A 62-year-old woman has given birth to her third child, according to The Daily Mail.
Lina Alvarez is a Spanish Doctor. Her daughter, who Alvarez has named Lina, was born yesterday two weeks early by c-section after Alvarez was admitted to hospital for high blood pressure, a risk factor commonly associated with pregnancy complications including pre-eclampsia.
Alvarez began menopause over 20 years ago, but sought out fertility treatment to fall pregnant.
Mother and child are healthy and recovering well, despite being the subject of intense criticism.
Alvarez follows a number of older mothers, including Indian woman Daljiner Kaur who is the oldest documented mother. She gave birth last year at the age of 70 to a baby boy, Armaan.
A 65-year-old German woman, Annegret Raunigk, also made headlines last year when she gave birth to quadruplets and took them home to join her thirteen older children.
In Australia, it was just months ago that an unidentified 62-year-old Tasmanian woman gave birth to a child, making her Australia’s oldest new mother.
There’s no doubt these women and their partners are pushing the boundaries of medical science, and that raises a number of ethical questions.
How safe is it for women over 50 or even 60 to have fertility treatments? How safe is it for them to go through a pregnancy?
Are there issues around the child’s relative age to his or her parents? How will they be cared for as they grow while their parents age? Who will look after the child if the parent or parents die?
These are not unreasonable questions to ask, except for the fact that they assume the woman having the fertility treatment, carrying the child and giving birth to it is an idiot.
Reflect on it for a little longer.
This is a woman probably of some independent means, at least enough to be paying for expensive fertility treatments. And some education, at least enough to know that there are treatments she can access and to be able to understand enough to know the potential risks and complications associated with them.