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Octuplets' Mom "Obsessed" With Having Kids

The woman who gave birth to octuplets this week conceived all 14 of her children through in-vitro fertilization, is not married, and has been obsessed with having children since she was a teenager, her mother said.

Angela Suleman told The Associated Press she was not supportive when her daughter, Nadya Suleman, decided to have more embryos implanted last year.

"It can't go on any longer," she said in a phone interview Friday. "She's got six children and no husband. I was brought up the traditional way. I firmly believe in marriage. But she didn't want to get married."

CBS News had been respecting the stated wishes of the family not to identify Nadya Suleman, but her family supplied her name for The AP to make public.

Nadya Suleman, 33, gave birth Monday in nearby Bellflower. She was expected to remain in the hospital for at least a few more days, and her newborns for at least a month.

A spokeswoman at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center said the babies were doing well and seven were breathing unassisted.

The news that the octuplets' mother already had six children sparked an intense ethical debate. Some medical experts were disturbed to hear that she was offered fertility treatment, and troubled by the possibility that she was implanted with so many embryos.

Her fertility doctor has not been identified.

Dr. Mark Surrey, a fertility expert, told Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman that it is irresponsible and medically risky to implant eight embryos. "(Any doctor who would do that) should be criticized, censured, and professionally reviewed," Surrey said.

"I don't know of anyone who would applaud this as a good outcome," said Surrey, adding that it was fortunate that all eight babies survived.

"I completely agree with Dr. Surrey," Dr. James Grifo, Program Director at the New York University Fertility Center and one of the nation's top infertility specialists, told Early Show Saturday Edition co-anchor Erica Hill. "I know no physician who would put eight embryos in a patient. We don't do that, because of the risks. Our goal as practitioners is to help patients have a healthy offspring.

"Single pregnancies, where a single baby is born, are the best outcome. And those alone are risky. When you have twins, you add more risk. And when you have triplets, it's even more risk, and it's logarithmic the number of babies."

Other medical experts worried that she would be overwhelmed trying to raise so many children and would end up relying on public support.

But Grifo said, "As a doctor, you treat infertility. It's not clear that this patient was infertile. Infertility is defined as a year of trying without being able to get pregnant. Whether someone has one baby, no babies, or six babies, if they tried for a year to get pregnant and meet the criteria for infertility, we then treat them.

"But we don't start with in-vitro fertilization treatment. Someone like this may get pregnant with much simpler treatments that have less risk and less chance of multiples. I don't know the story, but it does not make sense.

"Most of us in this situation, a woman under 35, would only put two embryos back, except in the extreme example of a patient who's failed multiple attempts. We might put a third embryo in that situation. But I don't know people putting six embryos back."

The Sulemans moved to Whittier, about 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, after they declared bankruptcy and abandoned a home elsewhere, Kauffman has reported.

Perhaps, Kauffman suggests, they were trying to keep a low profile, but there's no chance of that now: Every move they make outside their home is caught on tape.

At one point, Kauffman points out, Nadya Suleman's father got into a testy exchange with reporters.

"(Nadya's) fine," he said. "The babies are fine, everybody's fine, except us -- because of you! That's all!"

He insists the delivery of octuplets wasn't the plan, saying, "She did not seek to have more children. She thought she was going to have one more child."