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Dr. Phil on Octuplets

Aired February 27, 2009 - 21:00   ET


DR. PHIL MCGRAW, GUEST HOST: Tonight, what is the octuplet mom thinking?


MCGRAW: You're not playing with dolls.


MCGRAW: But she's not sorry they're here.


N. SULEMAN: I don't regret it and I don't apologize for it.


MCGRAW: Is she addicted to pregnancy?


MCGRAW: When you can't handle the six you've got, having even one more seems to me to be way out of touch with reality.


MCGRAW: Could she lose her babies?

Will she resort to pornography to pay the bills?

We'll talk about why she needs help with people who know the real Nadya Suleman, including me. The octuplet mom revealed, right now on LARRY KING LIVE.

Hey, Dr. Phil McGraw here sitting in for Larry King.

Nadya Suleman may be the most notorious mother in the world right now ever since she gave birth to octuplets last month. Don't forget, she's got six kids under the age of seven, as well.

Her motives and her mental state have been questioned, too.

I recently sat down with Nadya for an in-depth interview.

Here's a little of what she said.


MCGRAW: Given the result, was it a mistake to transfer those six embryos?

N. SULEMAN: I don't believe anything was a mistake. I believe that considering -- I'm going to reiterate. Considering my own history, that the six resulted in two and then, of course, it's -- that what is the probability of that happening again?

MCGRAW: If you knew you were going to have eight, would you have done it?





N. SULEMAN: I don't regret it and I don't apologize for it. And I love them. So I don't want anybody to misinterpret that as me saying I wish I hadn't done it.


MCGRAW: Well, joining me now, Nadya Suleman's spokesman, Victor Munoz.

And in Las Vegas, host of "The Insider," Lara Spencer. She interviewed Nadya and her mom this week.

Victor, how's Nadya doing and how are the children doing today?


Can't complain too much.

MCGRAW: The babies are at what status at this point?

I understand that three of them are bottle feeding?

MUNOZ: Yes. We actually...

MCGRAW: Has that number gone up since we talked last?

MUNOZ: Yes, we're -- they started the bottle feeding on three of them. And they're getting real healthier, the rest of them. And they're going to be coming home soon.

MCGRAW: Good. On Wednesday, you and Nadya called me at the studio right before we taped the last part of the interview show that we put up. And she was very concerned at that point because of a meeting that you guys had had with the Kaiser Permanente people, saying that there had to be certain standards met, of course, which makes common sense.

What did they say specifically and who were you talking to and where is that now?

MUNOZ: Well, we were talking with Kaiser. We had a big meeting with, you know, basically, the whole entire staff that was helping her out. And it was one of the first meetings we had talking about releasing the babies. And it hit her. It hit her hard. She realized that she does have eight babies coming home. And she's excited, she's scared. And she wants to get the house ready in time for these kids to come home.

MCGRAW: Was there a conclusion that the house was not ready at that point, based on what they had seen with the footage and that sort of thing?

MUNOZ: There was some. The -- you know, they wanted a couple of things done, obviously, because there are preemies coming home. They wanted carpets changed, fresh paint on the walls, cracks taken care of -- you know, normal maintenance on the house.

MCGRAW: Is any one of the babies ready for release right now?

MUNOZ: As of today, no. We still have roughly 10 to 12 days before one will be able to come home.

MCGRAW: And who's the likely candidate to come home first?

MUNOZ: I want to say it's Noah, but I'm not quite sure yet. It's going to be a surprise for me.

MCGRAW: What is the progress right now on meeting the standards and requirements that you understand to be important in terms of housing and manpower and all of the things that are required to support these children?

MUNOZ: Well, you know, I mean they did ask us to do a lot, you know, as far as refreshing up the house and getting everything ready. And we're getting close. You know, we're almost there. You know, we're in the middle of finding their new home. We narrowed it down to a few and we're getting ready to pick one. That should be picked out, you know, this weekend. And once we get into that, there's a big -- there's a big chunk of that list is taken off, you know and...

MCGRAW: So you're clicking things off at this point?

MUNOZ: We're -- I want to say every minute of the day I'm clicking stuff off.

MCGRAW: Is Nadya doing anything to prepare herself as a mother, in terms of any parenting, there's logistics training, any type of therapeutic support from her through Kaiser Permanente or others to get herself ready for this challenge?

MUNOZ: You know what, at this point not. No, there's nothing. I mean she's already been taking care of six children. And she's ready to jump into the new eight.

MCGRAW: How are those six children doing now?

MUNOZ: Oh, they're doing great. I see them every day. You know, they're happy, healthy, fun to hang around with, you know.

MCGRAW: If a child -- if one of the babies was ready to be released today, would Kaiser Permanente release that child, as far as you know?


MCGRAW: So they would release the child to go to the home as it is?

MUNOZ: One child. Now we're talking three, four or five?


MCGRAW: They would not.

MUNOZ: They would not.

MCGRAW: They told you they would not?

