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Robin von Halle

world's oldest momThe world of fertility can be hugely controversial. Whether it’s abortion, or techniques like donated eggs or gestational surrogacy, or decisions by people like the “Octo Mom,” it’s hard to get away from public opinions and attitudes.

And of course, the media covers the most outrageous instances or those involving public figures and celebrities to death, which tends to fan the flames. Sarah Jessica Parker and Mathew Broderick – and their surrogate – found this out first hand. While feeling sympathy for the backlash they experienced, I, for one, applaud their courage in going public about their reasons for going the surrogacy route. It makes this option seem as less of an anomaly than many would think.

Three years ago, a controversy erupted in the fertility world when Spain’s Maria del Carmen Bousada gave birth to twins. At age 66, she became the world’s oldest mother. With the help of a fertility clinic – she lied about her age – she received hormone treatment to reverse the effects of menopause and received donated eggs fertilized with donated sperm.

Implied in the worldwide coverage: What’s an old lady like this doing getting pregnant? Since her mother lived to 101, she wasn’t all that worried about being around during the formative years. But she died July 11, diagnosed with a tumor shortly after her sons’ birth.

Because of the way medical technology is advancing, biological norms are shifting fast. You could say there are no norms anymore. That’s enough in itself to polarize people.

But just how old is too old? And just because you can have a baby in your golden years, should you? This ABC News report discusses different perspectives. How do you feel about it?

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About Us

Conception Connections is a blog about alternative paths to family creation. It is maintained by Alternative Reproductive Resources. Contributors include intended parents, egg donors and gestational surrogates in addition to ARR staff. Our goal is to facilitate conversations about trends, issues, current events, technology and personal stories surrounding infertility, egg donation and gestational surrogacy. If you'd like to contribute, please e-mail We also welcome your comments and suggestions. Note: Comments are moderated and posted on approval.


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