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70-year-old claimed to be world's oldest mother

7 July 2008
Appeared in BioNews 465

A 70-year-old woman in India is reportedly the world's oldest woman to give birth, when she had twins last week. The girl and boy babies were delivered one month early by emergency caesarean section but are reportedly alive and well after being transferred to specialist neonatal care at Jaswant Roy Speciality Hospital.

Omkari Panwar and her 77-year-old husband, Charan Singh Panwar, have two grown daughters and five grandchildren but wanted a male heir and sought IVF assistance, according to newspaper reports. 'The treatment cost me a fortune but the birth of a son makes it all worthwhile. I can die a happy man and a proud father,' said Charan, a retired farmer, who told reporters that he mortgaged his land, spent his life savings, sold his buffalos and obtained a credit card loan to afford the IVF treatment costing 350,000 rupees (roughly £4,375).

Journalists were unable to verify Omkari Panwar's age because she does not have a birth certificate and does not know her birth-date. Instead, her recollection that she was nine years old at the time of Indian independence in 1947 has been used to determine her age to be 70. If accurate, then Omkari is four years older than the 66-year-old Romanian woman, Adriana Iliescu, who previously was believed to be the oldest woman to give birth when she had a daughter in 2005. Britain's oldest mother is Patricia Rashbrook, who gave birth to a son in 2006 aged 62, after paying £10,000 for IVF treatment in Russia.

Omkari dismissed any awareness of the record and fails to see its 'benefit': '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'. Critics of post-menopausal motherhood say that they should not be allowed to receive fertility treatment because of increased health risks to mother and child. Others question the ability of geriatric parents to cope with young children and the harm of early parental bereavement.

Indian woman claims to be world's oldest mother at 70
The Daily Telegraph |  4 July 2008
World's oldest mother gives birth to twins at 70
The Daily Mail |  5 July 2008
World's oldest mother has twins at age of 70
The Scotsman |  4 July 2008
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....
26 May 2009 - by Dr Sarah Spain 
The record for Britain's oldest women to give birth will be broken next month by 66 year old Elizabeth Munro, from Cambridge. It is thought that Ms Munro, who is single and a successful business woman, travelled to the Ukraine to become pregnant using donor eggs and...
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....
14 December 2008 - by Sarah Pritchard 
An Indian woman has given birth to a baby girl by Caesarean section at the age of 70, after receiving fertility treatment in her home state of Haryana in India. Rajo Devi and her husband Bala Ram remained childless during 55 years of marriage before they heard...
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