MUNOZ: They told us we would -- they would not. There's a couple of things that need to be done. There's -- we need to redo these bedrooms. We need to make sure that there's enough room for them, you know. And we need to give them their own space. One child, yes. Eight, no.

MCGRAW: So they've made it clear, if multiples were ready to be released today, they could not do it?

MUNOZ: Correct.

MCGRAW: What would they do?

Would they keep them at the hospital?

What would they do?

MUNOZ: They would hold onto them as long as they could, you know. But they know that we're working hard. So they really haven't given us too many ultimatums. They did say, look, you need to get through this list. You need to take out -- you need to really work on it hard and get a big chunk done. And then, you know, we'll go from there.

MCGRAW: All right. We've seen some things in the media recently. One is that she's been offered a million dollars to do a porn video with some porn producer out here.

MUNOZ: Right. Exactly.

MCGRAW: Is this anything that's on her radar screen?

MUNOZ: No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. She threw that away...

MCGRAW: So she wouldn't even consider doing it?

MUNOZ: She called me up and was laughing on the phone, can you believe that they're doing this, why would they do this?

MCGRAW: Lara Spencer is with us in Las Vegas.

Lara, you've been following this story right along with all of us.

What did -- did you hear about this porn thing?

Was that a surprise to you?

LARA SPENCER, ANCHOR, "THE INSIDER": Of course it was a surprise. And I knew, having interviewed Nadya, that she would never do it. You know, I mean I think she does want help and I know she needs the money. But at the end of the day, her kids come first. And I don't think that would be a consideration.

So as I understand it -- and you guys can confirm -- she has walked away from that possibility.

MCGRAW: Yes. And, Victor, you're saying that no chance, no way.

MUNOZ: No chance at all.

MCGRAW: And, you know, Lara interviewed Nadya, as well. And we're going to see some excerpts from that in a minute. And there are going to be additional excerpts on "The Insider" over the weekend. So I hope everybody watches for that, as well.

What's your biggest challenge right now in getting ready for these children to come home?

MUNOZ: Mine's been housing. They've put a lot of pressure on me. They want -- you know, Nadya and the family are asking me to get them into a new house in the next week.

MCGRAW: All right. Everybody is concerned -- and, you know, of course I've spent my live dealing with mental illness and all types of human functioning.

As you spend, probably, more time right now with Nadya than anyone, are you concerned about her level of problem solving, her level of problem recognition?

MUNOZ: You know what, I don't. At first, before I met her and I was watching her on television and, also, I was thinking the same thing. But getting to know her and really understanding her -- I mean I think I spend more time with her than just about anybody does right now. And the more I get to know her, the more I know she is level- headed. You know, there's -- I mean there's nothing wrong with her. She's a sweet lady.

MCGRAW: Is she prepared to accept the reality that if these children come home to her, that there has to be total transparency, where the proper authorities, agencies, nurses, whatever, can see what's going on with those children (INAUDIBLE)?

MUNOZ: Absolutely. She knows that her life is going to be an open book.

MCGRAW: All right. Good.

Next, does Nadya watch the interviews she's done?

We'll answer that question when we come back.

Stay with us.



SPENCER: On a serious note, how are the conditions at the house?

Is it a clean, safe place?

N. SULEMAN: I don't believe it's safe enough for the kids at this moment.

SPENCER (voice-over): Inside the octuplet mom's cramped home with her six older children -- duct taped vents, holes in the walls, magic marker stains on the doors. "The Insider" behind closed doors at home with Nadya Suleman, where these eight tiny babies are expected to arrive soon.


MCGRAW: That picture -- that obviously just looks terrible, in terms of the repair of that house at this point. So, but the plan is not to stay in that house. It's to get to another house.

MUNOZ: Correct, we do not want to stay in that house. Obviously, it's too small. And we're looking at buying something larger.

MCGRAW: And you say you're making progress on that?

How close are you?

MUNOZ: We are about a week away. I mean we really need to figure out which home we're going to be taking over in the next few days.

MCGRAW: OK. MUNOZ: When I meant buy, I mean, actually, we're leasing. We're not buying.

MCGRAW: OK. All right. Now, let me ask you -- and then I want to get back to what is going to be required for these children. You've taken over as the publicist in this situation. You were asked to do so. You didn't ask for this, it asked for you.

MUNOZ: I never asked for this.

MCGRAW: There were death threats that were involved with Ms. Killeen before, who's a great professional.

Have you had the same thing?

MUNOZ: Absolutely not. Everybody's been real great to me. I get phone calls...

MCGRAW: But tonight's the first time your last name has been out there.

MUNOZ: Yes, it is. Today is the first day.

MCGRAW: Are you concerned about that?

MUNOZ: No, I'm not. I mean, people on the street, they recognize me from the news reels and stuff. They ask me how she's doing. I've heard nothing but nice things from people.

MCGRAW: Yes. So you're not concerned that something's going to happen.

What's the hospital telling you need to take care of these children?

I mean do you need nurses?

Do you need nannies?

