Pregnancy over age 50

Pregnancy over age 50

Pregnancy over age 50 has become more possible for women, due to recent advances in assisted reproductive technology, such as egg donation. Typically, a woman's fecundity ends with menopause, which by definition is 12 consecutive months without having had a period. Perimenopause usually begins between ages 40 and 51. This is when the periods become irregular and eventually stop altogether (men, in contrast, generally remain fertile throughout their lives,[1] although the risk of genetic defects is greatly increased due to the paternal age effect). Pregnancy over age 40 is associated with increased risks.

In the United States, between 1997 and 1999, 539 births were reported among mothers over age 50, 194 being over 55.[2] According to statistics from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, in Britain, more than 20 babies are born to women over age 50 per year through in-vitro fertilization.[3]


Medical considerations

Risks associated with childbearing over the age of 50 include an increased incidence of gestational diabetes, hypertension, delivery by caesarean section, miscarriage, preeclampsia, and placenta previa.[2][4] In comparison to mothers between 20 and 29 years of age, mothers over 50 are at almost three times the risk of low birth weight, premature birth, and extremely premature birth; their risk of extremely low birth weight, small size for gestational age, and fetal mortality was almost double.[5]

Cases of pregnancy over 50

Birth mothers over 50

Age 50 to 54

  • 1669: Elizabeth Greenhill, born 1615, who had 39 children with her husband William Greenhill, gave birth to her last child, London surgeon Thomas Greenhill, in 1669 at the age of 54, having conceived naturally.
  • 1880: Lucy Gauss Kenney, a Confederate veteran, gave birth to her last child at age 53, after a natural conception.[6]
  • 1899: Georgia Bitzis Pooley, the first known Greek woman to immigrate to Chicago, gave birth to her last child in 1899 at the age of 50, having conceived naturally.[7]
  • 1992: Geraldine Wesolowski of New York gave birth to her own grandson Matthew in December 1992 at the age of 53, after IVF treatment in Christian Fertility Institute in Easton, Pennsylvania, in order to act as a gestational surrogate for her son and his wife, who underwent hysterectomy and was not able to have children.[8]
  • 1996: Judy Bershak of Los Angeles gave birth to her first child, daughter Sarah, in 1996 at the age of 50. Bershak got married at the age of 44, and after failing in conceiving naturally and adopting, she went through IVF treatment using donor egg and became pregnant after first attempt.[9]
  • 1997: Cheryl Fillippini of Lompoc gave birth to quadruplets, three girls and a boy, on February 20, 1997, at the age of 50, after IVF treatment. Fillippini an her husband had 10 children altogether from their previous marriages, but wanted to have a child together.[10]
  • 1997: American actress Adrienne Barbeau gave birth to twin sons Walker Steven and William Dalton on March 17, 1997, at the age of 51. After marrying Billy Van Zandt in 1992 she started trying have a child, tried in vitro fertilization unsuccessfully, but later became pregnant naturally.[11]
  • 1998: 51-year-old Bodo woman gave birth after IVF treatment with intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).[12]
  • 2000: Aracelia Garcia of Sunnyside, Washington astounded doctors when she naturally conceived (without hormonal treatment) all-female triplets in 1999 at the age of 54. She delivered three healthy girls Arianna, Brianna and CeCelia by Caesarean section in January 2000.[13][14][15]
  • 2000: Elizabeth Edwards, wife of the former U.S. Senator and Vice Presential nominee John Edwards, gave birth to son Jack in 2000 at the age of 50. The couple decided to have more children after one of their two children—a 16-year-old son—was killed in a car accident in 1996. Mrs. Edwards had also had a daughter at the age of 48. Some fertility experts believe she used donor eggs; Elizabeth Edwards remained silent on this question.[16]
  • 2000: Galina Shevchenko gave birth to twin sons in Russia in 2000 at the age of 54. Shevchenko and her husband decided to go through fertility treatment after accidental death of their only son. It was the first case of successful case of IVF treatment of a postmenopausal woman in Russia.[17]
