PARENTS

US Family Show-Off 19th Baby

29/01/2010 12:18 | Updated 22 May 2015

Jim and Michelle Duggar from Arkansas recently presented daughter Josie Brooklyn, their 19th child, to the world on America's Today show.

Josie is seven weeks old and is being cared for at Arkansas Children's Hospital after she was born three months early.

The Uber-family are well-known in the US, inevitably they even have their own reality TV show '19 Kids and Counting'.

The baby is doing well and will soon be starring in 'Special Duggar Delivery,' a one-off special all about her dramatic delivery.

She is expected to be rejoining her parents and 18 siblings within a month. Dad Jim said, "We look forward to the day that we can bring her home to join the rest of the bunch."

All the Duggar offspring are the natural children of Michelle and Jim, who have been married for 25 years.

The kids are made up of nine girls and ten boys aged from 21 to little Josie's seven weeks. There are two sets of twins and all the children have names beginning with the letter 'J'.

Joshua, Jana, John, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johanna, Jennifer, Jordyn and (probably not) finally Josie.

The family seem to be making life unnecessarily harder for themselves by adhering to this little naming tradition.

As well as the added confusion, and the missed opportunity to give each child a tiny bit of individual identity, it also seems that names beginning with 'J' are a finite resource. Jinger? Jordyn? Made up, surely.

The prolific couple now also have a grandchild. Their eldest son has recently started his own dynasty with the birth of daughter Mackynzie.

The Duggars are members of an evangelical Christian movement called Quiverful. They believe that children are a gift from God and every baby should be welcomed.

They also believe women should be subordinate to men and there should be no sex before marriage.

The children are home schooled and their day is strictly scheduled to ensure smooth running of the household. Older children are expected to help out with raising and teaching the younger kids, and doing the housework.

There are rotas for everything, from taking turns practicing on the piano, to an appointment system for kids who want one-on-one time with a parent.

Needless to say the family get a lot of attention where ever they go. Although, Dad Jim says that most of the questions are the same.

"They always ask, 'Don't you know what causes this? Are you Catholic or Mormon? Are they all yours? Are you a school group?'"

The children insist that they are lucky to be part of such a big clan, "You've always got somebody to play with, you've always got somebody to hang out with. It's a lot of fun," said Joshua, the original baby Duggar, "It's a very close-knit family."

As the couple believe that children are a gift from God, Josie is probably only the latest addition to the family. Given that they are self-sufficient and seemingly happy, should the family be admired, or have the Duggars gone too far?

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