A 33-year-old Knoxville, Tenn. man with 30 children appeared in court this week to ask the state for child-support help, Memphis news station WREG reported Wednesday.
Desmond Hatchett has fathered 30 children — which is believed to be the record in Knox county, according to the Los Angeles Times – with 11 different women. His youngest children are toddlers and his oldest is 14, that beat out King Henry I of England’s record of 26.
“Yes, we’ve got several cases with Mr. Hatchett,” Melissa Gibson, an assistant supervisor with the Knox County child support clerk’s office, said with a sigh.
Hatchett’s attorney, Keith Pope, did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Under the law, there’s nothing officials can do to force Hatchett to keep his pants on.
“If there’s something out there like that, I’m unaware of it,” Gibson told The Times, before adding, “It definitely needs to be.”
Gibson said Hatchett is believed to hold the Knox County record for most children. (He’d hold a similar record in most counties in the U.S., which might explain why news of his predicament was pinging around the Internet on Friday.)
Gibson said she couldn’t say whether any of his children receive public assistance. The youngest is a toddler; the oldest is 14. Asked in a TV interview whether he can “keep up with it all,” Hatchett said he knows all their names, ages and birthdates.
Also in a TV interview, Hatchett tried to explain — in a PG-rated way — how he managed to end up with so many kids: “I had four kids in the same year. Twice.”
When Hatchett is working, he is required to turn over 50% of his wages for child support — the maximum allowed under law. Child support payments are based in part on the ages and needs of the children.
Some of the mothers of Hatchett’s children get only $1.49 a month.