  • 2001: 51-year-old woman gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, in Kiev, Ukraine in July 2001, after IVF treatment using donor eggs. She decided to have children at such a late age after getting married for the second time.[18]
  • 2001: Morgan Zantua gave birth to her first child, daughter Auriel, on August 01, 2001, at the age of 51. She got married second time at age 44, had a miscarriage and decided not to try to have children, and then unexpectedly found out she was pregnant at age 51.[9]
  • 2003: Lyudmila Belyavskaya, second wife of Russian actor Alexander Belyavsky, gave birth to her first child, daughter Alexandra, in Moscow on August 28, 2003, at the age of 52, after a natural conception.[19][20]
  • 2005: Annie Casserley gave birth to her own granddaughter Annie Trinity Hattersley in UK in September 2005, at the age of 53, after choosing to act as a gestational surrogate for her 35-year-old daughter, Emma Hattersley, who has a rare cancer-like condition, Histiocytosis X, making her unable to withstand pregnancy.[21]
  • 2007: 54-year-old woman gave birth in Prague in "U Apolináře" clinic in January 2007, after IVF treatment using donor eggs.[22]
  • 2007: 52-year-old woman gave birth to her own twin grandchildren in Greece in May 2007, after choosing to act as a gestational surrogate for her infertile daughter. Under the laws of Greece, a surrogate mother is required to be under 50, but in this case an exception was made.[23]
  • 2007: Rosinete Serrao gave birth to her own twin grandsons at a hospital in Recife, Brazil on September 28, 2007 at the age of 51, after choosing to act as a gestational surrogate for her 27-year-old daughter, Claudia, who had tried to become pregnant for four years. Under Brazilian law, a surrogate mother is required to be one's close relative, so Serrao volunteered because Claudia had no sisters. The children were conceived through artificial insemination using Claudia's eggs and her husband's sperm.[24][25][26]
  • 2008: Adele Dramis gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, in Naples, Italy, at the age of 53. She had been trying to get pregnant since she got married at age 45, and after years of trying she decided to receive IVF treatment.[27]
  • 2008: Sarajean Grainson of Long Island gave birth to twin sons Matthew and David in June 2008 at the age of 53, after IVF treatment with donor eggs. Grainson and her second husband David, former priest, already had a son Luke in December 2006. Grainson also had three adult children from her first marriage.[28]
  • 2009: 54-year-old woman gave birth to twins in Bnei Brak, Israel, in November 2009. Her 71-year old husband became a first time father, while she had adult children from previous marriage.[29]
  • 2009: Anita Makhtur, previously childless Indian woman, gave birth to twins after IVF treatment in December 2009, at the age of 51. She was unable to get pregnant for 23 years because of fibroma uteri and had two unsuccessful IVF tries. She is probably the oldest woman who had IVF using her own unfrozen eggs.[30]
  • 2010: Karen Johnston of Bicester, England gave birth to a boy and a girl In June 2010, at the age of 54, after undergoing IVF treatment in the Czech Republic. She was already a mother of 8, with her oldest child being 33 years old. Her eighth child was born in 2008 also after IVF treatment in the same clinic.[31]
  • 2010: Svetlana Krupenik gave birth to a girl in Kiev, Ukraine, at the age of 50, after IVF treatment. She and her 62-year-old husband were trying to have kids for 30 years.[32]
  • 2010: Italian singer Gianna Nannini gave birth to her first child, a girl, on November 26, 2010 at the age of 54.
  • 2011: Catherine Colonges gave birth to triplets in Toulouse, France, at the age of 52, after conceiving naturally with her husband Michel. Mrs Colonges already has two sons, a daughter and three grandchildren. [33]
  • 2011: Hungarian actress Anna Fehér gave birth to a son at the age of 53. He is her first child; she has been trying to conceive for ten years.[34]
  • 2011: Brazilian actress Solange Couto gave birth to her third child at the age of 54.[35]