What are they recommending at this point?

MUNOZ: Well, you know, we have eight babies coming home, so they're asking that we do something. And what they're asking for is two nurses during the day, two nurses at night. They think that's more than sufficient to help with the kids.

MCGRAW: Two nurses for eight babies?

MUNOZ: Two nurses -- it would be two nurses for eight babies, yes.

MCGRAW: Two nurses around the clock for eight babies?

MUNOZ: Around the clock for eight babies.

MCGRAW: In addition to volunteers and (INAUDIBLE) or? MUNOZ: In addition to some volunteers to help out with the older kids, you know, with the reading and the homework and stuff like that.

MCGRAW: Do you think, at this point, she gets the challenge that's ahead of her?

MUNOZ: Absolutely. Absolutely.

MCGRAW: When I talked -- when you guys called, in the phone call that we talked about, when you indicated that the hospital had said you're going to have to make some changes before we can release these children...

MUNOZ: Right.

MCGRAW: told me that the night after my interview with her, that she, for the first time since the pregnancy broke down and cried. Tell me about that.

MUNOZ: Absolutely. You know, it was -- it was surreal to me, also. You know, she has been a real strong woman. She knows what she wants to do and she does it. And to -- after she talked to you -- she was real nervous speaking to you at first. And afterwards, she just said, you know what, I feel good. And she had herself a good cry. She realizes I have babies coming home. I have 14 children, how -- you know, how awesome is that?

And she cried.

MCGRAW: She got very tearful on the phone with me that day.

What was her -- what space was she in then?

MUNOZ: You know what, she was in the space of extreme reality and -- and thankfulness. You know, you put an olive branch out to her and she's accepting it.

And, you know, she -- she's real strong-headed at first, as you know, and didn't really want to ask for help from anybody. And when she called you and talked to you, had a really nice conversation with you, she realized, you know what, this is a good thing.

And I stepped out of the room because she did start to tear.


Lara Spencer is with us.

She is one of the co-hosts of "The Insider," who also has spent time talking with Nadya Suleman.

Lara, what's been your experience?

Is this a matter of being a strong woman or is this a matter of not being in touch?

What's your take on this and hearing that she finally is maybe getting in touch with her emotions?

SPENCER: Dr. Phil, first, let me say, I thought you did a phenomenal job. I thought you handled it so well and you really made her realize -- you got her to say that it wasn't the correct decision to have more. And that's a difficult thing to do.

And I understand as a mother why you wouldn't want to do that. You never want to call a child a mistake.

But I love what you said. And I actually wrote it down. You said: "There are right decisions and then there's a way to make decisions right."

And that's where we are now. I mean I think she's been vilified in the media. And it's time to stop that. Right or wrong, no matter what you think about Nadya Suleman or her decision to go back to the well after having six healthy kids, that doesn't matter, because here we are.

You know, there are -- there are eight babies who have no say in this, in addition to the six that are already home.

So, you know, the questions I keep hearing is who's going to take care of these kids?

Is this going to be taxpayer money again?

It sounds like it is when you're talking about nurses.

And, you know, people want to know, is she stable?

I mean, you know, was this a stable decision?

I don't think it was a good decision. But I don't know, Dr. Phil -- and you're the guy who can -- I'm certainly not the judge of that. I don't know if she's stable.

MCGRAW: Well...

SPENCER: My reasoning for wanting to continue on this story is for those kids. I want to be the eyes and the ears of this country, because people are passionate about this. And I don't think...

MCGRAW: Well, they are passionate about it...


MCGRAW: They are passionate about it. And we are going to have to have complete and total transparency here. This is not something -- and you understand that. I mean, if these children do go home with her, people are going to be watching this. Like it or not, they're going to have to know what's going on behind closed doors to know that these children are OK and that she's going to demonstrate some type of consistency and some type of mental and emotional stability. And that's going to take some help, I know.

So what do you think?

Go to and click on blog. We'll read some of your comments later in the show and take your calls.

See you in 60 seconds.


SPENCER: Are you embarrassed by Nadya?

ANGELA SULEMAN: Yes, when she started taking out 14 little children in a bus, I will be very embarrassed. I wouldn't want to be seen with her.

SPENCER: And how does that make you feel?

N. SULEMAN: That's your own opinion. That's her perspective.

SPENCER: Oh, yes?

N. SULEMAN: Many, many people would totally disagree, because there's so many people that have actually come up to me and who is she, who is anyone to point a finger at anyone else and judge them?

A. SULEMAN: Well, I'm your mother and I'm wondering how you can possibly bring up all these 14. You don't have a job, Nadya.



MCGRAW: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

I'm Dr. Phil McGraw sitting in for Larry tonight.

We're talking about the octuplets' mother and why she felt compelled to use her frozen embryos.

