I came across this self-righteous article yesterday. Apparently the mother of the octuplets born in California last week, had once filed for bankruptcy, and already has six children. According to the report this ‘casts an unflattering light’ on her.

The article goes on to report the mother’s mother as saying that her daughter had multiple embryos implanted last year and declined to abort any of them. Well, obviously she’s a ratbag.

There’s an unspoken assumption in the article that more children are a bad thing, that children are a burden, that people who have large numbers of them must necessarily be irresponsible.

In fact the woman had no way of knowing how many of the implanted embryos would take, and that she declined to abort any of them casts a more, rather than less, flattering light on her in my view. The rights and wrongs of IVF as a whole I leave for another time.

There’s not enough information in the article to judge whether the woman is irresponsible or not, and anyway, what’s so special about us that we should feel entitled to make such a judgement?

But that wasn’t what caught my eye in the article. Instead it was the claim by Dr. Charles Sophy, medical director of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services that ‘it costs roughly $2.5 million to raise a child to adulthood.’ And according to the doc, that’s only enough for basic stuff, no extras like swimming lessons.

I have worked in ministry and other low paid jobs most of my life so far. I expect my lifetime working income to total about $1.6 million. According to Dr Sophy that’s enough to raise about two-thirds of a child, with nothing left over for a stamp collection.

Oh well.