Despite describing themselves as “adamant” they wouldn’t have more kids after their 18th child was born last June, the Radfords were content to leave the decision up to nature. In a turn of events that her husband Noel describes to The Sun as a “huge surprise” but a “brilliant start to the new year”, Sue is now expecting a baby once more.
Although the Radfords originally planned to only have three children, they told The Sun that they loved the experience so much they decided to keep going.
Watch a clip of Radford family life from the UK show 16 Kids and Counting:
On their website, the Radfords described the excitement of their other children at the big news.
“We announced our news to the children last week after having a brilliant scan, we decided to put the scan photo on the fireplace and sit back and watch to see who noticed it first,” the couple wrote online.
“Well it really didn’t take long. Tillie spotted it first and said ‘ohhhh who’s that?’ with a big grin on her face.
“We said ‘who do you think it is?’. She said ‘I need to go get Millie’ so she ran to get her and came back in, closely followed by the rest of the children.
‘The reaction was so funny they are so excited. We did want to keep it a secret for a little while longer but the children have been so excited and sharing the news so we decided it was time to share it with you all.”
The Radford children aren’t always excited about new additions to the family, however, with 6-year-old Aimee commenting, “I think Mum’s addicted to babies.”
Alongside posting the good news to their own site and to Facebook, the Radfords spoke to The Sun about the upcoming birth and the cost of raising 18 children.
The Radfords live in a 10-bedroom converted home in Lancashire and spend approximately £30,000 a year raising their kids (the equivalent of AU $60,000). That cost includes £300 (or AU $600) on groceries, which generally take the form of last pasta dishes or stews using discounted ingredients from local suppliers.
The family does between six and 12 loads of washing and tears through four toilet rolls a day. The Radfords budget £100 for each child’s birthday and between £100 and £250 for each child’s Christmas presents, and take an overseas holiday together as a family every year.
But Sue and Noel pride themselves on never claiming welfare, funding their multi-child lifestyle with the profits from Noel’s bakery.
The Radford’s eldest daughter, Sophie, 19, now has three children of her own living in the Radford family home, and has previously been pregnant at the same time as her mother.