When Russian single mom Kristina Ozturk took a vacation to Batumi, Georgia, she’d never been abroad before, so she probably didn’t know what to expect. But whatever her vision for the trip was, it can’t have included meeting her dream man and then having 21 babies in the next year. You read that right! Kristina is now a mom 22 times over.
The man whom Kristina met was Galip Ozturk, a wealthy businessman. And although he was already father to nine children, when Kristina suggested having more, Galip, then 57, was game for as many as she wanted. But you don’t have 20 babies without help, and the couple used surrogates to pop out their kids.
And when we say Kristina fancied a big family, well, she really did. The couple’s first child together was Mustafa, who joined them in March 2020. And they kept having them, regularly, until getting to Judy a year later. Now, along with Kristina’s older daughter Victoria, they have a house full of kids: 22 in all.
The young mom, in her early 20s when she began her relationship with Galip, had gone to Batumi to enjoy the sea. The resort town, nestling in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains, is much-loved by the area’s tourists. So much so, in fact, that visitors often call it “the Las Vegas of the Black Sea.”
While the young mom was sunning herself in the seaside resort, she came across a man who was a bit out of the ordinary. Galip had made a fortune in transport and property. He originates from Turkey, but now lives in Batumi. When asked about him, Katrina told British newspaper The Sun that he was her “mentor, guide, and fairytale prince all rolled into one.”
For his part, Galip was also smitten by the love bug, and he didn’t hesitate to praise Kristina. He told The Sun in 2021, “She was the kind of wife I always wanted for myself, an uncut diamond where I saw what a pure and kind heart she had.”
Lots of kids
So striking while the iron was hot, Kristina didn’t hesitate to make the most of her new love. She shifted towns to live in Batumi so that she could be with her man. Although Galip is three decades her senior and had a bunch of adult offspring, he was really keen on the idea of having a family with his lady. And what’s more, he agreed with her that they should have a lot of kids.
The couple used surrogate mothers to send their child numbers soaring. That didn’t come cheap, with the pair shelling out more than $200,000 to pay their baby mamas to carry the Ozturk babies. And they are spending another $100,000 every year on nannies to care for the littluns when they’re born.
After Mustafa came Mariam, Ayrin, and Alisa just a month later. Then Hasan, Judi, Harper, Teresa, Huseyin, and Anna. The baby names book must be well-thumbed, because they soon welcomed Isabella, Ismail, Mehmet, Ahmet, Ali, Kristina, Sara, Lokman, Galip, Olivia, and finally Judy. That’s a lot of names for mom and dad to remember!
The happy parents had not originally planned to use surrogates. Kristina explained that she’d had the plan to have one baby each year. But before long, the couple had figured that they couldn’t produce children at that rate. So surrogacy it was, at not far short of $10K a baby.
That’s fine with the Georgian authorities. The country will let any straight, married couple have a surrogate child. And there is no messy situation when the child is born: the law states that it belongs to the genetic parents. The surrogates get the money and nothing else out of the deal. Before having the kid, each of them has to have counseling and sign a contract.
Not just anyone is allowed to become a surrogate mom for Kristina’s brood. The prospective moms had to be young, and they had to have been pregnant at least once before. They were also screened to make certain that they weren’t addicted to anything and had no shady habits that might cause any problems.
Surrogacy is obviously a stiff challenge for any potential mother, and the counseling helps them prepare for what lies ahead. But it wasn’t the Ozturks who were devising the above-mentioned tough hurdles for potential surrogate moms. Kristina told The Sun, “The clinic in Batumi chooses surrogate mothers for us and takes full responsibility for the process.”
Kristina added, “We are not personally acquainted with surrogate mothers and do not have direct contacts with them in order to avoid problems after pregnancy. All communication takes place through the clinic, we only monitor health indicators. I make up a dietary menu for mothers so that the food is complete; I look at the test results.”
In the genes
All the children that the couple share are biologically theirs — none are adopted or fostered — except for Kristina’s daughter from a previous relationship. She said, “I gave birth to my eldest daughter Vika myself six years ago. The rest of the children are genetically ours from my husband and I, but were carried by surrogates.”
And how is this enormous family? Well, Kristina shared with The Sun in 2021 exactly how she saw it, saying, “Our surrogacy clinic are amazed but happy to help us with our dream of a big family. I’m not sure if we will be the biggest family in the world, but we are planning to be the happiest family in the world for sure.”
More to come
It may be a happy family, but Kristina and Galip have plans to make it even happier. In a previous interview cited in The Sun, she had shared that the pair had talked about getting to three figures. Wow! She said, “I don’t know how many there will eventually be, but we certainly don’t plan to stop at ten.” Having already doubled that, she has been as good as her word.
Kristina told the newspaper, “We… [are] just not ready to talk about the final number. Everything has its time.” But at the moment, surrogacy is the only possible road. Although she isn’t saying no to taking the natural route again, it can’t be while she’s having children with surrogates, because the IVF treatment is such a stress on the body.
Bump in the road
Every road has a few bumps, and the Ozturks did run into difficulties with one surrogate mom who had second thoughts after she’d given birth. She wished to keep the baby herself, but things worked out badly for the surrogate. Because the law says the baby belonged to its genetic parents, and the genes all came from Katrina and Galip, she had no hope.
Obviously Kristina can’t care for 20-plus toddlers all on her own. No, she uses nannies to help. They work for four days, then get a couple off, living in Kristina’s mansion in their own rooms. The nannies share responsibility for the kids, as Kristina told her Instagram followers, “There are no bindings. During the day — of course, a specific one is responsible for a specific child. But during the week the nannies change.”
