The Dugger Family and other big families

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Dugger Family

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.
                                                                                       Beth Hall/TLCDuggar family, 19 children (and expecting) 

"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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Bates Family

                                                                                          Bates family, 18 children (and expecting)


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.

Heppner family

"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.
                                                                                                                                          Courtesy Heppner Family

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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