A 72-year old Indian woman and her 79-year-old husband became parents for the first time, 46 years after being married. Daljinder Kaur gave birth to a baby boy in April, after two years of IVF treatment.
This makes Kaur one of the oldest women to give birth, and while she does not have an official proof of her birth, doctors place her age between 70 and 72 years. The couple have named the boy, who was born on April 19, 2016, Arman, the Hindi word for wish.
"Everyone asked me to adopt a baby, but I did not want to. I had faith in the almighty, and knew I will bear my child one day,” Kaur told reporters.
Kaur, a resident of the northern Indian city of Amritsar, travelled to the National Fertility and Test Tube Baby Centre in the nearby town of Hisar, for treatment. The clinic had also helped a 70-year-old woman named Rajo Devi Lohan deliver a baby through IVF in 2008.
After medical tests indicated that she was fit to conceive, Kaur had two failed attempts with IVF before successfully conceiving last year. Kaur’s husband, an agriculturalist named Mohinder Singh Gill, said that the couple had not had time to see a doctor earlier due to lack of awareness and a family feud. The couple had even adopted a boy, who left to study in the US and never returned.
Kaur and Lohan are among a growing number of elderly Indian women, who undergo IVF treatment in the hope of having a child, due to societal pressures on women to produce children and the conventions surrounding the inheritance of property by a biological heir.
I am not sure what my stance is on this. First of all, can a woman well past menopause produce eggs, even with fertility treatments? I think not... it would have to be a donor egg. And the powerful hormone treatments to prepare a uterus, that old, for pregnancy may very well put the woman's life at risk . And those treatments would have to be ongoing right through the pregnancy to ensure the safety of the baby. Another concern is an ethical one....should people of that age have a child when they know it is unlikely they will live long enough to see him grow much past ten years or so?? They would have to have another set of caregivers in place for that eventuality. If this is a growing trend in India or elsewhere in the world, I am torn between supporting people's rights to pursuit of happiness and family and concern for all the orphans who will suffer the consequences.