Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman (born Natalie Denise Suleman; July 11, 1975), known as Octomom in the media, is an American woman who came to international attention when she gave birth to octuplets in January 2009. The Suleman octuplets are only the second full set of octuplets to be born alive in the United States. One week after their birth, they surpassed the previous worldwide survival rate for a complete set of octuplets set by the Chukwu octuplets in 1998. The circumstances of their high order multiple birth have led to controversy in the field of assisted reproductive technology as well as an investigation by the Medical Board of California of the fertility specialist involved. Public reaction turned negative when it was discovered that the single mother already had six other young children and was unemployed and on public assistance programs. She denies ever having used public assistance. She conceived the octuplets and her six older children via in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Suleman was born in Fullerton, California. She is the only child of Angela Victoria (born 1940) and Assyrian Iraqi American Edward Doud Suleman (born 1942). Her parents married in Las Vegas in 1974, and divorced in 1990.
After graduating from Nogales High School in 1993, she held a psychiatric technician license, and worked as a psychiatric technician at Metropolitan State Hospital, where her back was injured while at work. She attended California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and received a Bachelor of Science degree in child and adolescent development in 2006. Suleman returned to CSUF to pursue a master's degree in counseling, leaving the program in 2008.