Move over, Bob and Michelle Duggar. Way, waaaaay over.
On March 27, the Duggar’s longtime friends and occasional costars Gil and Kelly Bates will introduce their own 19 children (all by birth, no adoptions in the bunch and no multiples!) on an as-yet unnamed hourlong TLC special. Citing how much they feel the Duggars have helped people, the Bates’ said they quizzed their kids about the idea of bringing their own family joys and struggles to TV, and everyone gave the the thumbs-up.
It’s a whole lotta thumbs. With the addition of brand-new baby boy Jeb on Feb. 1, the Bates household includes Zach, 23; Michaella, 22; Erin, 20; Lawson, 19; Nathan, 18; Alyssa, 17; Tori,16; Trace, 15; Carlin, 13; Josie, 12; Katie, 11; Jackson, 9; Warden, 8; Isaiah, 7; Addallee, 5; Ellie, 4; Callie, 2 and Judson, 1. None of the older children have chosen to leave the family’s Lake City, Tenn., home just yet.
Like the Duggars, Gil, 47, and Kelly, 45, choose homeschooling for their kids, rely heavily on their Christian beliefs and live miraculously debt free. Everyone pitches in to keep the household clean and running smoothly. And like Bob and Michelle, Gil and Kelly convene with their family-planning adviser by prayer instead of car.
“We decided to trust God for children,” Gil told People magazine. “And I would not trade His choices for mine any day.”
The Bates family special will air March 27 on TLC at 10pm/9CT immediately following the sixth-season finale of 19 Kids and Counting. That season premieres Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 9pm/8CT.
Image © 2010 The Gil & Kelly Bates Family