Age 55 to 59

  • 1956: Ruth Kistler of Portland, Oregon gave birth to a daughter in Los Angeles, California on October 18, 1956, at the age of 57. The birth predated the advent of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) making Kistler one of the oldest women known to have conceived naturally.[36][37]
  • 1981: Leontina Albina of San Antonio, Chile, born 1926, gave birth to her 55th registered child in 1981, at the age of 55, after a natural conception.[38]
  • 1987: Kathleen Campbell of Kimberley, Nottinghamshire gave birth to a son in 1987 at the age of 55, having conceived naturally.[36]
  • 1993: Jennifer F. gave birth to twins in London hospital on December 25, 1993, at the age of 59, after undergoing IVF treatment in Rome with the help of Dr. Severino Antinori. The eggs from an Italian donor and the sperm of Jennifer's 45-year-old husband were used. This case produced much ethical debate in UK.[39]
  • 1996: Natalya Surkova became the oldest mother in Russia after giving birth to her daughter Sasha on March 14, 1996, at the age of 57. She became pregnant after 1.5 years of hormonal treatment. Surkova, a divorced mother of two adult children, decided to have one more child because her new partner was childless.[40]
  • 1997: Dawn Brooke of Guernsey gave birth to a son by caesarian section on August 20, 1997, at the age of 59. She became pregnant unexpectedly, initially mistaking the symptoms she experienced for cancer, and is the oldest mother currently known to have conceived naturally. It has been speculated that the hormone replacement therapy which Brooke had may have contributed to her ability to ovulate past menopause.[36][41][42]
  • 1998: Lin Fu-mei, of Taiwan, whose age was reported as 58 or 59, gave birth to twin daughters in 1998.[43]
  • 1998: An ummarried 55-year-old woman gave birth to quadruplets in San Diego on April 18, 1998, after IVF treatment. She is probably the oldest woman who gave birth to quadruplets. Three girls and one boy were born at 27 weeks, the smallest of them weighted only 10 oz at birth.[44]
  • 1998: Judith Cates of Evansville, Indiana gave birth to twin girls on December 12, 1998, at the age of 57. She got pregnant after IVF treatment, and she has said that she and her husband, Carl, are often mistaken for grandparents.[45]
  • 1999: Pauline Lyon gave birth to a son at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, on March 22, 1999, at the age of 55, after IVF treatment. She had also given birth to a girl at age 51 after the same treatment, and Lyon and her second husband wanted their daughter to have a sibling. Lyon also had an adult daughter from her first marriage.[46]
  • 2000: Marilyn Nolen (née McReavy), former Olympic athlete and volleyball coach at St. Louis University, gave birth to twin sons, Travis and Ryan, in 2000, at the age of 55. She married her husband Randy Nolen in 1988, and since that were trying to have a child, and after 10 years with no success they decided to go through IVF.[47]
  • 2001: Lynn Bezant of Croughton, Northamptonshire gave birth to the boy and girl by Caesarean section, at the age of 56, after receiving fertility treatment. Bezant, who already had three adult children with her husband Derek, received donor eggs which had been fertilised with her husband's sperm. The couple had always wanted a larger family but had failed after Bezant gave birth to stillborn twins and then suffered a miscarriage.[48]
  • 2002: Janet Bosher gave birth to her children Sarah and James in Britain in September 2002, at the age of 58, after IVF treatment with donated embryos at a private clinic. In January 2003 her partner Martin Maslin, the twin's father, died from a heart attack at age 64. After his death the wisdom of a couple close to retirement age having fertility treatment was debated.[49]
  • 2003: Samira Ellis, an Israeli native, gave birth to twins, Elias and Solva, in Sweden on March 8, 2003, at the age of 58.[50]
  • 2004: Sandra Lennon of Byfleet, Surrey gave birth to her son Alex in October 2004, at the age of 59. It was her second child born after IVF treatment, the first of them, son Joshua, had been born in the beginning of 2003. Both boys were conceived using donor eggs fertilised by her husband's sperm. Lennon, who has two adult children from her first marriage, told that she decided to go through IVF after she met she second husband, Michael. But later it was revealed that though they are officially married, they have never lived together and Michael didn't even know that Alex had been born until two weeks after the birth.[51]
  • 2004: Aleta St. James gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City on November 9, 2004, at the age of 56, after having undergone IVF treatment using donor eggs. The birth occurred just three days before St. James's 57th birthday.[4]
  • 2004: Tina Cade, from Virginia, gave birth to her own triplet grandchildren, two boys and a girl, in USA in December 2004, at the age of 55, acting as a surrogate mother for her 29-year-old daughter Camille Hammond and her husband Jason. Camille suffers from endometriosis and had tried six attempts of IVF, but had been unsuccessful each time, and then Ms Cade has offered her help.[52]
