Friday, May 25, 2007


A couple of days ago, a 60 year old woman in New Jersey gave birth to twins. That's right, a SIXTY year old woman. The woman and her husband also have two adult children and a six year old. The new arrivals, and, presumably, their six year old sibling, were conceived through artificial insemination.

Amazingly enough, however, she does not hold the record for the world's oldest mother. With the assistance of artificial insemination, this record has been currently pushed up to 67 or so. Before this technology was widely available, the record for oldest mother was held by a 57 year old woman who gave birth in 1956 to a child conceived in the old fashioned way.

I am confused as to why anyone would even want to give birth at this age. Most women this age have raised their children and are enjoying their lives free of childcare responsibilities and, perhaps, as grandmothers. Most men and women look forward to retirement and their lives slowing to a more leisurely pace, not to getting up in the middle of the night to feed a crying baby, nor chasing after active toddlers.

It's a bit more understandable that some might want to adopt children at an older age, but I can't see a woman wanting to go through the physical rigors of pregnancy well past the age nature intended -- especially without the fun that precedes a normal pregnancy.

I also think there's something essentially selfish about people this age using extraordinary means to have children. There's a very good reason why women experience menopause -- nature intended that the odds be in favor of a new mother living long enough to see her child to adulthood.


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