show" that she is "providing for [her] children."

"I'm responsible. I am not on welfare," she said, although she told NBC's "Today Show" this week that she has been receiving $490 in food stamps every month. "I feel it is my responsibility to do what I can to provide for my children."

Furtney told ABC News today that Suleman plans to begin some kind of "business or enterprise that will allow her to get what she needs without needing to rely on state or federal funding."

Dr. Charles Sophy, the medical director of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, cautioned that giving birth to octuplets would put eight times as much stress on a single mother and pose a daunting task in terms of rearing.

"It costs money to raise children," he said. "To raise these kids is probably going to cost about $2.5 million, just to give them basics. That is not baseball lessons or piano lessons. That is food, clothing or getting to school every day; that is a lot of money."

The Department of Children and Family Services worries that, in a house of 14, there will be a lack of attention or that the children will be at higher risk of abuse or neglect.

Some critics, such as Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, are calling on social services to investigate the family now for the sake of the children.

"The L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services can investigate if a complaint is made, if there is neglect, if there is child endangerment, if there is cause," family rights activist and attorney Gloria Allred told "Good Morning America." "We don't have any facts to support that right now and the octuplets are still in the hospital. We don't know what's going to happen when they come home. Are they going to come home to that three-bedroom home that the other six are living in?"

The octuplets' grandmother Angela Suleman told Radaronline.com that her daughter has "no means to support" her 14 children and that she never contributed rent or food money. She also never told her mother about the more than $167,000 records show she received in disability payments after she was injured in 1999.

Ironically, the mounting controversy over Suleman's ability to support her large family may provide the much-needed capital.

"Has she sold photos, interviews? Has she sold film of the babies?" Allred asked, alluding to the significant monetary value that media attention can bring to such items. "Are there going to be donations? We just don't know what's going to happen, but I think everyone in the public, I know I am, is very concerned about the safety, the welfare, the health, the conditions of the children and how their needs are going to be met."

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