Technology & Science

Oldest mom's orphaned twins go to godfather

The two-year-old twins of the oldest woman to give birth, who died last week at 69, will be raised by their godfather, a newspaper in Madrid reported Thursday.

The two-year-old twins of the oldest woman to give birth, who died last week at 69, will be raised by their godfather, a newspaper in Madrid reported Thursday.

The man is an adult nephew of the twins' mother Maria del Carmen Bousada, the Diario de Cadiz newspaper said, without citing a source.

Spanish child welfare officials would not confirm that information, but said there was no need for the state to take custody because the children had living relatives.

Bousada, who was not married, gave birth to the boys in December 2006 after undergoing in vitro fertilization at the Pacific Fertility Clinic in Los Angeles.

She underwent hormone treatments to reverse nearly 20 years of menopause and sold her house to pay for the procedure.

She deceived doctors at the clinic by telling them she was 55, its age limit for applying that procedure to single women.

Her death set off a global debate on the ethics of fertility treatment and late motherhood.

Bousada falsified her birth date on documents from Spain, Dr. Vicken Sahakian, director and owner of the clinic, told The Associated Press in an interview.

Upon learning of the deception, "I figured something might happen and wind up being a disaster for these kids, and unfortunately I was right," he said.

It's easy for people to lie to their doctors, he added. "We don't ask for passports, obviously. When is the last time you went to a doctor and he asked you for a birth certificate? We're not detectives."

Bousada was implanted with a younger woman's eggs and donated sperm, and took hormone therapy to "rejuvenate" her uterus. The hormone treatment, which lasted three weeks, did not increase her cancer risk, Sahakian said. "Nothing she did [to get pregnant] caused her illness."

Her brother told a local newspaper that she had been diagnosed with a tumour shortly after giving birth.

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