The nannies do most of the work of looking after the kids, but that doesn’t mean that Kristina takes a back seat. She told The Sun she makes it her business to spend time with the babies as much as possible. But it’s a tough job being a carer for so many children, although she does feel she’s forming a good maternal bond.
When asked about it on social media, Kristina said, “Many times I have been asked how I have enough for each child, whether I devote time alone to each. Yes. We have a special bond with every child. I wish every parent to be able to spend all their time with their children, because this is the most important thing in life.”
It must be a struggle to keep that bond up with 20 bubs, but Kristina believes she’s doing it. She told The Sun, “I’m doing my best.” When asked which child is her favorite, she said, “My favorite child is my husband — sometimes he is like one more kid. All our kids are the best children in the world; I love them equally to the Moon and back.”
Even when Katrina isn’t with the kids, she works to care for them. She told her Instagram followers, “I spend the maximum amount of time with my children, but when I’m not with them, I control everything… I teach each nanny independently when applying for a job — no amateur activity is allowed, the upbringing of children is strictly according to my instructions.”
The nannies read what Kristina tells them to, for as long as she wants. And she has a plan for children crying. She told The Sun, “If the child begins to cry, I forbid you to take him in your arms.” Instead of that, the nannies are instructed to “distract” the crying babies so that they can be restored to calm.
On top of that, the nannies have to snap photos of the baby’s dirtied diapers. That’s so that Kristina can decide whether the poop is “of a good color and consistency.” She told the newspaper, “Each child has a diary that records ALL the details of his life — what we ate, how much we ate, how I slept, how I walked, how many went to the toilet, how many were crying, what changes happened with the body.”
Strict about food
Kristina’s directions for food are very strict indeed. She only lets the babies eat homecooked fare, with “no purchased ready-made cans.” On top of that the food is weighed to meet her guidelines. She said, “Food is strictly according to grams — not a gram more, not a gram less.”
The supermom shares the stories — and many pictures — of her life on Instagram. There she keeps up a blog that has 160,000 people following it. They enjoy snaps of dinner time at the Ozturks — quite an occasion — and playtime. When she goes out for a walk, which involves a flotilla of prams, that too features on Insta.
It’s not cheap to have so many kids. The Ozturks need 20 big packs of diapers each week. And the amount of formula is incredible. The ubermom told The Sun, “It costs about $5,000-$6,000 per week for essentials for all the kids. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a bit less. The kids each have their own wardrobes, but sometimes they share clothes for photos.”
Lucky that Kristina has a big house! The kids share now, but there are ideas that this situation might change. She told The Sun, “That’s while they are so small, then we will separate them later. For now we have three floors at home. In the future, maybe we will build more floors, maybe we will buy a bigger house.”
Plan not exact
But that’s for the future, Kristina explained, saying, “We don’t have an exact plan, because right now we have enough space for everybody.” The babies sleep from 8:00 p.m., but what about Kristina? She told the newspaper, “Not as much [sleep] as I want, but that’s my choice to be a mom for my sweeties. I will sleep a lot in another life.”
The supermom needs every zee that she can snatch. She told The Sun, “I can tell you one thing — my days are never boring. Each day is different, from planning staff schedules to shopping for my family.” And the work doesn’t end when the babies are down for the night.
Plenty of work
Nope, there’s still plenty of work to be done. She has to ensure that there’s food for the kids and nannies, set up menus, and arrange appointments with health providers. But what about her eldest child, Victoria? What does she think about having so many siblings? According to Kristina, she’s delighted.
Kristina told The Sun, “She is very happy to have lots of siblings now. She’s always telling everybody about her sweet brothers and sisters. She is fond of playing and walking with the kids.” The many-times-mom related how her eldest pitched in by helping with feeds and reading stories to the toddlers, adding, “There is no difference between Victoria and the babies, I feel exactly the same about them.”
While that’s nice to learn, it’s not all straightforward. One thing that Victoria has to put up with is a late dinner time. After all, there are 20-plus other mouths that need feeding first. Kristina said, “We usually feed the children in due time, and we have dinner together with my husband very late.”
There’s one day of the week that Kristina does not care to share with the world. She told The Sun, “On weekends, we eat together, spend time alone as much as possible, which is why Sunday is a day off on the blog, so that we can be just a family without prying eyes.”
Dream come true
Kristina told the paper that her huge family was the fulfillment of a lifetime ambition. She said, “I’ve dreamed about this since childhood. My husband also dreamed about having a big, happy family. So after we met, we started to put our dream into action. Our romantic relationship has changed but then our whole lives have changed.”
The natural way
Although the big family is all down to surrogacy, Kristina may well have more kids the natural way. She said, “I’m planning my pregnancy, but not straight away, because for now I need to be close with my babies. It’s hard to be a mum to 21 kids when you’re pregnant. We are not planning more surrogate babies in the near future.”
Obviously, not everyone thinks it’s great that Kristina has so many kids. But she doesn’t worry about that. She told The Sun, “We don’t get to choose our parents. Some kids may not want to be an only child, but their parents have other ideas. It is life — you are who you are, my kids can choose to make their future family however they want.”
Haters gonna hate
Kristina remained defiant, saying, “To people who disagree with my choices, I say don’t have so many kids if you don’t want them, that’s your choice. Don’t use surrogacy if you don’t want, that’s your choice. But this is our life, and it’s our choice.” And since what she’s doing is legal, and she can afford it, that’s that.