Here's what she said in a face-off with her own mother during an interview with


A. SULEMAN: You should have considered your other six children.

N. SULEMAN: OK. But I still was going to -- I was not going to destroy the embryos, period. Done, done. Already done.

A. SULEMAN. Yes, but they are...

N. SULEMAN: You can't go back...

A. SULEMAN. -- frozen embryos.

N. SULEMAN: But you can't go back and ring a bell. You can't go back and alter the past. A. SULEMAN. No, no, no. You're talking now...

N. SULEMAN: They're there. They're human...

A. SULEMAN. -- that you, whatever you did is...

N. SULEMAN: But they're human beings...

A. SULEMAN. -- is past...

N. SULEMAN: ...that are grow growing, that are related to you, that are healthy, strong and almost all four pounds.

A. SULEMAN. They are frozen. That's the difference.

N. SULEMAN: They're frozen right now?

A. SULEMAN. They were frozen. And you did not have to do anything.

N. SULEMAN: They were lives.

A. SULEMAN. And if you wanted to...

N. SULEMAN: The only thing you can do if they're lives...

A. SULEMAN. -- yes, they were lives, but...

N. SULEMAN: (INAUDIBLE) -- use them or destroy them. But you either use them...

A. SULEMAN. But you...

N. SULEMAN: ...or you destroy them.

A. SULEMAN. You decided...

N. SULEMAN: You use them or you destroy them. You use them or you destroy them.

A. SULEMAN. Whatever they do it's all done.

N. SULEMAN: Do you want to know how they destroy them?

A. SULEMAN. No, no, no, no. Hold on. Hold on.

N. SULEMAN: They allow them to live...

A. SULEMAN. Well...

N. SULEMAN: They allow the cells to live...

A. SULEMAN. Let me finish...

N. SULEMAN: And then they kill them.

A. SULEMAN. Let me finish.

N. SULEMAN: You do not...

A. SULEMAN. You...

N. SULEMAN: No, I won't.

A. SULEMAN. You had another option. You didn't have to have them destroyed.

N. SULEMAN: OK. What could I have done?

A. SULEMAN. The other option is...

N. SULEMAN: What did -- adoption.

A. SULEMAN. -- give them up for adoption.


MCGRAW: The senior editor of RadarOnline will be here later in the show to tell us about the Nadya she knows.

But first, why did the octuplets' mom refuse a generous offer of help?

That's next.



N. SULEMAN: I won't apologize for having all my children. And I never will.

A. SULEMAN: How are you going to provide for them?

What are you thinking?


MCGRAW: So what are you thinking was a good question.

But now I've got Gloria Allred here in the studio. Gloria, you -- you and I known each other a long time.


MCGRAW: You're an attorney. You're a family rights advocate. You work for women and you work for kids tirelessly. And you are involved in this situation because of an organization called Angels In Waiting.

And that offer is basically to do what?

ALLRED: Yes. Angels in Waiting is a wonderful organization of pediatric nurses. It's been founded Linda West-Conforti, who's been a registered nurse for 25 years and has taken care of neo-natal issues and pediatric issues for medically fragile, high-risk, premature infants -- very similar to the situation that Nadya Suleman's octuplets have been in.

And they help. And they provide supportive care for those infants.

MCGRAW: So what the offer is, is to provide 24/7 care...


MCGRAW: ...including housing...


MCGRAW: ...wrap-around care -- this is nursing plus others.


MCGRAW: Right. Now, is there a transfer of custody involved in this?

In order for -- for Nadya to avail herself of this, does she have to give up custody of the children?

ALLRED: Not at all. In fact, they invite her to be there with her children and be part of it because, after all, they are her children and they all should be together.

MCGRAW: Then why has this gotten to be adversarial?

Because it seems to me -- because I've -- I know you and talk to you. I know Victor Munoz and Nadya and talked to them. And I encouraged them to talk to you, as you know. But it seems to be adversarial at this point.

Why is that?

ALLRED: I have no idea, Dr. Phil.

MCGRAW: It seems like a wonderful and generous offer, but yet it seems like they feel bullied and they feel pushed in this thing.

ALLRED: I have never spoken to Nadya Suleman. And I only spoke to Victor for probably a minute or two when he called to tell me that the appointment that Nadya had made with Linda -- head of Angels In Waiting -- to come to my office last Monday at 11:00 a.m. could not be kept because he didn't realize that perhaps she had an appointment at Kaiser and therefore they couldn't make it.

But that's the only contact that I've had with Victor. So I don't know why they would feel that this is anything but a golden opportunity, Dr. Phil, to provide the supportive services -- the early intervention by trained, experienced professionals that all these babies would benefit from -- and the other six, as well. MCGRAW: Well, I have a note here that Victor maintains that he's been calling Angels In Waiting. He has not heard back from them. He says he wants to deal with Angels In Waiting founder Linda West -- is it Conforti?


MCGRAW: Conforti -- directly, not with you, for some reason. And he says that he can't understand why you're involved and that he feels threatened, on behalf of his client, that they're going to be pushed or bullied into something.

