Nov. 15, 2011 — — quicklist: 1 category: title: Duggar family, 19 children (and expecting) url: text: Michelle Duggar announced in November that she and husband Jim Bob were expecting their 20th child in April 2012. The Arkansas family stars on the TLC show “19 Kids and Counting” but will soon have to change the name of the show as the family continues to grow.
“After recently turning 45, and since it has been almost two years since Josie was born, we didn’t know if we would be able to have any more,” Michelle Duggar wrote on the family’s website. “We do not take for granted the wonderful blessings of life that God has bestowed upon us!”
But the Duggar parents are not the only monogamous couple in the United States with a sizable brood to look after.
The five American families included here have 84 children among them, with two more on the way.
Here’s a look at four other American families that have more than a dozen children each.
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quicklist: 2 category: title: Bates family, 18 children (and expecting) url: text: Gil and Kelly Bates live in the hills of East Tennessee with their 18 children — 10 girls and eight boys. And the couple has another on the way.
“Having a lot of children wasn’t something we decided to do in order to be popular; it wasn’t very popular when we were making those choices. “It wasn’t something we did for financial gain; it really wasn’t cheaper by the dozen. It wasn’t a choice we made because we needed extra hands to labor; usually more work is extended than what is gained.
“We simply trusted that if God said children are a blessing. He meant exactly that,” they write on the family website, where they recently congratulated the Duggars on their upcoming addition and commended them as a family that exemplifies love, patience and Christian faith.
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quicklist: 3 category: title: Heppner family, 17 children url: text: DuWayne and Miriam Heppner live in Warroad, Minn., with their 17 children. Below a family portrait on the family’s website reads the following text:
“Yes, they are all ours. No, we did not plan to have 17 children. And no, we are not a perfect family. … Life has not always been as bright as this picture.”
Thirty years ago, the couple were unmarried teenagers when Miriam Heppner became pregnant with their first child. They got married when the child was almost a year old, had another child and believed their family was complete.
But on the website, the devoutly Christian Heppner parents cite numerous biblical passages and write that God had different plans for them, resulting in their large family.
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quicklist: 4 category: title: Jeub family, 16 children url: text: Wendy and Chris Jeub live in Monument, Colo., with their 16 children.
The devoutly Christian family credits “God’s plan” with the blessing of their large family on its website.
“We’ve experienced great joy mixed with our share of challenges,” the Jeub parents write in their book, “Love Another Child.” “Like it or not, this is our life, and we’re quite honest about it.”
The family has been featured on the TLC show “Kids by the Dozen,” and its website has an FAQ section in which the couple answers questions that range from how the two manage their finances to how Wendy Jeub keeps her weight down after giving birth so many times.
“You will often hear us say, ‘There is never a boring moment in our household.’ There’s not! Seriously, we haven’t been bored in years,” the enthusiastic parents write. “Life with two adult children, one at-home teenager, eight little ones and twins at the end brings the most interesting ventures.”
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quicklist: 5 category: title: Arndt family, 14 children url: text: Rick and Cathy Arndt of Illinois have 14 children — 13 boys and one girl who range in age from 8 to 31.
“It wasn’t really any sort of conscious plan to set a record or anything,” Rick Arndt told ABCNews.com.
“It’s hard to get over the stereotypes until people get to know us better,” Arndt said. “Everyone is an individual. We’ve had an only child 14 times. To us, each one is an only child.”
He said life around the house is efficient and filled with labels and plans.
“We love the life,” Arndt said. “It’s a challenge. You get the same 24 hours as everyone else gets.”
The Arndt family’s website includes a section of family trivia, including such factoids as: On average, there is an Arndt birthday once every 22.8 days. The shortest gap between births was John (April 2, 1982) and Mark (July 29, 1983). If the Arndt family were to lay down in a straight line head-to-toe, it would span more than 80 feet. If it were to stand upon one another’s shoulders, the family would be nearly three-fourths as tall as the Statue of Liberty.
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