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Age Controversy Rekindled As Danish Woman Gives Birth At 61

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Wednesday, February 28, 2007 | 0 comments

28 February 2007 - Reports that a 61-year-old Danish woman has given birth to a daughter triggered a debate Wednesday over her age and suitability as a mother.

Since Denmark has a limit of 45 years for women who seek in-vitro treatment, the woman and her husband sought treatment at a clinic in England.

She gave birth to a baby girl nine days ago at a Copenhagen hospital, the tabloid Ekstra Bladet reported.

Doctors, midwives, psychologists and politicians Wednesday questioned if older women should be allowed to undergo such treatment, saying the woman would be too old to raise a child.

The Danish woman was reportedly tied for ninth place as the oldest woman to give birth to a child. A Spanish mother of two tops the list of oldest new mothers at age 67.

Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters that he did not favour changing the Danish legislation on IVF age limits, adding that "we can't decide over legislation in Britain."

Members of the Danish People's Party and Social Liberals said however they would ask Health Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen to push for joint European Union legislation, Danish news agency Ritzau reported.

The premier's Liberal Party and opposition Social Democrats said while they backed joint EU legislation they doubted it could be adopted.

The vice chairwoman of the Danish midwife association said the Danish age limit made sense.

"I think the limit is good since parents have an obligation to see their children reach adulthood," Kit Dynnes Hansen told the online edition of the Politiken newspaper.

Fertiliity specialist Helle Meinertz told Ritzau that age limits should not only apply for women, citing the risk of increased abnormalities in older men's semen.

The Danish legislation was adopted in 1997. An age limit of 55 for using semen from older men was discussed at the time, but not adopted.


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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost our precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted there will be no more babies in our house.

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