Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar Adopting: Plans To Add 20th Child To The Family Met With Criticism

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are reportedly looking for baby No. 20, with controversial reports that the 19 Kids and Counting couple are hoping to adopt a child even in the midst of family scandals.

There have been widespread reports in the last week that the former reality television stars are trying to welcome the 20th child into their family, with Life & Style reporting that they want to bring in the new family member sometime within the next year.

"They've been mulling it over for a long time, and they feel the time is right to get legal advice and get the process underway," the source says. "They're looking to adopt a child in the New Year."

The source went on to say that for Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, adopting would not only be a way of adding to their family but also making a difference in the world.

"Michelle says she doesn't care if they adopt a boy or a girl, or what ethnicity the child is. She says she just wants to help a child's life."

The couple is now past child-bearing age. The 48-year-old Michelle Duggar was actually pregnant with her 20th child in 2011 but suffered a miscarriage. And they had problems even before this. Their 19th child, a girl named Josie, was born prematurely and ended up needing surgery.

Despite facing health risks, the couple tried again to get pregnant in 2013. Michelle announced that they were actively trying for another baby, but said it was in God's hands.

"I would be so grateful if the Lord blessed us with another one," Michelle told the website Celebrity Baby Scoop (via In Touch Weekly). "We're trying at this point and we shall see if that is a possibility. If not, we are so thankful and grateful for the ones that God has given us so far."

But the plans to add another baby come with controversy. In the past few months reports emerged that the couple's eldest son, Josh Duggar, molested a number of young girls in his teenage years, including his own sisters.

Many placed the blame squarely on the Duggar parents, who were accused of helping cover up the misconduct. After an appearance on Fox News in which Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar spoke about the molestation scandal, Cosmopolitan took the couple to task.

"What viewers got was a long defense of the Duggar parents, a minimization of Josh's crimes, and a fuller illustration of why a misogynist "purity culture" is bad for girls, boys, and sexual assault victims in particular. What the Duggars proved is that their own self-interest in gaining status, influence, and money outweighed the needs of their own daughters — and that Michelle and Jim Bob aren't just kooky religious extremists, but parents capable of remarkable manipulation and cruelty."
Others have accused the couple of adopting purely to seek more attention.It is also not clear what requirements the Duggars may have to meet before being able to adopt. While the incident with Josh is now more than a decade in the past, their role in the scandal may work against them if they are to go through a traditional adoption agency. Their more advanced age could also be an issue.

If Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar do end up adopting, they may have to dig deep for a name. All 19 of their children have names that start with the letter J.

[Image via Instagram/Duggar Family]