The Wild Story Of ‘Octomom’ Nadya Suleman—And Where She Is Today

In 2009, a California woman named Nadya Suleman gave birth to a set of octuplets. She quickly became known as “Octomom.” When people discovered she was a single mother who already had eight other children and no job, tempers flared.

But what has happened to Octomom and her brood since then?

Trying To Start A Family

Natalie married a produce manager named Marcos Gutierrez in 1996. The couple planned to start a family. However, she suffered three miscarriages before she and her husband separated and ultimately divorced. She took to babying her best friend’s daughter.

Babies On Disability

In 1999, Natalie suffered a back injury while working in a state mental hospital. Over time, she collected more than $165,000 in disability payments. This money helped pay for in-vitro fertilization treatments for the now-single woman.

Six For Five

Natalie’s first five rounds of IVF resulted in six children. Elijah came first, followed by Amerah a year later. Joshua was born two years after Amerah. Aiden was born two years after Joshua. Twins Calyssa and Caleb completed the family of seven.

A Final Round

When the twins were only toddlers, Natalie decided to try again. She said this was because she still had some frozen embryos.

“There’s some left,” she told Ann Curry in a 2009 Dateline interview. “And, you know what, I knew in my mind that if it hadn’t worked, I’m done. Doesn’t work, it’s not meant. And I’m gonna let go and move on. So, the last try: (laugh) yeah, it worked. It worked a little too well.”

Babies Born Early

Now going by the name Nadya Suleman, she threw out her back and was put on bed rest at 23 weeks pregnant. Soon, doctors discovered one of the babies was no longer growing and decided it was time to deliver them. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks before their due date.

Eight Angels

The octuplets all share the middle name Angel. All 14 children have the surname of Solomon. Suleman has declined to state who their father is.

The Father Is Not Involved


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Birthday fun for my little ones. #happy #healthy #thriving

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Suleman says that all 14 children are full siblings.

“All the kids are from the exact same father,” she told Radar Online.

However, she said he was not pleased to discover she had octuplets after having already given birth to six other children.

She Always Wanted A Huge Family

Having several children was a lifelong dream.

“That was always a dream of mine, to have a large family, a huge family,” Suleman told Ann Curry in her 2009 Dateline interview, “and — I just longed for connections and attachments with another person that I … I really lacked, I believe, growing up.”

Nadya’s Doctor Testifies

In 2010, fertility specialist Dr. Michael Kamrava testified that he had implanted 12 embryos at Suleman’s final appointment with him. The physician stated that he was apprehensive, but that Suleman had been adamant.

“She just wouldn’t accept doing anything else with those embryos,” testified Kamrava.

The Specialist Lost His License

His apprehension was not enough to get Kamrava off the hook. The California Medical Board ruled that the doctor committed gross negligence. The Beverly Hills doctor lost his medical license.

Finding Ways To Support 14

That same year, Suleman posed in a bikini for the cover of Star Magazine. She went on to auction off the swimsuit. When she appeared on “The View,” Barbara Walters asked her about it.

“The main reason is for revenue,” Suleman told the journalist, “and I’m open and honest about that.”

The Worries Were Constant

Walters proceeded to ask about money. She wondered how Suleman would support 14 children once the money from interviews stopped coming.

“Every hour of the day, 24 hours a day,” Suleman told Walters, “I contemplate how I am going to do this.”

Paid By PETA

She earned some quick cash as a PETA spokesperson. In 2010, the activist organization paid her $5,000 to hang a sign on her door. The sign read, “Don’t Let Your Dog or Cat Become an Octomom. Always Spay or Neuter.”

A Big Dose Of Mom Guilt

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Suleman admitted she suffered guilt because she could not possibly meet all of her children’s needs.

“I live every single day, every hour of the day, with a tremendous amount of guilt,” she told Winfrey. “And I’ll live with this forever. But all I can do now is keep on going, keep moving.”

Never Gonna Give Them Up

Suleman went on to say how challenging the situation was. Winfrey asked Suleman if she had or would ever consider placing any of her children with a foster or adoptive family so they could be better cared for. Suleman said she would die first.

Finding ‘Me Time’

Around the same time, Suleman engaged in another interview that sparked controversy. TMZ released an audio tape of the interview in which she stated that it had been difficult to bond with her babies. She also admitted to eating dinner in the bathroom to be alone.

Celebrity Boxing

In November 2011, she earned more money in a boxing match. The 36-year-old mother faced Amy Fisher, known as the “Long Island Lolita.”

Round Three For Charity

Both women wore comical, oversized gloves in the ring. The crowd was largely rooting for Suleman, who won the match in the third round. She stated that proceeds would go to charity, likely one associated with autism, as one of her children is on the autism spectrum.

Foray Into Adult Entertainment

Although she had sworn to Oprah that she wouldn’t do an adult film, even if “they offered $100 million,” Suleman apparently changed her mind. In 2012, she starred in one.

Suleman told TMZ, “Any job I’m fortunate enough to get is for the kids.”

Losing The Family Home

Her decision to be in an adult film came after the family’s home went into foreclosure. She had filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and hoped to use the money she earned to buy a house.

“I’m not supposed to talk about when or where we’re moving, but I’d love to find a safe, big house for my children,” she told the Daily News.

Debating Michael Lohan

Suleman’s next gig was as a work-at-home mother who was literally paid to argue. She worked as a professional debater for a site called The company paid her several thousand dollars to debate anyone who wanted to argue about anything for 90 minutes, two times each week. Lohan (father of Lindsay) was one of her sparring partners.

Fighting Criminal Charges

In 2014, Suleman found herself fighting charges of welfare fraud. Four criminal charges were brought against her. Deputy District Attorney William Clark with the public assistance fraud division filed the complaint, alleging that she had failed to report income she made as a topless dancer and adult film actress.

Probation And Community Service

Suleman faced up to six years and four months in prison if convicted for the crimes. She settled the case by repaying $26,000. She also had to serve two years’ probation and work 200 hours of community service.

Loss Of Emotional Support

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This is how I will remember you..both ❤️❤️

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In 2014, Suleman’s mother passed away from ovarian cancer. A year later, her father suffered a serious fall. He is now paralyzed.

The Family Of 14 Today

The octuplets turned nine in 2018. Suleman’s oldest children are teenagers. The family lives in a three-bedroom townhome in California.

Back To Natalie

Suleman has gone back to being known as Natalie. She began working as a counselor and says she has worked to put the “Octomom” persona behind her.

“I admit that I made many mistakes in my life, and that I’m imperfect,” she told Extra. “I make mistakes constantly. But my children were not a mistake — they were meant to be here.”