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January 24, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: World's Oldest Mother Gives Birth at Age 66


It happened a week ago today in Romania.

Adriana Iliescu (above and below), an unmarried professor of literature from Bucharest, gave birth, via Cesarean section, to a 3 pound, 3 ounce girl.

She had become pregnant through in-vitro fertilization after nine years of fertility treatments.

The sperm and egg came from anonymous donors.

Bishop Ciprian Campineanul of the Romanian Orthodox Church said that the church disagreed in principle with any pregnancy resulting from in-vitro fertilization, whatever the age of the mother.

He added, "This case has shocked us all. This was a selfish act."

I was most interested to read in the ABC News report that "there is no law in Romania stipulating a maximum age for artificial insemination. A draft law awaiting approval in parliament bans fertility treatment for women who are above the normal reproductive age."



And who decides what "normal" is?

A group of old white men, some in suits, others in religious garb?

Back in the day, there was a bumper sticker


that enunciated quite eloquently, I think, the appropriate role of the law in areas such as this.

January 24, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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Definitely selfish. and threatening to the health of the child. at a certain point a womans ability to carry a baby is impaired too, even with donor eggs/ why not adopt if youre so desperate for children?

Posted by: passingby | Feb 18, 2006 5:26:53 AM

Jill, do you know this woman personally; her motivations, desires? What great harm has she done? She has merely carried through. I personally would like to meet this woman. She must be exceptional (definitely not a study in mediocrity.)

Posted by: ScienceChic | Jan 26, 2005 10:09:45 PM

Wolfie, I didn't mean to stir your sycophantic passions. I, too, think Joe rocks, but I don't always agree with him. Just think about it. The egg and sperm were from donors, meaning the woman can't be terribly interested in a genetic legacy. All she wanted was the birthing experience. Now, consider that she has been trying to conceive for nine years. If all she wanted was a baby she could have adopted (or even fostered) a baby nine years ago she could have had so much more to offer the child. Yet she didn't do this. She wanted to give birth regardless of the consequences. As for your other comments, you lack an open mind and Joe's class.

Posted by: Jill | Jan 26, 2005 6:50:46 PM

Most children think their parents are freaks at some point. Clif, may I refer you to the constipation article as you seem to have a preoccupation with other people's shit.

Posted by: ScienceChic | Jan 26, 2005 5:38:49 PM

What a load of shit Wolfie.

Joe entertains me as well and I generally find him informative, but sometimes he throws out a load of shit just like anyone else.

For the record, just because someone can physically do something with their body doesn't give anyone the right to do so. I use to believe in the libretarian view of keep your hands off my body, but what makes one person's rights any more important that someone else that can't make the decision on their own. No one thinks its inhumane to keep a woman from indulging in drugs or alcohol while pregnant -- because its known that in many cases it will harm the child. Some women have been locked up because of their refusal to protect their fetus. This woman is engaging in a risk that is approaching the same odds. Life is not a guarentee, but if you know that you will most likely be dead before this child can even reach puberty and can't realize the selfishness of it, then the law needs to do something about it.

The libretarian viewpoint is often overly optimistic, short sighted and very wrong. In this case, I'd have hoped the gov't had their hands on this womans body but it didn't happen.

Posted by: clif | Jan 26, 2005 2:07:04 PM

Jill, your acidic tongue tells all that the bitterness has crept into your mouth and is currently residing there. The mother of that child is not a freak. Nor is she selfish. If she has love for her child, her age should not be a factor. No one is asking you to agree with Joe, nor is Joe. The site is one person's honest effort to display stories of interest. If you think you can do better at entertaining the people who visit this site, feel free to do so. Best of luck in your life, you certainly display some wonderfully magnetic qualities, they repel...

Posted by: Wolfie | Jan 26, 2005 11:03:28 AM

Do we all have to agree with Joe? What the hell? That idiot woman will one day have to explain to her child why she would ever bring her into the world when she cannot provide the life-long support a child needs. The girl will be alone in the world. She'll be the odd one out and known as "that girl who's mother was so old". She'll be a freak. That's not love, that's selfish. The mother is not thinking about what she can do for her child, she's thinking of how she will benefit from a child. She is a freak herself. On the other hand, I do agree that the gov't should stay out of it.

Posted by: Jill | Jan 26, 2005 1:56:59 AM

Yeah, it's really there in our cultural psyche. If only all parents had to work so hard to get their children maybe they would value them more.

Posted by: ScienceChic | Jan 25, 2005 10:12:38 PM

ScienceChic, I agree. The people who object are about equally as likely to start denying parenthood to poor people, or certain ethnic groups, on similar grounds. I was merely pointing out the do-gooders' usual justification: "Think of the children!"

Posted by: Phillip Winn | Jan 25, 2005 11:35:35 AM

If you read the fine print on the contract no one is guaranteed to survive their child. I say "Go girl"; might as well live as long as you're alive.

Posted by: ScienceChic | Jan 24, 2005 5:47:30 PM

I hate laws like that. Then again, consider how old this woman will be when her children hits 18 -- 84, if she's still alive. I can see how people argue that such a law is to protect the child!

Posted by: Phillip Winn | Jan 24, 2005 5:17:03 PM

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