  • 2005: Rosie Swain naturally gave birth to twins, Diana and Christian, in USA on April 20, 2005, at the age of 57. Swain and her husband Jay, who already were great-grandparents, decided to go through IVF in order to give their last child, 6-year-old son Jimmy, a sibling close in age.[53]
  • 2005: Svetlana Glazyrina, of Sochi, Russia, gave birth to her first child, a boy weighting 3.8 kg and 54 cm tall, on September 13, 2005, at the age of 59. She had been trying to have children since her marriage at age 44. After seven unsuccessful pregnancies she decided to go through IVF treatment.[54]
  • 2006: Lauren Cohen of Paramus, New Jersey gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, in New York on May 22, 2006, at the age of 59. Cohen and her husband, Frank Garcia, had previously had a daughter together through IVF in December 2004, using the husband's sperm and an egg from a donor. The couple, faced with either giving away the embryos left over from the first IVF treatment or letting them be destroyed, decided to try again. As to why she chose to have children at such a late age, with a husband approximately 20 years her junior, Cohen stated, "I just thought it would be unfair to Frank for him to marry me and never have the opportunity to have a child. He never asked me to have a child, but I knew it would make him happy".[55]
  • 2007: Veronica Mensah of Lithonia, Georgia gave birth to twins, Daniel and Diana, in July 2007, at the age of 55. She was trying to have children since she was 25, and after 30 years she decided to through IVF, which was done in her native Ghana.[56]
  • 2007: Indian woman named Brinda gave birth to twins on August 27, 2007, at the age of 55. She and her husband Alagappan were childless for 28 years due to lack of sufficient number of his sperms, so they decided to go through IVF with donor eggs and intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).[12]
  • 2007: Türkan Katicelik, a Turkish woman living in Aschaffenburg, Germany gave birth to a daughter in December 2007. The child weighed 2.1 kg, was 46 cm tall and was delivered by caesarean section. She had had several miscarriages before she gave birth to her first child. She used IVF with an anonymous 25 year old egg donor. In 2008, she announced she was a bit younger than had previously been reported, due to a mistake in the official registration. She would be 60 in July, 2009, meaning she had been 58 at the birth.[57][58]
  • 2008: Raisa Akhmadeeva gave birth to her first child in Ulyanovsk, Russia on January 10, 2008, at the age of 56. Her husband has three children from his previous marriage, but they always wanted to have a child together.[59]
  • 2008: Susan Tollefsen of Laindon, Essex gave birth to her first child, daughter Freya, in March 2008 at the age of 57, after IVF treatment with donor eggs. She was refused to be treated in Britain due to her age, so she went to Russia and Poland to receive IVF.[60] Two years later she was willing to have one more child, this time she was accepted at London Women's Clinic, and became the oldest woman in Britain who was offered this kind of treatment,[61] but later she decided not to risk her health.[62]
  • 2008: 59-year-old British Indian woman gave birth in English Midlands to twin girls conceived by IVF in India. The woman's husband was 72 years old at the moment of birth.[63]
  • 2008: 57-year-old woman gave birth to a son in Kiev, Ukraine on June 13, 2008 at the age of 57. Her first son died at age 20, later she gave birth to twin boys, but they died after 10 days, so she and her husband decided to try once again.[64]
  • 2008: Ann Stolper gave birth to her own twin granddaughters in USA in 2008, at the age of 58, acting as a surrogate mother for her daughter Caryn Chomsky and her husband Ayal. Chomsky was diagnosed with cervical cancer and was not be able to have children the traditional way.[65]
  • 2008: 59-year-old Frenchwoman of Vietnamese origin gave birth by Caesarian section to two boys and a girl in September 2008. The woman is thought to have resorted to a private Vietnamese clinic willing to overlook the age limit for egg donation and IVF, set at 45 in Vietnam. Egg donations are authorised in France, but most fertility clinics set a maximum age limit of 42 for would-be mothers.[66]
  • 2008: Jacilyn Dalenberg of Mansfield gave birth to her own triplet granddaughters on October 11, 2008, at the age of 56, acting as a surrogate mother for her daughter Kim Coseno and her husband.[67]
  • 2008: 55-year-old single woman gave birth to twin girls in Graz on November 21, 2008, by caesarian section. She became pregnant after IVF abroad. The father is anonymous.[68]
  • 2010: An Indian woman named Cicly of Muvattupuzha, Ernakulam district gave birth to a boy in St George Hospital on May 31, 2010, at the age of 58, after IVF treamment. Cicly’s first son had died many years ago at the age of three and her second son died at the age of 16 in an accident in 2008. She and her husband then decided to try to have one more child.[69]
  • 2010: 57-year-old Indian woman gave birth in Melbourne in November 2010, after IVF with sperm donated from India, setting a record to become the oldest mother in Australia.[70]

