| 3.1°C Dublin

Octuplet mum admits she broke fertility guidelines

THE unemployed Los Angeles woman who gave birth to octuplets a fortnight ago has admitted she broke fertility guidelines by having six embryos implanted.

In her first interview Nadia Suleman, who had a history of miscarriages that triggered depression, criticised some other parents as being unloving, distant and selfish.

"I'm providing myself to my children," said Ms Suleman (33), wearing a black open-necked shirt, grey trousers and flip-flops during a broadcast on NBC's 'Today Show'.

"I'm loving them unconditionally. I'll stop my life for them and be present for them ... and how many parents do that?

"I'm sure there are many that do, but many don't, and that is unfortunate, that's selfish."

In the interview -- her first public appearance since the birth that required 46 doctors and nurses and made medical history -- Ms Suleman admitted that she had broken US fertility treatment guidelines by having six embryos implanted in her womb: three times the limit suggested by fertility experts for women under the age of 35.

"I wanted them all transferred," Ms Suleman said. "Those are my children, and that's what was available and I used them.

"So, I took a risk. It's a gamble. It always is." She added: "It turned out perfectly."

The six embryos -- all fertilised by the same sperm donor (described by Ms Suleman as a friend) -- produced eight babies because in rare cases embryos can divide.

She also revealed that her six previous children, aged 2 to 7, had also been conceived through fertility treatment with the same sperm donor.

It is unclear how Ms Suleman's family will be able to help care for them, given that they recently filed for bankruptcy and abandoned their home. It was revealed yesterday that Ms Suleman had previously received about $165,000 (€127,000) in disability payments between 2002 and 2008.

She has insisted that she will not take government welfare. "I know I'll be able to afford them when I'm done with my schooling," Ms Suleman said.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

It was confirmed that Ms Suleman had hired a publicist and was reportedly seeking up to $2m for her story.

According to official records released yesterday, Ms Suleman had once told a doctor that she had three miscarriages during a seven-year period when she was first trying to become pregnant.

Ms Suleman became pregnant with her first child in 2001, but fearing that she would lose her child, became severely depressed. Ms Suleman told her doctors that her depression was partly responsible for the end of her marriage to Marcos Gutierrez, whom she divorced in 2008. (© The Times, London)

Most Watched