Sextuple Hoax

This story’s a bit old, but I’m just now getting around to poking into it. On April 12, a couple that claimed to have given birth to sextuplets admitted that it had all been a hoax.

As the father of quadruplets, I’m not surprised that someone tried this kind of a scam. People ask us all the time “what did you get” for having so many kids at once. There’s a modern myth that if you have so many kids at once the big companies get together and hand you everything you could need.

Maybe that happens with sextuplets and septuplets, but quadruplets are old hat these days. We didn’t get much from companies at all. I think a three-month supply of formula was about it.

The people in our community, though, poured out the support for us. We had dozens of people coming in and out of the house at all hours to give us a hand with the kids: feeding, diapering, doing laundry, cleaning up, and more. At one time, we had 30 to 40 volunteers coming through every week.

This is the kind of support that matters more than money. It’s one thing to get cash to help out. Money always comes in handy. But we could not have purchased the sort of help that these wonderful people gave freely.

That’s what tripped up these hoaxers. When their community started to rally around them, the media got involved, and the whisper-thin web of lies they’d woven unravelled.

To me, this illustrates both what’s wrong with the world—and what’s right.