Earlier this week, Nadya "Octomom" Suleman filed for bankruptcy, claiming that she had up to $1 million in debt. She said of her decision, "I have to do what is best for my children, and I need a fresh start."
It is easy to criticize her decision. She is irresponsible. She is abusing the system. She is wasting taxpayers' money. However, let's remember that she has 14 children. Fourteen. It is hard to swim out of debt when one is responsible for that many offspring, and it is also hard to find a job – both making the time to find one, and then figuring out who is going to watch them, and how one will pay the sitter.
This is not to justify the fact that Suleman made a good decision to have the eight additional children when she already had six – it was not, and she herself has acknowledged this.
However, what is done is done, and the children are here to stay. Now, she has to figure out how to ensure that they are well, and if bankruptcy is the best card, then so be it. As James Poulos explained, "Tocqueville implies something crucial: in America, bankruptcy has to be available for everyone ... when it comes to bankruptcy, what’s good for the upstanding small businessperson must be good for Octomom, and what’s good for Octomom must be good for the debt-saddled college graduate."
Our main concern now is that the children are indeed well and taken care of. Numerous calls to social services have been made against Suleman, witnesses claiming that she does not treat her children well. At the moment, everything seems to be fine; she is no Parent of the Year, but the children appear to be healthy. However, we do need to keep an eye out and ensure that any future surprise moves on her part, like this bankruptcy one here, does not endanger her children.