With Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting announcing on November 8, 2011 that they are expecting their twentieth child, media outlets and the general public unleashed an outcry. There are some people who are inspired by the Duggars' openness to the blessing of so many children, but there are others who believe it is irresponsible for any two people to try to parent that many children.
A Facebook post regarding the Duggars’ announcement elicited a myriad of opinions and emotions. Annie Stachowski, a single 30-something with no children in Wisconsin commented on the Facebook post that she was totally turned off by the Duggars' decision to have another child. She wrote, "there are wonderful people in this world that can't have any [children] and now they go and have their 20th!! Really it's disgusting!!"
Father of two, Jeff Kenney, also commented on the Facebook post. While not as appalled as Ms. Stachowski, he also doesn't agree with the Duggars' decision. He commented "it's their right as parents. However I'd argue that all those kids are quite deprived of parent-child interactions. In my mind their situation is no different than an orphanage, where deep-down they'll suffer from a lack of one-on-one love and attention."
A "Duggar-size" family is by no means the norm in the United States these days, which could explain some of the backlash the family has been getting. According to the US Census Bureau study on motherhood released in May 2011, births per woman were holding steady at around two children per woman in 2008, the last year statistics were available. Vermont had the lowest ratio at 1.6 children per woman and the highest was in Utah with 2.6 children per woman.
Though many people are turned off by the Duggars’ having 20 children, some see it as a personal decision and support the family. Angie Mursean, a mother of three in Chicago added a positive comment to the Facebook post. "I completely respect their decision to continue having kids.