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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who is Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman Gutierrez?

Who is Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman Gutierrez? Thew world knows her as Nadya Suleman the Octomom. She is an American woman who came to international attention when she gave birth to octuplets in January 2009.[1][2] The Suleman octuplets are only the second full set of octuplets to be born alive in the United States and, one week after their birth, surpassed the previous worldwide survival rate for a complete set of octuplets set by the Chukwu octuplets in 1998. The circumstances of their high order multiple birth have led to controversy in the field of assisted reproductive technology as well as an investigation by the Medical Board of California of the fertility specialist involved.[3] Public reaction turned negative when it was discovered that the single mother already had six other young children at home at the time and was not financially independent.
Suleman, who was unemployed and on public assistance programs at the time, conceived the octuplets and her six older children via in-vitro fertilization (IVF).[4]

Although Suleman was born in 1975, two dates of birth have been given for her. One is October 12th, the other is July 11th. It was reported that the birthdate recorded for her as the mother on the birth certificates of her children was July 11th. She was reportedly born in either Bellflower or Fullerton, California [5] (depending on sources) as the only child of Edward and Angela Doud. Her parents married in Las Vegas in 1974, and divorced in 1999.[6][7]
Suleman was raised in La Puente, Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights, all cities in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County. She graduated from Nogales High School in La Puente, California in 1993, and studied to be a psychiatric technician at Mt. San Antonio College.[citation needed]
She held a psychiatric technician license, and worked as a psychiatric technician at Metropolitan State Hospital, where her back was injured while at work. She filed a worker's compensation claim in 1999 while working at the hospital, and again filed another claim in 2001 with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and over the course of time, received approximately $167,000 in benefits.[8] She attended California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and received a Bachelor of Science degree in child and adolescent development in 2006. Suleman returned to CSUF to pursue a master's degree in counseling, leaving the program in 2008.[9]

Nadya married Marcos Gutierrez in 1996. According to Gutierrez, they separated in 2000 because they could not conceive children together. Gutierrez filed for divorce in November 2006 and the divorce was finalized in January 2008.[10] Despite their divorce, in an interview with People Weekly, he spoke highly of her and expressed that he wishes her the best.[11]

Nadya Suleman began IVF treatments in 2001 from Doctor Michael Kamrava. In each of her six pregnancies she was implanted with six embryos.[12] The treatments resulted in four single births and one fraternal twin birth, with four boys and two girls born between 2001 and 2006.[13]
seven-year-old Elijah Makai Solomon (boy)
six-year-old Amerah Yasmeen Solomon (girl)
five-year-old Joshua Jacob Solomon (boy)
three-year-old Aiden Solomon (boy)
two-year-old Calyssa Arielle Solomon (girl, twin)
two-year-old Caleb Kai Solomon (boy, twin)

Suleman has stated that in 2008 she had six embryos left over from her previous in-vitro fertilization treatments. She requested the embryos be implanted despite the norm for a woman her age being two or three at the most.[3] Part of her reasoning for attempting a sixth pregnancy was so that the frozen embryos would not be destroyed. The six remaining embryos were implanted and two of the embryos split into twins, resulting in a total of eight embryos. Her health and gestational status were followed from her first trimester. Five fetuses were evident after just one month and when offered the option of selective reduction, Suleman declined.[14]
News of the octuplets caused an international media frenzy.[15] Public reply was largely negative and even included death threats.[16] There has been much public discussion about Suleman's decision to have the octuplets, including a minor protest outside the Suleman home.[17] Many expressed concern that Suleman's decision for more children would burden taxpayers via public support.[18][19][20]
As of March 2009, Suleman lives elsewhere,[21] and there was concern the octuplets would not be released from the hospital with Suleman expressing concern about losing custody of them.[22] However, as of April 14, 2009, all of the children are home, although public outrage has not subsided. Someone threw a baby seat through the back window of her Toyota minivan,[23] the latest in a string of vandalisms to Suleman's property.[24][25]

With the 2009 birth Suleman captured the public eye and by the end of January the neologism octomom came into usage specifically referring to her. Suleman hired the Killeen Furtney Group as her initial public-relations company, with Wes Yoder providing a small amount of pro bono advice. Both groups soon ended their involvement after receiving death threats.[26] Her next spokesman was Victor Munoz,[27] who quit on March 6, 2009.[28]
On February 5, 2009, Nadya Suleman granted a television interview to NBC's Ann Curry. Suleman rejected suggestions that her decisions have been selfish or that she may not be able to care for her children. Suleman felt society is unfairly judging her because she is a single mother. Suleman said she will get by with the help of family, friends, and her church, and she plans to return to school in the fall.[29]
In February 2009, Vivid Entertainment made Suleman a $1 million (US) offer to star in a pornographic movie.[30] Suleman has declined their offer.[31]
On March 25, 2009, Suleman and Gloria Allred appeared together on the Dr. Phil Show. Allred had a list of criticisms of Suleman's performance as mother and homemaker.[32]
On April 16, Suleman revealed she has struck a deal for a reality TV show in the UK, though the Hollywood Reporter said some U.S. networks are reluctant to pick up the show. [33]

Before knowledge of the octuplets became public, Suleman had been living with her children and mother in a small three-bedroom house in Whittier, California. Property records show the Suleman house in mortgage default; it is scheduled to be sold at auction in May 2009.[34] Suleman's parents filed for bankruptcy in 2008, citing nearly $1 million in liabilities.[35]
Suleman's father, 67-year-old Edward Doud Suleman,[36] identifies himself as a former Iraqi military man and says he is returning to his native Iraq as a translator and driver in order to financially support his daughter and her children.[37] Suleman's mother, 69-year-old Angela Victoria Suleman, a retired teacher, has helped to look after the first six children. She has indicated that she is overwhelmed looking after them, and was critical of her daughter in her earlier public statements.[38] more

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