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60 year old woman gives birth to twins

29 May 2007
Appeared in BioNews 409

A sixty year-old woman has become the oldest women in the US to give birth to twins. The two healthy boys were delivered in the US Hackensack University Medical Centre on 22 May.

The twins were conceived via IVF in a South African clinic. The couple, Frieda Birabaun, a psychologist and her husband Ken, a New York attorney, are said to be delighted with the new arrivals. They have three other children - two boys aged six and 33 and a girl aged 29. Their youngest son was also conceived via IVF and the couple is reported to have been partly motivated to have a fourth child to provide a sibling for their youngest son.

Stories of women over 60 giving birth following IVF pregnancies has generated debate in recent years around how old is too old to become a parent. The oldest woman in the world to give birth - also to twins - was 67 at the time of delivery, in Spain last December.

Frieda Birabaun is reported to view the issue of later motherhood in terms of women's rights. She has said that she wants women to feel empowered by the possibility of bearing children later in life, and wants women to realise that they have choices.

The possibility of conceiving so late in life, via IVF, raises ethical questions about how much choice women should have over when they have children. The risks associated with pregnancy are known to increase with age and the number of viable fetuses per pregnancy. Concerns have also been raised about the impact of having older parents on the welfare of the child. In developed countries, however, people are living longer and healthier lives and to prevent access to assisted reproduction on the basis of age alone could be perceived as unjust age discrimination.

In US there is no upper age limit on access to assisted reproduction, although the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), which represents 85 per cent of clinics in the US, recommends that IVF should be offered to women under 50, using donor eggs, and under 44, using their own eggs. In the UK, National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines specify that access to IVF on the NHS should be only be offered to women between the ages of 23 and 39.

60-year-old mother of twins says she hopes to inspire other women
The Boston Globe |  24 May 2007
60-Year-Old Woman Delivers Twin Boys |  24 May 2007
Mom at Age 60: 'Age Has Been Redefined'
The Guardian |  24 May 2007
Woman Defends Decision To Give Birth At 60 |  24 May 2007
18 January 2010 - by Dr Vivienne Raper 
A 59-year-old British woman who conceived her two-year-old daughter by in IVF (vitro fertilisation) has faced criticism after saying she wants more children. Sue Tollefsen, from Essex, had told makers of a BBC documentary about older mothers to be shown later this month that she was '110 per cent' sure she wanted more treatment....
17 August 2009 - by Dr Sammy Lee 
Did the death of Maria Bousada change public attitudes to the modern phenomenon headlined as 'Oldest Mums'? The world's media certainly made hay and the news reverberated for a few days; and it seems likely that the Channel 4 documentary 'the Worlds Oldest Mums' was rescheduled to screen early to catch the media wave which the death generated. The aftermath, though, of this tsunami seems to have largely been relative indifference....
20 July 2009 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
The world’s oldest mother has died from cancer aged 69. María Carmen del Bousada de Lara, from Spain, gave birth to twins two years ago through IVF...
16 February 2009 - by Sarah Pritchard 
A 60 year-old woman has sparked controversy in Canada by travelling to India to receive fertility treatment after years of failed attempts to conceive naturally. Ranjit Hayer, originally from India, has become the oldest woman in Canada to give birth after receiving IVF at Dr Anoop Gupta's Delhi fertility clinic; her twin boys were delivered seven weeks prematurely by Caesarean section at the Foothills hospital in Calgary last week....
11 June 2007 - by Danielle Hamm 
Recent figures released by the UK fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), show a tenfold plus increase in women over 40 seeking fertility treatment using their own eggs. The number of women over 40 seeking fertility treatment using donated eggs is not know, but...
7 January 2007 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
A 67-year old Spanish woman has become the world's oldest mother, after giving birth to twins at the end of last month. The woman and her sons are in good health, following a smooth delivery, a spokesman for the Sant Pau hospital in Barcelona said...
10 July 2006 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
A 62-year old woman has become the UK's oldest woman to give birth to a child. Dr Patricia Rashbrook, who already has three children aged 18, 22 and 26, underwent IVF treatment using donor eggs in order to conceive her son, who was born by...
15 May 2006 - by Professor Ian Craft 
Let me make my position clear from the start. I consider fertility specialists have an absolute obligation to provide a clinical service to deal with all types of fertility problem so that certain groups are not discriminated against, provided that methods used are legal and fall within a sensible framework...
5 May 2006 - by BioNews 
A 62-year old woman who will become the UK's oldest woman to give birth to a child has defended her decision to have IVF to enable her to have a baby. Dr Patricia Rashbrook, who already has three children aged 17, 22 and 26, is seven months pregnant and...
17 January 2005 - by BioNews 
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...
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