World

66-year-old Romanian defends right to give birth

A 66-year-old Romanian, thought to be the oldest woman to give birth, defended her decision calling her pregnancy 'God's will.'

A 66-year-old Romanian thought to be the oldest woman to give birth dismissed criticism that she was too old to raise the child, calling her pregnancy "God's will."

Adriana Iliescu, who conceived through artificial insemination, spoke Tuesday at a hospital in Bucharest 48 hours after delivering a baby girl weighing three pounds, three ounces.

The birth ignited international controversy. The Romanian Orthodox Church condemned Iliescu's decision as "selfish." The country's Health Ministry said a bill that would impose age restrictions on in vitro fertilization had been submitted to parliament.

Iliescu, a single mother, dismissed charges that she will grow too frail or die before the child is grown.

"Nobody can foresee the future," said Iliescu, a retired university professor and author of children's books. "I'm a normal woman, like any woman that gave birth to a child."

Iliescu pointed to biblical examples of elderly women having children.

"Every child that comes into this world does so because of God's will."

Iliescu, who underwent fertility treatments for nine years, was artificially inseminated using sperm and egg from anonymous donors.

Doctors at the Giulesti Maternity Hospital in Bucharest performed a caesarean section on Sunday to deliver the baby, named Eliza Maria, after her twin sister died in the womb.

She was born five weeks premature.