Is Having a Big Family Reason to Call in Social Services?
Aisha Sultan at Parents Talk Back writes about the recent birth of octuplets to a woman who already had six children:
This is the height of selfishness and abdication of parental responsibility.[..] Instead of showering this woman with free diapers and formula, social services should keep a close eye on the health and welfare of a these 14 children.
Of course, I don’t personally know this woman, so I can’t vouch for her responsibility. But going by the information provided in the AP story, it sounds like she had six children and wanted seven. She had a fertility treatment that can result in multiple births (or single births, or none at all if it doesn’t work). Now she has 14 children.
There are other families in the U.S. that have 15, 16, 17, or even 18 children, with or without fertility treatments. Teachers in public schools are in charge of that many children at a time. So I don’t think a relatively low “parent-child ratio” is reason by itself for state surveillance.