Age 60 to 64

  • 1994: Rosanna Della Corte of Canino, Italy gave birth to a son on July 18, 1994, at the age of 62. After their first son was killed when a car crashed into his motorcycle in 1991, Della Corte and her husband, Mauro, decided to attempt to have a second child. The couple tried to adopt, but were unable to, as under Italian law an adoptive parent could be no more than 40 years older than their potential child. Mauro read in the newspaper about an Italian doctor, Severino Antinori, who had helped a woman in her late 50s have a child. With Dr. Antinori's help, the Della Cortes conceived through IVF, using a donor egg and Mauro's sperm. Della Corte became pregnant on the first attempt, but miscarried after 40 days, and it took 6 more attempts before there was success.[71]
  • 1996: Arceli Keh of Highland, California gave birth to a daughter on November 7, 1996, at the age of 63. She and her husband, Isagani, had been married for 16 years when they decided to try to have a child. In order to gain admission to a fertility program that had an upper age limit of 55, Keh told doctors that she was 50, although she was in fact 10 years older at the time. Five IVF transfer cycles were required before Keh successfully became pregnant. The ovum came from a donor and was fertilized with sperm from Keh's husband.[4][72]
  • 1997: Liz Buttle of Wales gave birth to a son in November 1997, at the age of 60, after she had informed doctors that she was 49 in order to be eligible for fertility treatment.[73] Her only previous child, daughter Belinda, was born in 1956, when Liz was 19, so she is probably the woman with the longest interval between two births.[74]
  • 2001: Jeanine Salomone, French retired teacher, gave birth in 2001, at the age of 62. It is against the law in France for post-menopausal women to receive IVF so she went to the USA for treatment. The case caused some ethical debate because the two eggs donated to Jeanine by a Californian woman were inseminated with sperm from Jeanine's brother, Robert: one was brought to term by Jeanine, the other by the donor. Their doctor was not informed that Jeanine and Robert were sister and brother; he thought that they were a married couple. The infants were reportedly born into a fraught family atmosphere in which Jeanine and Robert hate each other and are wrangling over a family inheritance.[75]
  • 2001: 60-year-old Japanese woman became the oldest mother in Japan when gave birth to her first child in July 2001, after IVF treatment received in USA using her husband's sperm and egg donated by an Asian woman.[76]
  • 2004: Papathiammal Subramaniam gave birth to a son in Erode, Tamil Nadu, India on February 23, 2004, at the age of 64. The baby was delivered by caesarean section and weighed 1.75 kg (3.8 lb). He was conceived through IVF, with an egg donated by a 30-year-old relative of Subramaniam and the sperm of Subramaniam's husband, a 74-year-old farmer.[77]
  • 2006: Janise Wulf of Redding, California gave birth to a boy on February 19, 2006, at the age of 62. The baby was delivered by caesarean section, weighing 6 lb 10 oz (3.00 kg), and was conceived through in-vitro fertilization. Her doctor stated that, for women over 35, giving birth can have risks, but he agreed to oversee the procedure because Wulf was in good health. She and her second husband, Scott, said that they decided to have children together because Scott had not had any children in his previous marriage, and because they did not want their other son, also conceived through IVF, to grow up an only child. Of the 11 children Wulf had previously, the oldest was 40 at the time of the birth, and the youngest was 3. Wulf also has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.[78][79]
  • 2006: Patricia Rashbrook gave birth to a son in Brighton, United Kingdom on July 5, 2006, at the age of 62. She and her husband, John Farrant, received IVF treatment from the same fertility expert who the Della Cortes had consulted, Severino Antinori. The birth of the baby, which was born by caesarean section and weighed 6 lb 10.5 oz (3.02 kg), sparked debate over the ethics of late motherhood in the U.K.[80][81]
