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Oldest woman to give birth dies at 69, twins now orphaned

By Alethea Borgman     Jul 15, 2009 in Health
A 69-year-old Spanish woman has died following the birth of her 2-year-old twins who were conceived under alleged 'deceit' when she convinced a U.S. fertility clinic she was young enough to give birth and subsequently received fertility treatment.
Maria del Carmen Bousada was the oldest woman to give birth and has died at 69, leaving behind the twins, according to recent reports.
The Spanish woman falsified her age, and later gave birth to twins in December 2006 after declaring to a clinic in Los Angeles that she was just 55 years of age.
According to the Guinness World Records the 66-year-old woman was the oldest woman on record to give birth and the story fuelled debate over the responsibility of fertility clinics to offer fertility treatment to women beyond a ‘so called’ natural age.
Bousada stated at the time that the Pacific Fertility Center did not ask her for identification, and as her mother had died at 101, she stood a good chance of living long enough to raise her children. She allegedly sold her house to raise $59,000 to pay for the in-vitro fertilization.
Dr. Vicken Sahakian, director and owner of the clinic, said Bousada falsified her birth date on documents from Spain.
When he discovered that she had lied he said; "I figured something might happen and wind up being a disaster for these kids, and unfortunately I was right." He implied that women find it comfortable to lie to their doctors.
"We don't ask for passports, obviously," Sahakian said. "When is the last time you went to a doctor and he asked you for a birth certificate? We're not detectives here."
Her brother Ricardo Bousada, told a local newspaper; Diario de Cadiz that she had died but he was reluctant to disclose the cause.
The proprietor of the clinic: Sahakian said he implanted the Spanish woman with a younger woman's eggs and donated sperm, using hormones to "rejuvenate" her uterus with hormone therapy after she had been in menopause for 18 years.
"Nothing she did (to get pregnant) caused her illness," he said.
Her brother Ricardo, told El Periodico de Catalunya that he had exclusively sold the story of his sister's death to an unidentified television program and that the profits would go to looking after his sister's twin boys, Pau and Christian.
Bousada lived with her mother for most of her life in Cadiz and worked in a department store before retiring. Bousada took the decision to have children following her mother’s death in 2005 and initially kept her family plans a secret..
Spanish law sets no age limit for assisted reproduction although state-funded and private clinics set the limit at 50 years of age informally agreed following recommendations from te scientific community according to the Health Ministry.
More about In-vitro fertilization, Spanish woman, Dies with twins, Fertility treatment, Cadiz
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