Twenty-seven years ago Gil and Kelly Jo Bates tied the knot with no plans to have kids. Fast forward 19 kids later and this tight-knit family, seemingly too good to be true, has a tremendous bond but are far from perfect. As you will see, when you have a house full of 19 children, from ages two to 25, daily chaos is multiplied exponentially, but so are the joyful and poignant moments that life can bring.
Led by devoted father Gil (49) and his loving wife Kelly Jo (47), the Bates do everything in bulk while staying true to their values and rules for the family -- which means everyone has chores, little to no TV, only dresses for girls (though pajamas are worn in private), strictly side-hugs until marriage (except for front hugs on special occasions), and more. With a grand total of 19 children ranging in age from two to 25, they are the definition of a "big, happy family." But lately -- as viewers will see -- their simple rural lifestyle in Tennessee is in a flurry of transitions, see it all on Bringing Up Bates.