In Defense of Nadya Suleman, Mother of Octuplets

In my first article about Nadya Suleman, the Octomom, I received almost nothing but criticism. People commented on my blog and also sent personal emails letting me know that they disagreed with me and did so fiercely. In the days since that post, even more tidbits about Nadya Suleman have been released, and the media is showing the most unflattering, edited clips. But instead of jumping on the bandwagon, I'm happily standing alone. I'm doing to defend Nadya Sulemon a second time.

Here's what I've got to offer this time around.

First, do you really believe that the media is portraying a fair and balanced opinion of Nadya? Have you ever worked in a newsroom or for a tabloid? Do you know how much manipulation is at play in a headline story? Would any of us survive a media frenzy of the scale mounted against Nadya?

Second, what good is our universal condemnation of this woman? Can it help her? Or her children? Can it take away the doctor's decision to implant so many embryos? Will it make the children's lives any better? Will Nadya's mental health improve after watching herself be lambasted on paper, television and on the Internet?

Third, if her children are taken away, which seems to be one "solution" bandied about in chat rooms, would her children really be better off? Have you heard about the injustice, sexual abuse and plain negligence that can take place in a group home or foster household? Will anyone be able to take all 8 children and if they are split up, would that make for a better life for the octuplets?

What I propose is a different response to this mother's predicament. Instead of name-calling and indignation, how about offering Nadya Suleman a few things that might actually help her, and her 14 children?

For example, what if her neighbors were to set up a parenting circle in which local families donate time, advice or hand-me-downs to her children?

Or how about creating an online forum in which she can ask experts and counselors for non-judgmental advice to help her tackle the challenges of single parenthood to multiples?

For those who are spiritually inclined, how about prayer circles in which blessings are offered to mother and children?

For still others who believe she needs therapy, how about fundraising to pay for counseling sessions or volunteering to help her?

When the world held their breath after the birth of the Dionne quintuplets, wondering if they'd survive, the end result was destructive and humiliating for the children. They were separated from their family and turned into a tourist attraction. As we consume negative story after story about Nadya Suleman and her octuplets, we are in danger of repeating a tragic history that haunted the Dionne sisters for their entire lives.

Can we all stop throwing stones at Nadya Suleman and offer sage advice, nonjudgmental support and generous prayers instead? Or if you want to throw a stone, how about aiming the next one at me?

By Taz Tagore for Intent.com

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