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Page last updated at 14:20 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Octuplets mum 'deluged by offers'

Spokeswoman for Nadya Suleman talks about the babies on Good Morning America

A Californian woman who gave birth to octuplets has been showered with book and TV offers, the woman's newly-hired publicist has said.

The mother, Nadya Suleman, wants to tell her story and is weighing up the offers, said publicist Joann Killeen.

Reports that the babies were conceived through in vitro fertilisation has sparked a debate over the ethics of such treatments.

News that Ms Suleman already has six children has sparked further criticism.

The eight babies were delivered nine weeks early by Caesarean section in a hospital near Los Angeles on 26 January.

The facility, the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Bellflower, California, has said it was not involved in the octuplets' conception.

'Compelling story'

Ms Joann Killeen said she was contacted by Ms Suleman to represent her and that hundreds of offers had been received. Many were for interviews but some have been to host TV shows or be a baby expert.

"She's the most sought-after mom in the world right now," said her publicist.

Ms Killeen said they were looking at all the opportunities, but that Ms Suleman was still in hospital recovering from the births and wanted to focus on her children.

Ms Suleman, 33, does want to tell her story at some point, however, Ms Killeen said.

Home believed to be that of octuplets family
TV crews have descended on Ms Suleman's house near Los Angeles

"She's looking forward to telling the story and setting the record straight," Ms Killeen said.

"I think you're going to be very impressed with a compelling story," she told ABC's Good Morning America.

Ms Suleman has not yet commented on how the octuplets were conceived or which clinic was used.

Her mother said "she is obsessed with children" and underwent in vitro fertilisation to have "just one more girl", the Los Angeles Times reported.

'Irresponsible'

The births have touched off a debate over the ethics of using fertility treatments to have that number of children.

Doctors usually use from two to four embryos in fertility treatments, not as many as eight.

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends that women of Ms Suleman's age have no more than two embryos implanted.

"To put this many embryos back in a woman who is so young and had proven fertility is completely irresponsible," reproductive endocrinologist Suleena Kansal Kalra of the University of Pennsylvania told AFP news agency.

The ASRM is investigating how Ms Suleman became pregnant with octuplets and may "take appropriate action", the agency said in a statement.

Fertility experts have also pointed to a lack of regulation in the field and called for professional organisations to put stricter rules in place for doctors and clinics.

Multi-birth pregnancies come with a heightened risk of premature birth and health risks for the mother and the babies.

Doing well

Doctors at Kaiser say Ms Suleman's eight babies are so far making good progress.

They are the second set of octuplets born in the US, and now they are the longest surviving.

The last octuplets known to have survived birth in the US were born in Houston in 1998. One of the babies died one week later.

Although Ms Suleman may have been showered with offers for her story, it is not known whether she has been approached by corporate sponsors, as happened with some other multiple-birth cases in the US.

The parents of the McCaughey septuplets born in Iowa in 1997 were given a large house, a big van, baby food and a lifetime supply of nappies, the Associated Press news agency said.

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SEE ALSO
Premature octuplets 'doing well'
27 Jan 09 |  Americas
US woman gives birth to octuplets
27 Jan 09 |  Americas
Tenth birthday for 'octuplets'
27 Jan 09 |  Special Reports

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