#5. Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara
Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara was the world’s oldest mother when she gave birth to twin boys in 2006, at the age of 66. The shop assistant had travelled from Spain to the US to undergo IVF, later admitting that she had lied about her age in order to be eligible for the $35,000 treatment. She had also not informed her family of her decision to undergo the procedure, which was controversial due to her age.
However, things took a sad turn as Maria was diagnosed with cancer soon after the birth, and less than three years later in 2009 she succumbed to the illness. She had previously said she hoped to live as long as her own mother – who died at the age of 101 – in order to see her boys grow up. Her two sons, Christian and Pau, are being brought up by other family members.
#6. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Adeney
At 66 years old, factory owner and successful businesswoman Elizabeth Adeney is the oldest woman to have given birth in the UK. She became pregnant in 2009 after years of unsuccessful attempts via IVF. She had to travel to Ukraine to undergo another round of the $15,000 treatment due to her age; clinics in the UK do not treat women over 50.
Her son was born via Caesarean section at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, weighing only 5 lbs 3oz. Despite the criticism surrounding the birth, Elizabeth defended her decision to get pregnant, saying at the time:
“It doesn’t interest me that I am going to be the oldest mum in the country. It is not my physical age that is important, it’s how I feel inside. I don’t have to defend what I have done. It’s between me and my baby and no one else.”
#7. Annegret Raunigk
Annegret Raunigk from Germany hit the headlines in 2015 when she gave birth to not one but four babies at the age of 65. What made the story even more intriguing was the fact that the new mother already had a total of 13 children, who were between the ages of 10 and 44 at the time.
The quadruplets were conceived via IVF after Annegret travelled to Kiev for the procedure, amongst criticism from doctors who were unsure if her body would cope with the strain of more children. Thankfully, the three boys and one girl were all healthy, despite being born at 26 weeks and weighing the same as a bag of sugar each.
Annegret said of the birth: “This is not about egotism and it is not selfishness. I like children – they keep me young. You get more tolerant the older you get. I would never dream of telling anyone to do this or that. I am looked after, consulted, observed. I was fit to have them and I am fit to care for them.”