  • 2006: Memnune Tiryaki gave birth to her first child, a son, in Intanbul on October 9, 2006, at the age of 64, after IVF treatment with donor eggs. Tiryaki and her 62-year-old husband were trying to have children for 35 years.[82]
  • 2007: Frieda Birnbaum of Saddle River, New Jersey gave birth to twin sons on May 22, 2007, at the age of 60. The babies weighed 4 lb 11 oz (2.12 kg) each and were delivered by caesarean section. Birnbaum underwent IVF at a South African fertility clinic specializing in older women. She and her husband, who have a six-year-old son and two adult children, said that they wanted their younger son to have siblings close in age. Hospital officials believe Birnbaum may be the oldest woman to give birth to twins in the United States.[83]
  • 2007: Mileva Radulovic of Danilovgrad, northwest of Podgorica, Montenegro, gave birth in July 2007, at the age of 62. Radulovic and her 69-year-old husband Sreten became first time parent after 35 years of marriage with the help of IVF treatment.[84]
  • 2007: 61-year-old woman gave birth to her own grandchild in Tokyo, after choosing to act as a gestational surrogate for her daughter, who has no uterus and could not become pregnant herself.[85]
  • 2007: Two 61-year-old women, one of whom had twins, became first-time mothers in Switzerland in 2007. Both women became pregnant abroad after IVF treatment with donor eggs, a procedure which is banned in Switzerland.[86]
  • 2009: Ranjit Hayer of Calgary, Alberta gave birth to twins, at the age of 60, after using fertility treatments in February 2009.[87]
  • 2010: Lia Triff, wife of Paul-Philippe Hohenzollern, gave birth in Romania to Carol Ferdinand Hohenzollern in January 2010, at the age of 60.[88] She previously had a daughter born in 1973. Later Triff alleged that she used her frozen eggs.
  • 2010: Bulgarian psychiatrist Krasimira Dimitrova gave birth on May 5, 2010 to female twins Mary and Jacqueline, weighting only 0.5 and 0.9 kg, after IVF treatment, at the age of 62. She decided to become pregnant after she was refused the option of adoption because of her age. Dimitrova was initially impregnated with triplets, but later doctors decided to remove one of the foetuses. She is only the second known woman aged over 60 that has given birth to twins.[89]
  • 2010: 60-year-old Chinese woman gave birth to twin girls prematurely via Caesarean section in Hefei in May 2010. The woman and her husband decided to go through IVF treatment after the death of their 28-year-old daughter and son-in-law. The woman has said: "The girls give me and my husband the courage to live on. Despite the fact that we are old, we have the confidence to bring them up."[90]
  • 2010: 64-year-old Swiss woman, whose husband was 60, gave birth to their first child, daughter Katerina, in July 2010, after IVF treatment with donor eggs. She went to Russia for IVF because egg donation is illegal in Switzerland.[91]
  • 2010: 60-year-old Brazilian woman gave birth to her own granddaughter in September 2010 after choosing to act as a gestational surrogate for her 32-year-old daughter, who is infertile. Under Brazilian law, a surrogate mother is required to be one's close relative.[92]
  • 2011: Kristine Casey gave birth to her own grandson in February 2011 at Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago, at the age of 61. She chose to act as a surrogate for her 36-year-old daughter Sara Connell, who is infertile. Kidney complications affecting the surrogate mother shortly after birth were quickly resolved.[93]
  • 2011: Tineke Geessink of Harlingen, Netherlands, gave birth to daughter Meagan on March 22, 2011, at the age of 63. Single mother Geessink, currently the oldest woman in the Netherlands to ever give birth, explained to press that she had always longed for a child and chose to do so "whatever way she could". She was treated by an Italian doctor, who implanted a donated egg fertilized with donated sperm: the Dutch limit for such treatments is at age 45.[94] The announcement of Geessink's pregnancy sparked a debate about the ethics of late motherhood in the Netherlands.

