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Baby girl for world's oldest mother

17 January 2005
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 291

A 66-year-old Romanian woman has become the world's oldest recorded mother, after giving birth to a healthy baby girl. Adriana Iliescu, who was 32 weeks pregnant with twins, underwent a Caesarean section after one of the babies died in the womb. The surviving girl, named Eliza Maria, is still in intensive care, but is described as being 'in perfect health'. According to Ms Iliescu's doctor, Bogdan Marinescu, Adriana herself is 'very happy and is feeling very well'.

Marinescu said that the premature death of one of the twins was not connected to the age of her mother. Ms Iliescu was originally pregnant with triplets, but lost one of the fetuses in the tenth week of pregnancy. Ms Iliescu became pregnant using sperm from an anonymous donor, following nine years of hormone treatment to delay her menopause. Marinescu justified the treatment by saying that Ms Iliescu was in 'the right condition to carry a pregnancy', and also said that he was impressed by her determination to have a child and her faith in God.

News of Ms Iliescu's pregnancy broke at the beginning of the year. At the time, she said that she had put all her efforts into having a career and found no time to build relationships or start a family. 'After retiring I regretted it bitterly', she said, adding 'but I never gave up hope'. She continued: 'I believed a woman has a right to give birth and that is why I followed my dream, no matter how old I was'.

Previously, the oldest recorded woman to give birth was a 65-year old Indian woman called Satyabhama Mahapatra, who had a baby in 2003. She had used an egg donated from her 26-year old niece, which was fertilised with her husband's sperm. Liz Buttle became the UK's oldest mother in 1997, when she had a son at the age of 60, after claiming she was 49 in order to receive treatment.

Commenting on Ms Iliescu's treatment, a spokesman for the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said: 'A woman in this person's circumstances would almost certainly not be treated'. He added 'There's no upper age limit in this county. In each case you have to look at what's in the interest of the child. One of the things is age. Are you able to care for the child as they grow up?'

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Children's author becomes oldest woman to give birth
The Independent |  17 January 2005
Groups criticise mother who gave birth at 67
The Daily Telegraph |  17 January 2005
Romanian woman gives birth at 67
BBC News Online |  16 January 2005
When this new baby is 16, her mother will be 82
The Times |  17 January 2005
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