A British housewife became the world's oldest natural mother after giving birth at the age of 59, it was claimed yesterday.
Dawn Brooke had a healthy boy without any fertility treatment only 12 months before she became eligible for her old age pension, her family said.
Her husband, former company director Raymond Brooke, said the couple had kept the 1997 birth private for a decade to let their son grow up in peace.
Yesterday Mr Brooke, now 74, spoke for the first time about their delight at having a child so late in life.
The couple's neighbour, Marina Bourgaize, said: "When we moved in they came round for a children's party, and everyone assumed that Mrs Brooke was the grandmother.
"But they are devoted to their son and very active. They seem far younger than their age. He is a very polite and pleasant young boy who is extremely clever."
The world record for the oldest non-IVF birth was held by Ruth
Kistler, who had a daughter in Los Angeles in 1956 aged 57.
The British record for oldest birth without fertility treatment was set by Kathleen Campbell from Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, who had son Joby at 55 in 1987.
Doctors say it is extremely rare for women to have children past their mid-fifties. The average age for the menopause is 51, and it is unusual for a woman over 54 to be ovulating. Older women are also more likely to miscarry, and there is a far greater chance that
Yesterday Mr Otway recalled the family's delight when they were told their mother was expecting again so late in life.
"We all gave Ray a round of applause," he said. "He and mum are both extremely healthy and active and having a youngster to bring up is now a large part of that. It's brought them both a tremendous amount of happiness.
"There are women who get to 40 or 45 and think, "I'm far too old to have a baby". This should give them some reassurance.
"My mum and my stepdad make a fantastic couple. And Ray has so much fun with the lad. They're extremely close.
"Ray's been reading to him for years. Now the lad's got a phenomenal IQ. I think he'll do extremely well in later life."
Mr Otway believes his mother was able to have a child at 59 because of her good genes.
"People are generally not quite aware of the extreme good luck we had at our age," he told the News of the World. "We're overjoyed to have our son. We've been hugely fortunate. He's such a fantastic boy."
The youngster has been brought up at the couple's £1million home on Guernsey and attends school on the Channel Island.
Relatives of the boy - who is ten today - said he is extremely bright and particularly enjoys maths. But like most children his age he is also a big fan of Harry Potter, a passion he shares with his father.
Mr Brooke married his Londonborn wife a few weeks before their son was born by caesarean section at a Guernsey hospital on August 20, 1997.
"All of the family have got young genes," he said. "I'm 33 and some people say I look about 24, 25. My sister's 39 and only looks about 27.
"My mum and my stepdad don't seem their age in any way."
The world's oldest mother is Carmela Bousada, a Spaniard who gave birth in December seven days before her 67th birthday. She lied to doctors about her age to undergo IVF treatment.
Patricia Rashbrook, 62, became Britain's oldest mother last July when she gave birth to a boy conceived through IVF.