ALLRED: Well, I don't know why he feels that way. He has no basis for feeling that way. And the reason that I'm involved -- and if he would ask, I'd be very happy to tell him, is simply because Angels In Waiting sent this invitation -- this proposal to Nadya three different ways -- to Kaiser, to him, to Nadya...

MCGRAW: So she loses no control of the children?

ALLRED: And she heard -- and they heard nothing, so they asked me to get involved. I said give them a week. I know that they're busy with other things. And then, perhaps, if they haven't heard about it or responded then, then I will get involved and try to get the message to her.

MCGRAW: So they lose no control of the children?

ALLRED: Exactly.

MCGRAW: There's no transfer of custodial?

ALLRED: None whatsoever.

MCGRAW: And this doesn't have to be adversarial?


MCGRAW: I mean, if I was able to get you and Victor and Nadya, attorneys, whoever involved, in a room and do my best Henry Kissinger about this, would you be willing to sit down and talk with them?

ALLRED: Well, I'm always happy to sit down and talk and listen, as well.


ALLRED: And Linda is an incredible person. I mean she has taken foster children in. She has literally saved their lives.

MCGRAW: Well, then I don't know why it's gotten off in this way, but maybe we can get it back on track and see if there's -- if there's something there.

So, all right, coming up, how likely is it that the state would come in and take custody of the octuplets? We're going to find out, after the break.


N. SULEMAN: It's -- because it's fine. It's fine. It's OK, because we also have a really large backyard to play. And I love that for them.




A. SULEMAN: It seems as if she's obsessive compulsive and she needs to keep doing this. And I hope she's not.

I mean is 14 enough?


MCGRAW: Dr. Phil in tonight for Larry King.

We've got another excerpt from my interview with Nadya Suleman. This one includes her mom, Angela.



MCGRAW: I'm having to rely on a mother to -- to help me here -- I think I'll go have another one. To me and to everybody in America, that is just, girl, this, you're not playing with dolls.

N. SULEMAN: I know. I know.

MCGRAW: These are real people, real lives. And you're going to have to feed them and clothe them and guide them and educate them for the rest of your life and for all of their lives.

N. SULEMAN: Absolute.

MCGRAW: And when you can't handle the six you've got, having even one more seems to me to be way out of touch with reality.

What do you think?

A. SULEMAN. That's -- I totally agree with you.


MCGRAW: I'm back with Victor.

You were listening to the Gloria Allred segment that I just did. MUNOZ: Yes.

MCGRAW: What's wrong with this offer?

Why don't you like it?

Because on its face -- you know, the first thing I said was is there a transfer of custody?

Is she giving her kids over to someone?

And the answer was no, not at all, she maintains custody, she maintains control. They're offering housing, they're offering nursing care, volunteer support, supplies -- kind of all expenses paid to carry these children through the first six months and the mother doesn't give up any controls here.

What's wrong with the offer?

MUNOZ: The offer itself, I don't know. I don't know what the whole offer is. I have tried to call Linda directly and I haven't received a phone call back. There's just not enough hours in the day for me to drive out and see Gloria Allred in Los Angeles and make the meeting on her time.

MCGRAW: Do you feel threatened and bullied by her with ultimatums and deadlines and that sort of thing?

MUNOZ: A little. When you hear Gloria Allred, obviously, you feel that way. And me being someone that's never done this before, I do. And that's pretty much it.

MCGRAW: Remember the first night this came up, I told you that I knew Gloria. And I said she was a good egg.

MUNOZ: You did. I understand.

MCGRAW: And you're probably questioning that.

MUNOZ: I did. I'm a little scared of you too.

MCGRAW: Listen, Gloria is very passionate. There's no question about it. But I would just like to be sure that if you guys make the decision to decline this offer, which is certainly your right to do, that you have at least heard the offer out. I mean -- because, listen, I got involved in this from the beginning because of the children. I am a very passionate child advocate. So I'm interested in what's happening. They're not offering help for the eight children, they're offering support and help for the 14 children.

I want to make sure, before anybody walks away, that you have heard this offer. And if it's not right and it doesn't fit, it's OK.

MUNOZ: You're right. If I can get 30 seconds, basically what's been going on in the last two weeks is I have been working hard with Kaiser. They have been really putting together a great plan to have these children come home. I've been getting a lot of calls, a lot of people anonymously that have been wanting to help. We have a lot of help out there.

And I just have not been able to make time to really sit down with Gloria to go over this, because Kaiser is sucking up a lot of my time right now, getting these babies to come home. So if there's some way that I can get a hold of Linda, if she calls me, we can meet somewhere local, where I'm at, I will be more than happen to sit down. I will take Nadya with me. We will sit down. We will listen. We want to hear everything. We're not blind. We want to see everything.

MCGRAW: I promise you, I will make that happen. I can make that happen, because I know Linda is so passionate about this. Everything I know about her, it's all about the kids for her. And so I'll do what I can to see if I can help facilitate that. And Victor, I know you want the best for these kids too. You and I have talked. I know where your heart is.

MUNOZ: Absolutely.

