It’s been over a decade since Nadya Suleman made headlines for giving birth to octuplets, but the woman known as Octomom has gone through major changes since the height of her fame. Elements of a troubled life are now behind her, and even better, her children are thriving despite their unusual circumstances. Get the whereabouts of Suleman in 2021, as well as an update on Octomom’s kids now that they’re no longer the babies we remember from tabloid covers in the 2000s.
How Many Kids Does Nadya Suleman Have?
Suleman famously gave birth to eight children—Noah, Jonah, Jeremiah, Josiah, Isaiah, Makai, Nariyah and Maliyah—in January 2009, but many people are unaware that she was already a mother to multiple children.
The woman dubbed Octomom has a total of 14 kids. Her other six kids—Elijah, Amerah, Joshua, Aidan, and twins Alyssa and Caleb—were born within a span of five-and-a-half years, all before the octuplets came along.
In 2009, Suleman sat down with Ann Curry for Dateline NBC. In the interview, Suleman talked about her longtime struggles with infertility. She said she had tried to conceive for seven years and suffered an ectopic pregnancy before her first child. She also had fibroids, as well as scarring on her fallopian tubes.
Her only option was in vitro fertilization, or IVF, but it was expensive. Suleman, a technician at a psychiatric hospital, worked double shifts to raise money for the procedure.
“I was so driven, so determined, I wouldn’t give up,” she told Curry. “There’s no way I would have ever allowed any obstacle, impediment to get in my way of my dream.”
But Suleman’s dream came with a price. As a single mom of 14, she inevitably became a target of criticism. A media frenzy ensued.
Suleman told the New York Times that she never planned to implant more than two embryos at once; but her fertility doctor, Dr. Kamrava, maintains that he was only following his patient’s wishes. He was eventually stripped of his medical license and has since left the country.
Nevertheless, she has no regrets now that the children are here and thriving.
How Old Are Suleman’s Kids Now?
This past January, Suleman posted a touching Instagram message to celebrate the octuplets’ 12th birthdays.
“Happy 12th birthday to 8 of the most kind, caring, and respectful kids I have ever known,” she wrote. “Your compassion for all living things and the value of humbly serving others is the definition of love. You make my heart full, and have blessed our lives abundantly.”
It took 46 doctors to deliver them via Cesarian section, and the preemies weighed between 1 pound 8 ounces and 3 pounds 4 ounces. The children’s healthy, happy faces today are evidence of a modern-day miracle.
Suleman’s love isn’t limited to the eight we’ve often seen in media coverage. In May, her first-born child, son Elijah, turned 20. “Despite the battles we have fought and challenges we have faced over the years, you have grown into such a kind, caring, conscientious and humble young man,” she wrote to him via social media.
Her oldest daughter, Amerah, is on the verge of turning 19. “I am not ready to let go,” Suleman wrote on Amerah’s 18th birthday. “Despite you being an ‘adult,’ you will forever be my baby girl. I will always love you.”
Her other children’s ages range from 15 to 17. In 2019, Suleman revealed that one son, Aidan, is severely autistic and requires complete care. Then 14, he was non-verbal and required assistance with eating, changing, and using the bathroom.
“He is 14 years old, going on one in his head,” Suleman said in an Instagram video.
“I, his mother, am, and always have been, his ONLY care provider,” she continued. “This ‘job’ is my life (other than caring for 13 other children singlehandedly). My children are my LIFE.”
What Is ‘Octomom’ Doing Now In 2021?
But these days, she opts for a more low-key life. In 2018, the New York Times reported that she was living with all of the kids in a three-bedroom Orange County townhouse. It’s such a crowded house that they take turns eating at the table and sleeping on the couch.
But they’re relatively well adjusted. The children were reportedly polite and self-sufficient, cooking vegan meals for themselves. They do their homework without being asked and each read two books per month.
Meanwhile, Suleman is at work on a memoir. Her journey is certainly one-of-a-kind and worth telling.
As for how she currently feeds her kids, she gets by on work as a counselor, combined with government assistance. Suleman may never shed herself of the media-created chapter known as Octomom, but her love for her children transcends all of her past missteps. We’re happy to see that she’s made the best of her situation for the sake of her kids.