Age 65 to 69

  • 1999: Harriet Stole of Southgate, North London, gave birth to a son in April 1999, aged 66, after agreeing to be a surrogate mother for her infertile daughter in-law, Lucy Handerson. Lucy and her husband, Harriet's son, Ross Stole, had an egg fertilized and later implanted into the womb of Harriet. The child (a boy, named Henry Thomas Handerson Stole) was born prematurely at 8 months, weighing 4 pounds 5 oz, but survived and is healthy.[95]
  • 2003: Satyabhama Mahapatra of Nayagarh, Orissa, India gave birth to a son on April 9, 2003, at the age of 65. The baby, weighing 6 lb 8 oz (2.95 kg), was born by caesarean section. Mahapatra became pregnant through the help of IVF, using an ovum donated by her 26-year-old niece and sperm from her husband, Krishnachandra. This was their first child, after 50 years of marriage. Doctors had attempted to persuade her and her husband to not have IVF. Mahapatra was also hospitalized for the last trimester of her pregnancy.[96]
  • 2005: Adriana Iliescu gave birth to a daughter at a hospital in Bucharest, Romania on January 16, 2005, at the age of 66. After undergoing IVF using donated eggs, Iliescu initially became pregnant with triplets, but one of the fetuses died in utero. The other two were delivered by caesarean section, but one of them was stillborn.
  • 2006: Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara (b. January 5, 1940, d. July 11, 2009, age 69) gave birth to twin sons at Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona, Spain on December 29, 2006, at the age of 66 — one week before her 67th birthday. The babies were delivered prematurely by caesarean section and weighed 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) each. Bousada became pregnant after receiving IVF treatment using donor eggs from a fertility clinic in Los Angeles, California, which claims that Bousada informed them that she was 55 (their maximum age for IVF treatment). Her family was unaware that she had gone to the United States to undergo fertility treatment prior to the births, and thought she was joking when she told them she was pregnant. Manuel Bousada de Lara, Bousada's older brother, criticized her decision, expressing concern over whether she would be able to raise children at her age. In response to such concerns, Bousada stated, "My mum lived to be 101 and there's no reason I couldn't do the same".[97] Maria died on July 11, 2009 from stomach cancer, which she developed soon after giving birth to her twins.[98]
  • 2007: An unnamed Austrian woman gave birth to her third child in March 2007 at the age of 66. She had previously given birth to another child, a girl weighing 6 lb (2.72 kg), in the middle of December 2002 at the age of 61. Her oldest child, a daughter, is 30. Both pregnancies over 60 were made possible by IVF. The second was overseen by Severino Antinori. This may be the only known case in the world of two pregnancies and births at over age 60.[99][100]
  • 2009: Elizabeth Adeney, aged 66, gave birth to a 5 lb 3oz son in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, England. The child, who was conceived through IVF treatment in the Ukraine from donor eggs and sperm, was delivered by caesarean section on May 28. 'It's not physical age that is important - it's how I feel inside. Some days I feel 39. Others, I feel 56.' [101]
  • 2010: Jennifer Hong, aged 65, gave birth to her second child, named Marvin, on March 1, 2010 in St. Paul's Hospital (Vancouver) in Canada. She used donor egg and sperm from a Vietnamese couple in 2009. Of becoming a mother at age 65, she has said, "It doesn't matter how old you are. It just matters that I have a family which I love. My husband, Huy stood beside me all the way and was completely supportive of me." Her oldest child, Dexter, is 19, whom she gave birth to on November 20, 1990.[citation needed]
  • 2010: Bhateri Devi, previously childless Indian woman, gave birth to triplets, two boys and a girl, at the age of 66, after IVF treatment. She is the oldest known woman to give birth to triplets.[102]

