By Hilary White

ABBOTSFORD, July 29, 2008 ( – A Romanian immigrant couple in British Columbia has become the subject of media fascination this week as they welcomed their 18th child into the world. Livia and Alexandru Ionce came to Canada in 1990, and with the birth of their youngest daughter their family has became one of Canada’s largest families.

Their daughter Abigail weighed in at seven pounds, 12 ounces when she was born in the hospital on July 22. The family now has 10 girls and eight boys. The couple joked that they had hoped to have one more boy, “to be even.”

“We never planned how many children to have. We just let God guide our lives, you know, because we strongly believe life comes from God and that’s the reason we did not stop the life,” said dad Alexandru Ionce, 51.

“People sometimes they think I’m joking, (but it’s) not true,” Livia Ionce, 44, told CTV news. 

The family lives in a seven bedroom house in Abbotsford, a short distance east of Vancouver. The other 17 children range in age from 23 years to 23 months, none are twins and all were born naturally, except four-year-old Filip, who was born by Caesarean section.

Ioana, the eldest child at 23, said, “We’re a lot of people, but my parents taught us organization and discipline.”

“I’ve been to my friend’s house – an only child,” said 15-year-old Alex to CTV. “It’s different. Quiet around his house all the time. Not fun. It’s not quiet here.”

The story of the birth has made international headlines with news outlets carrying the photo of the joyful young family from London to Beijing.


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