Octuplet Grandma Calls Daughter 'Unconscionable'

She says daughter wants to write a book on single motherhood.

February 4, 2009, 6:23 PM

Feb. 9, 2009— -- The grandmother of the California octuplets calls her daughter Nadya Suleman's decision to impregnate herself again after giving birth to six children "really unconscionable" and says the 33-year-old single mother has "no means to support" 14 children.

Angela Suleman said Sunday that she's been housing and supporting her daughter Nadya Suleman and her six grandchildren by a previous in vitro fertilization procedure in a "cramped" apartment for years.

Watch Angela Suleman's interview with Radaronline.com on "Good Morning America."

Angela Suleman said that her daughter "spent a lot of money on toys" but never contributed rent or food money and failed to tell her mother about more than $167,000 that records show she received from worker's compensation claims.

"I did hear that she received money from her insurance,'' Angela Suleman told Radaronline.com in an interview that was aired on "GMA." "She never told me. But I've never seen any money, not for house payments or for feeding the kids."

Angela Suleman filed for bankruptcy in March 2008, according to court documents.

"Unless [Nadya] starts working, earning money, I don't know, she may have to go on welfare, which she said she never would do,'' her mother said.

Last week Nadya Suleman defended her biological decisions in an interview with NBC's Ann Curry, saying that they were a "gamble" she was willing to take.

Though Nadya Suleman said that she intends to return to school to complete a master's degree in counseling this fall, she also told Curry that she loves her children "unconditionally" and will "stop my life for them and be present with them. And hold them. And be with them. And how many parents do that?"

An NBC representative has said the network did not pay for the Curry interview.

Angela Suleman said her daughter has given the octuplets biblical names, including one boy named Noah, according to Radaronline.com.

The birth of the octuplets last month has dominated news cycles for nearly two weeks, drawing a range of reaction from curiosity and concern to unambiguous condemnation, all of it animated. Only one other woman in the United States has successfully given birth to eight children. One of those babies later died.

Nadya Suleman had three miscarriages before the embryo implantation that produced the octuplets and has been prescribed antidepressants to deal with "powerful and uncontrollable emotions associated with her pregnancy," according to state records reviewed by ABC News.

Joann Killeen, a spokeswoman for Suleman, said last week that the mother of 14 has been inundated with offers for book deals and business proposals like television programs, but has not decided on any one project yet.

"She's the most sought-after mom in the world right now," Killeen told NBC. "Everyone wants to talk to her."

'She Wanted ... to Write a Book"

Angela Suleman said her daughter sought out and chose for a sperm donor a "handsome young man ... with straight teeth,'' identified in records as David Solomon -- but apparently always planned to raise her brood alone.

"She always wanted to have a lot of children and she was telling people she wanted to have 12 and write a book and be a single mother at the same time,'' Angela Suleman said.

Questions remain about Solomon, the apparent sole sperm donor. Nadya Suleman described him as a "friend" to Curry. She said she hoped that their 14 children would someday be a part of his life.

Angela Suleman said she thinks that time is now.

"He must have really liked her a lot, been in love with her," she said. "How else would someone do this? Have his own children run around and not be a part of their life? Though she did say he would be part of their lives later. But this is an important time and they should have a father now."

Nadya Suleman married Marcos Guittierez in 1996 but the couple separated in 2000. They divorced last year and court records indicate no children were produced.

When they learned of their daughter's plans to seek a second in vitro fertilization procedure, Angela Suleman said she and her husband intervened with doctors.

"We said, 'She's not marr[ied], she wants children and she really does not have any means to support them and she really shouldn't have more, that's enough,'" she said.

So, she said, Nadya Suleman's original IVF doctor "didn't implant any more embryos and we're thankful for that."

"But she went somewhere else and someone else did, so now she has eight more," Angela Suleman said. "How she's going to support them, I don't know."

Angela Suleman said her daughter was induced after 7½ months because one of the fetuses was so high up in her womb that it was cracking a rib and doctors were concerned the baby wasn't getting enough oxygen.

Nadya Suleman has a 2006 degree in child and adolescent development from Cal State Fullerton, and as late as spring 2008, she was studying for a master's degree in counseling, a school representative said.

"She really has no idea what she's doing to her children and to me," Angela Suleman said.

Astronomical Child-Care Costs

The challenges of raising 14 children younger than 8 as a single mother are daunting.

Costs for the average delivery of a full-term pregnancy range from $9,000 to $25,000, depending on whether the baby is delivered by Caesarean section or vaginally, experts told ABC News.

It remains unclear how Nadya Suleman plans to pay for the children's upbringing. Her mother told Radaronline.com that while she dearly loves her six grandchildren, she is at the end of her emotional and financial rope.

"I'm really tired of taking care of those six,'' she said. "I really need [Nadya Suleman] to think of what she's going to do and how she's going to provide for all these children."

Angela Suleman and her husband live with their daughter and the six grandchildren in a "humble, three-bedroom home,''' she said.

"We're there all crowded in. The master bedroom has a big bed and two little cribs and the other bedroom has one bed and one crib and there is one bedroom with bunk beds that I [had] gotten before, so it's pretty crowded. But [the children] are wonderful, beautiful children and I love them dearly. I would never let anything happen to them, so I'm taking care of them and I have been."

"I don't know what the future will bring, because, hopefully [Nadya Suleman] will get some living accommodations -- because it's a really small house."

Angela Suleman described her daughter as irresponsible with money and unresponsive to her retired mother's financial needs.

"The house is full of toys,'' she said. "My daughter has always spent a lot of money on toys and really not helping out with the children or the living arrangements -- never paid anything for rent. Her sense of values is kind of strange because I'm a retired teacher and I'm living off money that I'm making or have for my retirement money and it's not that much. Teachers don't get that much and I'm spending a lot.''

Workers Compensation and Depression

Records obtained by ABC News from the California Department of Industrial Relations show that Nadya Suleman received more than $167,000 in worker's compensation after she injured her lower back during what was described in records as a "riot" at the Metropolitan State Hospital, a mental hospital in Norwalk, Calif., where she worked from 1997 until November 2008.

While she attempted to restrain a patient, another patient knocked a wooden desk onto her back, the records say. She said her injuries were exacerbated by a 2001 auto accident and by her pregnancy.

She received disability payments until at least August 2008. Her employer stopped her payments in July 2001, but she appealed to a workers' compensation appeals board, which ruled in 2002 that she was, in fact, temporarily disabled, and the payments resumed.

Nadya Suleman became depressed as a result of the injury and was prescribed antidepressants, the records say.

Her depression was also due, in part, she said, to "the powerful and uncontrollable emotions associated with her pregnancy -- both the fear that it would end and her elation that it might be brought to fruition and she would realize her dream of having a child," a psychologist wrote after evaluating her, according to the records, which were obtained through an open records request.

She told doctors that she had three miscarriages and found it "terrifying" when she learned she might be pregnant again.

Despite the challenges ahead, Angela Suleman told Curry that her determination and the master's degree she's working toward will carry the day. Still, she said, she understands the public's concern.

"I know I'll be able to afford them when I'm done with my schooling," she said. "If I was just sitting down watching TV and not being as determined as I am to succeed and provide a better future for my children, I believe that would be considered, to a certain degree, selfish."

ABC News producers Scott Michels, Santina Leuci, Jim Vojtech, Sabina Ghebremedhin, Alice Gomstyn and ABC News Research contributed to this report.

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