Age 70 and older

  • 1776: Mrs. Ellen Ellis supposedly gave birth to her 13th child, a boy, on 15 May 1776, in the town of Clwyd, Wales.[103] She was 72 at the time, and in her 46th year of marriage. He was stillborn.[104]
  • 2008: Omkari Panwar gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, in India via emergency cesarean section at the age of 70. The babies weighed 2 pounds each. Omkari became pregnant through IVF treatment, which she and her husband pursued in order to produce a male heir. Omkari has two adult daughters and five grandchildren. Omkari does not have a birth certificate, her age has been estimated by her claim that she was nine years old when the British Raj left India in 1947. In response to hearing that she'd possibly broken the record for world's oldest mother, Omkari stated, "If I am the world's oldest mother it means nothing to me. I just want to see my new babies and care for them while I am still able."[105]
  • 2008: Rajo Devi Lohan gave birth to a daughter at the age of 70. Lohan's health soon deteriorated and she claimed she had not been informed of any dangers. Her doctor said, "Even though Rajo's health is deteriorating, at least she will die in peace. She does not have to face the stigma of being barren. She had an ovarian cyst that was causing her problems but that has now been removed. The IVF treatment is completely safe. Rajo is an old woman and her life expectancy was only about five to seven years."[106]


Pregnancies among older women have been a subject of controversy and debate. Some argue against motherhood late in life on the basis of the health risks involved, or out of concern that an older mother might not be able or around to care for a child as she ages, while others contend that having a child is a fundamental right and that it is commitment to a child's wellbeing, not the parents' ages, that matters.[107][108][109]

A survey of attitudes towards pregnancy over age 50 among Australians found the 54.6% believed it was acceptable for a postmenopausal woman to have her own eggs transferred and that 37.9% believed it was acceptable for a postmenopausal women to receive donated ova or embryos.[110]

Governments have sometimes taken actions to regulate or restrict later-in-life childbearing. In the 1990s, France approved a bill which prohibited postmenopausal pregnancy, which the French Minister of Health at the time, Philippe Douste-Blazy, said was "...immoral as well as dangerous to the health of mother and child". In Italy, the Association of Medical Practitioners and Dentists prevented its members from providing women aged 50 and over with fertility treatment. Britain's then-Secretary of State for Health, Virginia Bottomley, stated, "Women do not have the right to have a child; the child has a right to a suitable home".[109] However, in 2005, age restrictions on IVF in the United Kingdom were officially withdrawn.[111]

Legal restrictions are only one of the barriers confronting women seeking IVF, as many fertility clinics and hospitals set age limits of their own.[97]

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