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3rd Party Guardianship Petition OK in "Octo-mom" case

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By Neetal Parekh on August 25, 2009 10:54 AM

Why are we so fascinated with multiple births?  You can ask Nadya Suleman.   With a name she has now trademarked, "Octo-mom" gave birth to octuplets by in vitro fertilization in January, adding to her litter of 6.   Suleman has been in the news and in court on various occasions over her sizeable brood. 

In the latest court filing, a California state court ruled last week that a third party could indeed bring a petition for guardianship over the finances of her 14 children.  And to be sure, the Orange County judge denied Suleman's attempt to block the court appointment.  The octuplets are slated to star, alongside their now-famous mom and siblings, in a reality television series projected to net them a total of $250,000 over 3 years.

The petition seeking to appoint a third party guardian was brought by a child advocacy group called A Minor Consideration.   The group's president, Paul Peterson, is no stranger to child stardom as he was a "Mousketeer" at age 10 and then starred in "The Donna Reed Show" as a teen.  He alleges that footage shot of the Suleman children violates laws written to protect child actors. 

Guardians are chosen, by court or legal document, to oversee see specific kinds of decisions for the child or children.  This can include managing finances, creating a trust, and overseeing the bank accounts of minors.  A guardian of the estate is generally appointed when the child inherits or otherwise amasses a large sum of money or significant property. 


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