Let’s Talk: Is it fair to bring quads into the world at age 65? 514

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The pregnant German grandmother we wrote about here has given birth to her four babies at age 65. The quadruplets were born at 26 weeks gestation and are in incubators with “a good chance of surviving”, according to doctors. Annegret Raunigk conceived the babies via in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in Ukraine, allegedly because she wanted to give her 10-year-old daughter Leila (pictured above) a younger sibling.

Today, Leila has three new brothers and one baby sister who face an uphill battle in terms of their health. The smallest weighed just 655 grams at birth, the largest 960 grams, according to RTL, the TV station that covered the pregnancy. The newborn’s names are Neeta, Dries, Bence and Fjonn.

Ms Raunigk already has 13 children, plus seven grandchildren, and her pregnancy has sparked furious debate about the ethics of conceiving via IVF over a certain age, let alone having four babies at once. One doctor apparently tried to persuade the German mother to abort one or two of the foetuses but she would not consider it.

“I’m not actually afraid,” she told a magazine, “I simply assume I’ll remain healthy and fit. In matters of organisation I have enough experience, that’s not new for me,” she told a German tabloid magazine.

When we first raised this story, many of you let us know there is no way you’d consider becoming a mother in the same year you plan to retire – Ms Raunigk has just ended her career as a teacher. And as for having four babies to look after on your own – no thank you!

But today we want to talk about the lives of the four tiny children born to the oldest woman to give birth to quadruplets. Is it fair on them to be brought into such an uncertain world, with a mother who will be in her late 70s as they hit their teens? Share your thoughts!

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  1. It is her business – but I can’t understand why she would want to at 65. I am 65 and I couldn’t think of anything worse.

    6 REPLY
    • Sorry but it isn’t her business, it’s the business of those poor little babies born at 26 weeks….her IVF dr should be struck off….no 65 year old is energetic enough to look after 1 baby alone and full time, let alone 4!!! By the way how does she support herself and the children, is she very wealthy….or does the government of her country support her and her children?…….

    • yes agree how did she get ivf at that age i went through that at 24 and still could’nt have children now i’m 64

  2. I love my adult children but I’d rather eat razor blades than be pregnant at 65, let alone with quads!

    12 REPLY
    • Salt and pepper and sauce on those razor blades Anne Hare? I’m with you but draw the line at razor blades – maybe a few boxes of chocolates LOL

    • Same here, no way known would I want to be giving birth to 1 baby let or though 4 at that age! I’m squeezing my legs together just reading this, lol!

    • I am 63 and I couldn’t imagine having another child. Just enjoying the grandchildren. I think she is crazy but each to their own. I only hope she lives long enough life to raise them!!

    • Quite frankly, after 13 kids I think any woman who goes through IVF at 64-65 must have a real problem with reality. I don’t think it’s fair to the young ones..she could easily die before they become teenagers and then the responsibility falls on her other kids. I’ve had 4 kids of my own and am older than she is and know I couldn’t cope with her choice.

    • This is not a “I have never had children and science can help me” This is this womans desire for more children….Did she think about their future with an old mum or NO mum…Has she asked the other kids if they will bring up these 4, feed, educate and support them through their teenage years…I believe this is so very selfish…When is 13 not enough..

  3. It’s her business but it’s a stupid thing to do I wouldn’t

    4 REPLY
    • It will become the business of the family members who have to take the responsibility of raising these children because she is to old or died.

    • She may live a long life, long enough to have them grown when she goes!!! If she’s 95 then she could be a grandmother!! Pessimists!!!

    • I don’t think it should have been entirely her decision. It strikes me as weird that that people talk about the rights of the unborn when it comes to abortion, but the future rights of the unborn don’t get nearly the same consideration. She will be in her late seventies when these children are teenagers. That’s just not fair on the children.

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