Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Our strange fear of older mothers

Mature mums

Patricia Rashbrook, a child psychiatrist from Lewes, East Sussex, gave birth to a ababy boy in July 2006 at 62 years old after having fertility treatment (donor eggs) .

Rita Garcia delivered a baby girl in July 2006 in Hammond, Indiana at 52 years old. She had already gone through menopause has given birth with help from modern medicine and eggs donated by a niece.

Adriana Iliescu, a retired university professor from Bucharest, gave birth to a baby girl in January 2005 aged 66 after receiving IVF.

Satyabhama Mahapatra, a teacher from India, had a boy in 2003 when she was 65 using an egg from her niece and her niece's husband.

Rosanna Dalla Corte from Italy, gave birth to a baby boy in 1994 at 63, using donor eggs.

Arceli Keh, from California, had her first child, a daughter, in 1996 at 63.

Pauline Lyon, briefly Britain's oldest mother in 1995 when she had a son at 55, said recently of older mothers: "It is down to whether the person is healthy. I think 'Good on her'."

The Daily Mail marked the news that 56-year-old Lynne Bezant is to give birth to twins by interviewing Liz Buttle, the 63-year-old who, also as a result of in vitro fertilisation (IVF), gave birth to a boy in 1997. Joe Buttle is plainly a healthy, happy child, but his mother, the article suggested, is wholly unsuitable. "Mrs Buttle is a scruffy, careworn figure. Her body is in reasonable shape, but the lines on her face leave you in no doubt she is in her 60s".

The message could scarcely be plainer. Though Liz Buttle is fitter and more active than most women half her age, though she is clearly a strong, reliable, caring person, she didn't deserve to become pregnant, for she is no longer attractive to men. While elderly fathers are admired for their prowess, elderly mothers are an offence against nature.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,427825,00.html

What exactly are they afraid of? Is is true that to "deserve " a pregnancy, you need to still be atttractive to men? That seems an odd criteria...


Cricket said...

I don't think it is about attractivenss, it is about age from the perspective of someone younger writing baout it. Aging women are beautiful in their own way and many aging men appreciate them for who they are. Outer beauty is less important to the older. This comment was obviously made my someone younger.

Anonymous said...

I respect a woman's desire to have a baby, but I do wonder if the children of these seniors will suffer as a result. I know the the love they have to these babies is incredible, but what else does it take to raise a child? Move time forward just a bit and ponder the child's place. How does a 72-year-old woman run after a 4-year-old child? What about the increased chances that the parent will pass? Yes, I know parents of younger years die, but it is not usual. I believe many of these children will be caring for elderly parents when they should be attending college or starting their own families. I personally would not want to be one of these children, though I do sympathize with the senior mothers' desires to have children.

Anonymous said...

I was brought up by my parents and did not bond with my mother who had me at twenty seven, but the bond I had with my grandmother was infinitely better, she was older, wiser, and more patient (I hope I am not stereotyping)we spent endless times together and I miss her enormously.I am sure that this happens more than we think and benefits everyone. If older women become mothers I can see no harm.