A Spanish woman believed to have become the world's oldest new mother when she gave birth at 66 has died at 69, leaving behind twin toddlers, newspapers reported Wednesday.
Maria del Carmen Bousada, who reportedly died Saturday, gave birth in December 2006 as a single mother after getting in vitro fertilization treatment at a clinic in Los Angeles.
The births ignited a firestorm of debate over how old is too old for a new mother, and how much responsibility fertility clinics have over who gets treatments.
Bousada told an interviewer she lied to the fertility clinic about her age, and maintained that because her mother had lived to be 101, she had a good chance of living long enough to raise a child.
Bousada's death was reported by the newspaper El Mundo and Diario de Cadiz . Cadiz is the southern province where Bousada lived her whole life, The Associated Press reports.
According to FoxNews, a 72-year-old woman who has already spent $62,000 on fertility treatments in an effort to give birth is about to try again.
If successful with what will be her seventh course of in vitro fertilization, Jenny Brown will become the world's oldest mother.
The world's oldest mother was Maria del Carmen Bousada Lara, who gave birth to twin boys seven days before her 67th birthday in 2006. Bousada died Saturday of breast cancer, sparking fears that the disease was triggered by the hormones she used to facilitate her pregnancy.
"Any mother can die at any age,” said Brown, a former academic who has never had a long-term partner. “I hope to live to 100, but I'll ask one of my younger friends to be a guardian in case.”
Josephine Quintavalle, the head of the Comment on Reproductive Ethics campaigning group, was more forthcoming. She said: "This is horrifying, it's such a sad story. The poor children have been created and treated like objects. I'm sorry but she's been totally selfish.
"Why would a woman want to become a mother at an age when she knows her children are much more likely to be orphaned when they're young? Women are not meant to have babies when they're in their sixties," informs The Register.