The doctor who helped Nadya Suleman give birth to her first six babies, and who she claims helped her give birth last week to eight more babies, has a low rate of success and uses a controversial method that fertility experts warn may be dangerous.
This week, Suleman told NBC's "Today" that a single doctor helped her conceive all 14 of her children. While she did not reveal the identity of this doctor, a 2006 report by television station KTLA shows a grateful Suleman praising the work of Beverly Hills physician Michael Kamrava, who runs a fertility practice. In the report, he says that he used a controversial procedure that he claims makes it much easier to implant women with embryos.
According to the Web site for the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, even with his controversial fertility techniques, Kamrava has one of the worst success rates in the country at just 10 percent. The national average is a 39 percent success rate.
Suleman's mother, Angela Suleman, has refuted the notion that Kamrava performed the in-vitro fertilization procedures that led to all 14 births.
"Her dad and I were talking to the doctor and we said ... she's not married; she wants children and she really does not have any means to support them and ... she really shouldn't have more," she told the news agency Radar Online. "That's enough, so he didn't implant anymore embryos and we're thankful for that. But then, she went somewhere else and someone else did, so now she has eight more."
Kamrava -- who has refused to talk to the media about the case -- has become a central figure in the unfolding drama as to how a doctor could take what some call an unethical step of providing IVF to a single mother of six to allow her to have eight more children.
The California medical board is conducting an investigation to see if the doctor who helped the mother conceive the octuplets violated the standard of care for implanting so many embryos in such a young woman. Top fertility experts also question his technique of using a camera and catheter to insert embryos, and warn the procedure may actually be dangerous.
Three of Suleman's Older Children Are Disabled
"Using a camera or scope to transfer embryos has not been scientifically validated to show any benefits, and there is the possibility that it may actually do some harm," said Dr. Robert Boostanfar of the Huntington Reproductive Center in Pasadena, Calif.
Three of Suleman's older children are now disabled. The family receives $490 per month in food stamps to help feed them. Their grandmother provides most of the care for the children who now live with her, her husband and their mother in a small, three-bedroom home.
"I was the main provider, she had no means to support them," Angela Suleman told Radar Online. "They were always living in my house. She's just not thinking straight."
In the meantime, Nadya Suleman's children may prove to be a financial burden not only to her family, but to the state of California as well. Kaiser Permanente, which runs the hospital where the babies are being cared for, is now asking the state to foot the babies' medical bills, ABC News has learned.