MCGRAW: You're not getting paid for this, so I know that you're volunteering here. And it is taking up all of your time and so I totally get that. There would be some great things to having a package put together, whether it's from Kaiser or from them. Do you agree?

MUNOZ: Absolutely.

MCGRAW: So you don't have to go piece this all together yourself. So we will be thinking about that. And Nadya is open to it as well?

MUNOZ: Absolutely.

MCGRAW: All right. So, if Nadya doesn't want this help, is there other help involved? Are there other alternatives? What's in store for all of her 14 children? Can it be done without a package of aid? Would it be possible to put all of these things together. I don't know. We'll talk about all that when we come back when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


MCGRAW: has exclusive coverage of Nadya and her family. I want you to listen to Nadya on the idea of having any of her kids put up for adoption.


SULEMAN: I have to disagree with anyone who would even have the audacity to say that any of these children should be adopted. I have more love for these children than I think will almost -- I'm sure many parents would have just as much love.

This is something that I find to be a joke, because anyone who would say that -- this is something so sensationalized, it's not real to people. When they see them coming home and they see me doing the very best I can and giving them everything I can, plus help with family and friends, and getting together as a community to help with these children and help them thrive.


MCGRAW: Mary Margaret is here. She is a senior news editor from You guys have been really involved in this story. You've been in the house and taken some pictures of the dwelling. That's disturbing what we see in there, true?

MARY MARGARET, RADARONLINE.COM: Definitely. I mean it was definitely a shock. Obviously, you know, it's a three bedroom house. It's small even for a family of six children. But when you try to wrap your mind around the fact that there's going to be eight more children possibly entering that home -- yes, we know that they're looking for a new one. That reality is jarring for any parent, for any watcher, for sure.

MCGRAW: Let's check out more from RadarOnline. This time, another instance of Nadya and her mother at odds over this situation.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm worried about the future.

SULEMAN: People can't comprehend, just like my mom can't comprehend, really, why I'm not worried, because I do have strong faith that I will find a way through my strength, to tap into my greater inner resources and strength to find a way.


MCGRAW: You didn't hear anything in the interviews that you guys taped that adopting these children out is anywhere on her radar.

MARGARET: No, definitely not. That's something that is the farthest thing from her mind. One thing that she's really adamant about is that these children are the focus of her life for her entire life. What she talked to her mother about was -- you know, there was this kind of loneliness that she felt as an only child and that's something she has spent her entire life feeling. Of course, that's reached a level that has been criticized in the past few months.

But that's who she is. She's someone who loves her children, is completely dedicated to them 100 percent.

MCGRAW: How is she responding behind closed doors with you about the fact that people are saying, put those children in foster care, get them away from that mother? Does she feel attacked by that?

MUNOZ: She does somewhat. She just doesn't understand. She's not angry at anybody. She's not mad at anybody that's talking against her. She just does not understand. At the end of the day, it's always, why are they saying this? Why are they doing that? MCGRAW: One of the things I want to talk about -- Michael Piraino is with us from Seattle. And Michael is very involved with the court appointed special advocates program which works with foster children. Michael, this is not always just an easy place to go in terms of foster care in finding something that kids are going to really flourish in, true?

MICHAEL PIRAINO, CEO, CASA: That's true. It can be very complicated to try to find the right solution for them.

MCGRAW: So when you go into the foster care system, what are the dangers? Everybody is saying, look, why not just put them in foster care? That's not always an easy fix. What are the dangers?

PIRAINO: It's difficult. First of all, you have to find a place for these kids to be where they're going to be cared for and nurtured. And we have not enough foster parents to do that for kids. There's another part of it too, which is that there's a tremendous disruption to children when you move them into foster care. That's hard on infants just as it is on older kids.

And a lot of times in foster care, kids have to move from place to place and that's also hard. Another part of it is that it's not cheap. I mean, it costs quite a bit of money to put kids into foster care and if you think about where the this situation is right now, you've got a parent, you've got the kids and it's probably wiser at this point to put some investment into keeping them together and equipping them to handle the kids, and not take them out and put them into foster care.

MCGRAW: How many children are awaiting placement with foster care families right now that you just don't have anywhere to put?

PIRAINO: I don't know what the actual number is, but a lot of times they have to be placed on an emergency basis with -- sometimes they have to spend time in offices, the Child Protection Services. There are sometimes very short-term placements that kids can be placed in. Think about these are infants, these are babies. These babies are busy doing what babies do, trying to connect to people. Those kinds of disruptions are really hard.

MCGRAW: Margaret, you guys get a lot of comments on when they see these videos. Are people wanting these children taken away based upon your message boards?

MARGARET: It's definitely a healthy debate. Obviously, the first notion is you never want to take away children from their mother. But at the same time, faced with the reality of the resources she needs to give them a healthy existence, that's what a lot of people are leaning to, find a different alternative for the children.

