For a Few, the More Kids the Merrier

Raising kids takes time, patience and as much as $500,000 per child. But the number of affluent couples with large broods is on the rise

Bill Cramer for TIME

A six-bedroom house in Berwyn, Pa., gives Jen, a homeowner, and Charlie, a lawyer, ample room for their kids (including a sixth due in February).

There's an odd phenomenon being reported in tony enclaves across the country: highly educated, highly compensated couples popping out four or more children--happily and by choice. In Loudoun County, a suburb of Washington, four-packs of siblings rule the playgrounds. In New York City, real estate agents tell of families buying two or three adjacent apartments to create giant spaces for their giant broods. Oradell, N.J., is home to so many sprawling clans that residents call it Fouradell. In a suburb of Chicago, the sibling boomlet is called the Wheaton Four.

Of course, big families never really disappeared. Immigrants tend to have...

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