Hoaxes & Rumors

Hoax: Woman Gives Birth to 11 Babies

Hoax: Woman Gives Birth to 11 Babies

A graphic circulating online allegedly shows a set of 11 babies born to the same mother. Is this real or fake?

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It’s a hoax.

The photo itself is real, and does shows 11 babies born on the same day – but they were born to 11 different mothers.

Let’s take a look at the claim circulating online:

STRANGE !!! WOMAN Gives BIRTH To 11 Baby Boys At ONCE
An Indian Woman gave birth to eleven 11 kids baby boys few days ago. Resources have been told that few of them were test tubes babies but it really seems strange at once. It was also rumored that 6 were twins. Doctors were really surprised, shocked and glad to have successful delivery. Well it’s a blessing of God who give 11 baby boys to one woman. 21st century record of 2012 year.

The photo can be traced back to an article by The Times of India entited, “11 IVF babies to be delivered on 11-11-11 in city” from 2011. The articles stated:

The operations will be performed by Dr Purnima Nadkarni and Dr Pooja Nadkarni and their team of doctors at the hospital from 6 am. All the 11 women who conceived through IVF have waited a long time for this moment. The eldest woman is 43-year-old, who insisted that she wanted to deliver her baby on the special date.

Dr Pooja told TOI, “We started preparing for the operations on Friday. It is going to be a hectic day for us as we have not performed these many operations in a single day.”

She said the 11 angels, who will arrive in this world on Friday, will give hope to innumerable couples in the diamond city and across the country that infertility is not an incurable problem.

Multiple Births

There have been no recorded cases of 11 babies born at once to the same mother. The highest multiple births recorded is nine. There have been two reported cases of nine multiple births, and in both cases all of the babies died soon after birth.

According to Guinness World Records, there have only been two cases of octuplets in which all babies were born alive, the most famous being mothered by Nadya Suleman, otherwise referred to as “Octomom.”

November 2014 Resurgence

The “11 Babies” story began circulating in increasing numbers in early November 2014. It is possible that this was due to two real news stories relating to “11 babies” at that time.

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A November 4, 2014 news item reported the rescue of 11 trafficked babies in China, along with 32 adult arrested for trafficking. A day earlier, CBS News reported the death of 11 babies at a Dominican Republic hospital.

The timing of the resurgence of the graphic above with false back-story coincides with these two news items, both of which use the phrase “11 babies” in their headlines.

Bottom Line

The photo allegedly showing a record 11 babies born to one mother is false. It merely depicts 11 babies born at the same hospital on the same day.

Two unrelated news stories about “11 babies” in early November 2014 may have sparked the resurgence of this mislabeled graphic.

In early 2016 a similar story about a woman giving birth to 17 babies circulated, which led to increased interest in this photo.

Updated May 12, 2016
Originally published August 2013

  • Jessica Berton

    It said boys, right? Why are they in pink?

  • Timothy Campbell

    Sometimes I wonder how obvious a hoax has to be before it loses its ability to go viral. If this article said the women gave birth to 22 babies (with photoshopped “evidence”), would THAT have turned on enough “nonsense detectors” to stop the virus spreading?

    Meanwhile, I have several funny cat cartoons on my blog and nobody passes ’em around. Internet virality is deeply puzzling.

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