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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Gloria Allred offers aid to octuplets' mother

February 20, 2009|Kimi Yoshino

Attorney Gloria Allred on Thursday offered octuplet mom Nadya Suleman a way to get round-the-clock nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy and a home for her super-sized Whittier family.

All Suleman has to do is call and accept the help from Allred and Angels in Waiting, a charity founded by Kaiser nurse Linda West Conforti. "We're not trying to rip these children away," Conforti said. "We're trying to give her a support system."

Suleman has not responded to the offer.

Volunteer nurses would help care for the babies in eight-hour shifts, Conforti said. In all, she said, it would probably take about 14 trained professionals to provide stability and care for the octuplets while also assisting Suleman with her other special needs children.

Allred said she filed a complaint on Feb. 12 with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services requesting an investigation into whether Suleman's 14 children might be endangered if left in her care and custody. Her complaint also asked that the children be temporarily removed from Suleman's care if that is warranted.

Although Suleman has reportedly earned money from interviews with U.S. and British tabloids, it is unclear how the single mother plans to support her family in the long term. The small Whittier home she is sharing with her mother is in pre-foreclosure. Suleman is unemployed, receiving about $490 a month in food stamps, with three of her children receiving federal Supplemental Security Income. Sources have said that Kaiser filed for Medi-Cal reimbursement for the octuplets.

The offer from Angels in Waiting would keep the family together without use of taxpayer funds, Allred said.

-- Kimi Yoshino

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