70-year-old woman gives birth
An Indian woman who says she is 70 years old has given birth to a baby girl after taking fertility treatments, her doctor said Tuesday.
Rajo Devi delivered her baby by caesarean section Nov. 28, said Dr. Anurag Bishnoi of the National Fertility Centre in northern Haryana state. Dr. Bishnoi told journalists that Devi and her baby, who weighed just over 3lbs, are in good health.
"I'm happy. The baby is doing well," Devi said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, her husband Bala Ram, 72, answered questions about how their advanced age might affect their baby's care.
"The upbringing of the child will not pose any problems. We have a joint family as is common in Haryana," he said.
It is impossible to verify whether Devi is the world's oldest woman to give birth as she has no birth certificate. But Devi, who lives in a village north of New Delhi, is reported to have been menopausal for two decades.
The Telegraph newspaper reports that when Devi failed to produce any children after 10 years of marriage, Ram married her younger sister in hopes that she might give him children. While his second marriage was illegal, such acts are socially accepted in parts of rural India, including Haryana, where there is a stigma attached to not having children.
But Devi's sister did not have any children and all three lived together, childless, until seeking fertility treatments earlier this year. Media reports do not make clear whose egg and sperm were used.
Devi said the couple decided to try the procedure after reading newspaper reports of a 58-year-old woman who last year delivered twins conceived through the procedure.
A growing number of couples have turned to fertility treatments in India, where there are relatively lax regulations for such procedures.
In 2006, Carmela Bousada of Spain became what was believed to be the oldest new mother when she delivered twin boys at age 66.
Before that, Romanian citizen Adriana Iliescu gave birth to a baby girl in January 2005, also at 66. Bousada was 130 days older than Iliescu when she gave birth.
With files from the Associated Press