Duggars Defend Decision To Have 20th Child
First Published: November 9, 2011 5:34 PM EST Credit: TLC
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Some have criticized Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s decision to have their 20th child, but the “19 Kids and Counting” stars are defending their choice to continue to grow their family.
“Every child deserves to be excited they are a part of life,” Michelle told People, following the announcement that she was expecting again. “Even when we were having our fifth and sixth [kid] … we would celebrate each pregnancy.”
The premature birth of their most recent daughter, Josie, and being diagnosed with preeclampsia was not enough to deter the reality TV mom from getting pregnant.
“If we felt that way, we would have stopped back with our second birth,” the 45-year-old mother explained. “There are many women who have experienced preeclampsia and have gone on to have more children.
“That whole mindset that you stop after a problem pregnancy isn’t realistic,” she continued. “You may encounter struggles along the way. You may not have a perfect pregnancy, but each child is a precious gift.”
Jim Bob, 46, stressed that despite the size of their massive brood, they are able to devote time to each child.
“We homeschool, so we are around our children day in and day out,” he told the mag. “Because I am in real estate, I am home and can be with the children a lot. When we go to the store or run errands, we take the kids one on one and we get to spend more time individually than a lot of parents do.”
As for their critics, Michelle welcomes people’s concerns.
“There are a lot of good things we can learn from our critics,” she told the mag. “We really believe we are following our faith and there are sometimes going to be people who don’t agree and we aren’t going to worry about the negative things stated.”
Adding, “We are thankful for those out there who are happy and we are grateful for each and every gift of a child.”
In addition to their youngest daughter Josie, the couple is also parents to Joshua, 23 (who has two children, Mackynzie, 2, and Michael, 4 months, with wife Anna, 23), twins Jana and John-David, 21; Jill, 20; Jessa, 19; Jinger, 17; Joseph, 16; Josiah, 15; Joy-Anna, 14; twins Jedidiah and Jeremiah, 12; Jason, 11; James, 10; Justin, 8; Jackson, 7; Johanna, 6; Jennifer, 4; and Jordyn, 3.
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.