Move Over, Duggars! Here Comes the Bates Family — They've Got 18 Kids!

Thu, November 11, 2010 2:55pm EST by 7 Comments

With 18 kids and counting, this Tennessee family is ready to dethrone the Duggars as the biggest family in America.

Everyone’s heard of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the Arkansas-based reality TV stars who have 19 children (nine girls and 10 boys) whose names all begin with the letter J. Well, look out, Duggars, because another family is gaining on you in size! Devout Christians Gil and Kelly Bates, who live in the hills of East Tennessee, have 18 kids and counting — and they aren’t stopping procreating any time soon. In an interview with The Daily Mail, the Bates, who celebrated the birth of their 18th child last month, revealed that they are already praying for more.

The oldest Duggar, Joshua and his wife are expecting their second baby!

“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,” the couple says on their website. “It wasn’t something we did for financial gain; it really wasn’t cheaper by the dozen. We simply trusted that if God said children are a blessing, He meant exactly that. And not wanting to miss out on any blessings, our quiver began to fill.”

Gil, 45, a tree surgeon and Kelly, 43, a stay-at-home mom (shocker!) met in college in 1986, married in 1987 and have been pregnant almost every year since. Today, their brood includes Zach, 21, Michaela, 20, Erin, 18, Lawson, 17, Nathan, 16, Alyssa, 15, Tori, 14, Trace, 13, Carlin, 12, Josie, 11, Katie, 10, Jackson, 8, Warden, 7, Isaiah, 5, Addallee, 4, Ellie, 3, Callie-Anna, 1, and Judson Wyatt, 1 month.

The Duggars are ready to have their 20th baby!

“At first, we thought we might be crazy!” they continue. “We were told that having a house full of children would result in a ruined marriage, a frazzled and worn mom, a frustrated dad, and unhappy children. On the contrary, the children keep us feeling young and the responsibilities have driven us to more committed and meaningful relationships. We were told having a large family would send us to the poor house. We realize that having food, clothes, and living in America — no matter what our tax bracket might be — already makes us richer than most who live in the world.”

And we thought these celebrities had big families!

The Bates are already planning an expansion of their home, which already features five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, two kitchens (one with a 14-foot dining room table), four washing machines and two industrial dryers.

–Alison Prato

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Posted at 8:07 PM on May 21, 2013  

If the Bates and Duggars had adopted 20 kids–Now that would have been a real story-especially in this world of millions of dirt poor children who desperetly need love and support. But alas, like most people they choose only to spread their seed in a selfish monument to themselves.

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Posted at 4:41 PM on April 18, 2012  

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Posted at 11:57 AM on April 4, 2012  

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Posted at 10:27 AM on January 20, 2011  

TLC knows about this family through the Duggars. Any of you who have watched the Duggars have seen the Bates. The Bates, yes this is the family that the Duggars often vacation with. The Duggars helped them make some improvements to their home.

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Posted at 8:00 AM on November 14, 2010  

its impossible get each child as much attention as the child needs when ypu have more than i guess 8 children.

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Posted at 5:17 PM on November 12, 2010  

Why hasn’t TLC found this family? TLC..Helloooooooooo the Bates Family is calling.

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Posted at 10:26 AM on January 20, 2011  

The Bates are friends of the Duggers and are on their show all the time. The Bates’ house is so large because the Duggars gave Kelly a Mother’s Day gift of a remodel. TLC has already tapped the Bates family and already know of them. TLC should switch and start a Bates family show, the Bates parents are far more involved with their kids than Mrs. Duggar

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