Photo Credit: Getty ImagesMany woman and couples dream of starting a family and having their own babies. But are they going to extremes without thinking of the future ramifications of fertility treatments and having multiples?
According to news reports out of Spain, 69-year-old Maria del Carmen Bousada, the oldest woman in the world to give birth, has died. Her twin sons are two years old, and it appears that Bousada's brother, Ricardo, will help raise the kids.
Bousada gave birth to her sons, Pau and Christian, when she was 66 years old. She came to the U.S. to receive in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment because she apparently could not receive fertility treatments in Spain due to her age.
Bousada went to Pacific Fertility Clinic in Los Angeles, Calif. for treatment and she lied about her age, saying she was 55. The clinic claims she falsiified documents to hide her real age. Nonetheless, the clinic still conducted fertility treatments on what they assumed was a 55-year-old woman who had been menopausal for 18 years!
Bousada's death and the fact that she leaves behind two toddlers is clearly tragic. And probably could have been avoided if the fertility clinic had investigated her background more thoroughly.
Yes, fertility clinics need to be better monitored and set more stringent rules about age limits for fertility treatments. And that's a huge, huge issue.
But there are other big issues that we haven't even begun to address when it comes to woman having babies past a certain age, or when mutiples are brought into a family. Let's look at a few recent examples:
- "Jon & Kate Plus 8": The Gossleins are obviously a hot topic right now, but it's pretty clear that having twins and sextuplets put a strain on this couple's marriage since they are now divorcing.
- Octuplet-gate: Nadya Suleman underwent IVF treatment after she already had six young children at home. She gave birth to octuplets earlier this year, and now her gaggle of kids has grown to 14. She had no means to support her family, and yet...still went through fertility treatments.
- Adriana Illiescu: Illiescu also received fertility treatment and gave birth to a baby in 2005 when she was 66 years old. Her daughter is now four years old. Will the fertility treatments affect Illiescu's health down the road? It's unknown.
At what point are we crossing the line to have kids? When do we start looking at it as fertility abuse? And how old is too old to have a baby?