The Bates brood Gil BatesAnd Kelly Bates have 19 children and document their family’s lives on Bringing up Bates.
The couple got married in December 1987, and they welcomed their first child in the following year. Kelly had already given birth to ten girls and nine boys by 2012, so there were no multiples. Many of their kids have gotten married over the years, giving the pair 14 grandchildren — and counting.
Kelly wrote via Instagram in June 2020 that her grandkids keep her “world so bright and happy.” She gushed, “The best therapy! Never a dull moment!”
The first appearance of UPtv characters on television screens was in a 2012 series called United Bates of America. They returned to television for Bringing up BatesThree years later, they had reached their 9th season by March 2020.
Having so many kids was mostly Kelly’s idea, Gil told Christian ExaminerApril 2016. “My wife one day said, ‘I think God wants us to trust Him on having children,’” he told the outlet at the time. “I said, ‘Wait a minute. We could have twenty kids. You just can’t do that.’ … There are only two things that are going to last forever – God’s Word and people. We went down a path, and we didn’t know anyone else in the world thought this way, but we were convinced it was what we should do.”
He added, “You may be asked to trust the Lord in having no children; you might not be able to have children. It’s not a matter of how many children God gives you; it’s really a matter for us of finding God’s will for your life, and being willing to trust Him in whatever He’s asked you to do. We didn’t know it would be 19 kids, but I don’t think we would have seen and experienced some of the amazing blessings we’ve seen in life had we not chosen to trust God.”
The Bates family has had a close relationship with Michelle DuggarAnd Jim Bob DuggarOver the years, they have welcomed 19 children of their own.
Keep scrolling to see photos of the reality stars’ children and grandchildren.