MCGRAW: That's what you're hearing on the message boards on Thanks to Victor and Mary for joining us. Back in 60 seconds with your comments. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MCGRAW: Welcome back. I'm Dr. Phil McGraw. I'm in for Larry tonight. You have been busy on Larry's blog and there is no shortage of opinions. Let's check in with Sarah. So what's everybody saying, Sarah?

SARAH SCHNARE, BLOG CORRESPONDENT: So far lots of unforgiving comments on our blog tonight, Dr. Phil. Many people are wondering if this woman has lost her marbles. Some have called her selfish and delusional, narcissistic, a young woman with no sense of reality. Most want to know how can she afford to take care of 14 kids and how much is this going to cost us all.

But one thing we do know, Dr. Phil, it's definitely been giving comedians a lot of material. Take a look.


JIMMY KIMMEL, "LATE SHOW": An exclusive interview with Nadya via satellite. Hello, Nadya. Thank you for joining us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for having me. It's great to be on the show.

KIMMEL: The first thing I want to ask is how are the babies doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are wonderful. They are so great. In fact, I'm feeding some of them right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please welcome Joan Rivers.

JOAN RIVERS, ACTRESS: One! Two! Three! Four!


MCGRAW: Well, thanks, Sarah. When we come back, I'll ask infertility experts if anyone should have eight babies at once. Stick around.



MCGRAW: We're back in studio. Lisa Masterson is with us, Dr. Lisa Masterson. She is co-host of the syndicated TV talk show, "The Doctors." And you guys do a great job on that show. I don't say that because my son produces it. I just say it because it's true.

We want to talk about what is going on physiologically with this mother. Is she even going to be equal to, in any way, energy wise, the challenge of taking care of these eighth babies if they do come home to her? How long does it take to snap back?

DR. LISA MASTERSON, INFERTILITY SPECIALIST: It takes four to six weeks in a normal pregnancy. Now, granted, she had eight babies. You don't just load up the uterus and roll the dice, as it were. These are high stakes that you're playing with. The pregnancy really takes a toll on the body. But if everything goes well, which she actually did well, she just be back normal.

MCGRAW: We're looking now in this animation, I mean, that is -- where does everything go? I mean, look at this, the organs are pushed. As an OB/GYN, that probably doesn't shock you as much as it does me. But when you push everything around like that, how long does it take to get back?

MASTERSON: It really still only takes about four to six weeks, because what happens is everything -- and we used that animation today on "The Doctors." What happens is that everything sort of gets pushed and gets compressed. So you worry about things like the kidneys. You worry about bowel functions and things like that. But really the problem is delivery, post-partum hemorrhage. Those are the type of things that you worry about. Because she really took a risk with her life and with the babies' lives.

MCGRAW: So and -- listen, I want to introduce also Dr. Jamie Grifo. He's program director at the New York Fertility Center, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU's School of Medicine. Dr. Grifo, thanks for joining us. There's been so much talk about this mother's decision to do this. Is there any theory that you can see coming forth that's going to explain why you would implant so many embryos in this woman?

DR. JAMIE GRIFO, DIRECTOR, NYU FERTILITY CENTER: It's not what we do. We have guidelines for these situations, and our guidelines state that we put back no more than two embryos. I was curious about that myself, and then I researched the pregnancy rate in this doctor's clinic. And in the year before he treated Nadya, 70 embryos were transferred in women under 35 that made three babies. So less than ten percent of his embryos were making babies.

So you just do the math, the chance that six embryos would make eight babies, with that math, is about one in a billion. You say, gosh, this doctor must be crazy. But with the pregnancy rates there, I understand why he would do it.

But I don't justify it. We don't justify it. This is a failure of therapy. Having eighth babies is a disaster. It's risky. This woman was very lucky that she didn't lose her life or her children didn't lose their lives. Our goal as fertility specialists is to help people have a single baby. In the year 2007, there were over 50,000 babies born from IBF, mostly singletons.

MCGRAW: That's great. You talk about the risk to the babies and the mother. Dr. Masterson, what can happen with this kind of mega- multiple pregnancy to the mother? Is it stroke, heart attack? What happens?

MASTERSON: It's really troubling the judgment that she and the IBF doctor used, because she's really, again, taking her life and her baby's life into her hands. Basically, she could have a stroke, heart attack because of this. The large blood volume that she had to deal with, again, post-partum hemorrhage, she can die from that. The prematurity of the babies, the risk of prematurity, pre-term delivery for them.

It's just phenomenal what she really, really undertook. Again, she has the mindset of like a teenager, who wants 15 minutes of fame, but forgets about the 18 years of responsibility afterwards.

MCGRAW: I know we're going to see that animation on Monday on "The Doctors." People can tune in and look at that. Dr. Grifo, my question here, was this a failure of the system with Nadya Suleman? No question, there's some bad decision making on her part. We have all talked about that. But did the system fail her from a medical stand point? Don't you expect a doctor to say, I won't let you put your life at risk?

