Babies over 60: miracles of birth or distasteful intervention?

Anyone who sat back and watched Liz Hayes present on ‘Late Bloomers” on Sixty Minutes last night would no doubt have formed an opinion about the story on women over 60 and some much older, giving birth to firstborn children.  Being over 60, you know more about how your bodies function, how tired you get, how much you might have wanted children at any age, and how much you fear your own mortality more than the reporters making the story.

 

If you missed the story, it provided a snapshot of several mothers throughout the world who had given birth between the ages of 50 and 65 with the help of donated eggs and either their younger husband’s sperm, or donated sperm.  All of the women had relied on IVF for conception and had had what looked to be healthy happy children.

You can watch it here… http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8681791 

But they were growing up with mothers in their sixties, with at best 20-30 years of life ahead of them at current average mortality rates.  The story presented this as not miraculous, but rather, exasperating.

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Whilst these mothers got the babies they always wanted and never had for a variety of reasons earlier in life, is it fair to do this to the children?  Is it an appropriate step for the older women?

 

Are these babies miracles of nature or a challenge the older ladies shouldn’t have taken on at such an age?

 

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How do you feel about IVF and medical research being used in this way to make women over 60 into first time mothers?

 

Would you have contemplated this should it have been available to you?

 

image: from Channel 9, 60 Minutes program