By Mary Ellen McLaughlin

A 61-year-old Japanese woman serves as a surrogate for her daughter. A 59-year-old in France gives birth to triplets via egg donation.

Women’s health today is better than ever, but where do you draw the line on age when it comes to surrogacy and egg donation?

It’s wonderful that a mother was able to help her daughter have the family she always wanted. But choosing an older woman to carry your child comes with risks. The same goes for much older women accepting donated eggs. (Most agencies have a cut-off age for those accepting the donated eggs because of the pregnancy risks involved.)

Older women have a higher risk for complications during pregnancy, including high blood pressure, diabetes and even heart attacks, due to the body’s increased blood supply. And that extends to the delivery. Many deliver via cesarean section, and recovery takes longer.

One of our requirements for gestational surrogates (which is the case with most agencies) is that they be between the ages of 21 and 39.  However, those between the ages of 35 and 39 must be in exceptional health.

Pregnancy and delivery for older women are not ideal, and I’d have a hard time advocating for it. Still, these particular women were able to have healthy pregnancies and babies, so let’s wish these new families the best of luck moving forward!

What do you think? How old is too old to be a surrogate or give birth via egg donation?

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