GRIFO: Yes, indeed, that's our responsibility. And our responsibility is to the mother and to the babies. We have more than one patient here. And that's why we have these guidelines. And since the early '90s, when we developed these guidelines, we have gone through three iterations. And we've made IBF much safer by doing that.

It requires good judgment and people need to follow the guidelines. I don't have an answer for why the guidelines were disobeyed in this case.

MCGRAW: I don't think there is a good answer. Michael Piraino is with us also. Michael is CEO CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates. Michael, is it easier to adopt out or place in foster care infants like this, than it is, I assume, a 12 or 13-year-old?

PIRAINO: There are a lot of kids in foster care who are waiting to be adopted. And any one of them would be great candidates to be adopted. But certainly as kids get older, there may be more issues that people think they will have in adopting those kids. There's no child who's waiting for adoption who's not adoptable.

MCGRAW: Of course. And Dr. Masterson, we know that these children are likely to face some real developmental challenges. The chances of eight out of eight being completely healthy with no problems is pretty low, correct?

MASTERSON: It's very low. She's actually very lucky she got to 30 weeks. That's phenomenal with eight babies. So kudos to the doctors who really took care of her. But these babies are going to have some difficulty.

MCGRAW: I understand they did a great job. When LARRY KING LIVE returns, what can we learn from this octuplet situation? We'll address that after this.


MCGRAW: Dr. Phil here, in tonight for Larry King. We have been talking about the octuplet mother situation. And, you know, one of the things that I want to say -- I'll take a turn here and tell you that we hear of terms like octo-mom and the octuplets. And the truth is, when you put labels on folks like that, sometimes it really de- personalizes this.

The octuplet mother is Nadya Suleman. She's an individual. The children are Noah, Malia, Isaiah, Mariah, Macai, Josaiah, Jeremiah and Jonah. At this point, Dr. Lisa Masterson, the children are all doing pretty well, because she was able to get to what, 30 weeks?

MASTERSON: Yes, the doctors really took care of her, put her on bed rest early, delivered her early, which is also very important in getting these babies out healthy, because accidents can help with multiples.

MCGRAW: Are there developmental benchmarks that they're going to be looking for to see if these children are coming along? I assume, the first one is do they feed?

MASTERSON: Do they feed? And premature babies have a harder time feeding. It's really important to their growth and to their development. And with premature babies, you're going to have developmental delays. But they will catch up. They'll get there between six months to a year. And the doctors will be looking to see how they catch up.

MCGRAW: Do you expect, at some point, they will really start closing the gap? Will there be a time that they accelerate and begin to really do well?

MASTERSON: Yes, about a year, they'll start to really get there.

MCGRAW: And is that also when you're going seeing signs of problems if they don't develop? And are there things you should be doing now with these children to minimize the likelihood?

MASTERSON: Just really good care, nurturing. That's why, When these babies come out, it's so important that they're cared for really, really well. Because they're behind, they're going to need extra care, extra attention. They're going to need extra help with their milestones. They're going to have to go to the doctors much more frequently. It's just really important to be on these babies.

MCGRAW: That's all very expensive. And the question is, of course, where does this money come from? I mean, what happens? Is it insurance? Are you and I, the taxpayers, going to pay for it? Or is there going to be come solution that takes place? What we know is that there's going to have to be a high-degree of transparency in this situation. We just know that.

so if these children stay with the mother, people are going to be watching. Agencies are going to be in there. People are going to be looking. Clearly, we will be paying attention to this and see if we can get some idea of what's going on.

Now we want to hear from you. You can go on to LARRY KING LIVE blog here. Dr. Masterson, you guys are going to be dealing with this on "The Doctors" on Monday. So people will get more information about it then. Hopefully, we'll get some answers and we'll continue to watch this. It's time for Larry's weekly salute to someone special. Our hero this week was inspired to act by the personal impact of 9/11. And what she's done since then has affected people from all over the world. Take a look.


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Our CNN hero for the week, and nominee for hero of the year, is Carolyn Manning. She's in phoenix, Arizona. This lovely lady founded the Welcome to America Project, which furnishes refugees' apartments. How did the tragedy of 9/11 influence you to want to help refugees?

CAROLYN MANNING, WELCOME TO AMERICA PROJECT: Larry, after my brother in law was killed in Tower One on September 11th, about a month after, I saw a picture of an Afghan family in our local newspaper. I noticed that that family was in an apartment with very little furniture. The woman had four kids and one on the way. They had lost a family to the tragedy of terrorism.

I wanted to reach out to them and show them that America is a very generous, wonderful place.

KING: And how does it work?

MANNING: The way it works is resettlement agencies here in town refer families right after they arrive, off the plane, into Phoenix from countries all around the world. They're very wonderful, easy people to get to know. And they're very welcoming to us too.

KING: We salute you, Carolyn. You proved that you can take a negative, a tragedy, and turn it into a positive. You're great hero.

MANNING: Thank you very much, Larry.


MCGRAW: Thank you for joining us. And Larry, thanks for letting me sit in. Time now for Anderson Cooper, "AC 360."