‘World’s Oldest Mother’ Dead at 69

Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara, who made news three years ago when she gave birth to twins at the age of 66, has died.

[S]he had been diagnosed with cancer shortly after giving birth.

In 2007, Ms Bousada de Lara said she had lied about her age to doctors at a fertility clinic in California to get IVF treatment, telling them she was 55.

Ms Bousada de Lara argued that there was no reason to believe she would not have as long a life as her mother, who died at the age of 101. She even joked that she might live to see her grandchildren.  She also insisted that if she died prematurely her sons Christian and Pau, who are now two years old, would never be alone. “There are lots of young people in our family,” she added.

When the twins were born in Barcelona on 29 December 2006, Ms Bousada de Lara was aged 66 years 358 days, 130 days older than Romanian Adriana Iliescu, who gave birth in 2005 to a baby girl.

Sad on several levels.

I’m not sure at exactly what point one becomes too old to responsibly have children but I’m pretty sure 66 is on the wrong side of the line.  My wife, Kim, and I had our first child, Katie, on New Year’s Eve.  Kim was (and is) 38 and I was (and am) 43, already older than my parents were when I graduated high school.  All of Katie’s living grandparents were 65 at the time.

Obviously, none of us know how long we’ve got.  And having a family history of longevity is a reasonable factor to consider.  But, seriously, 66?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. just me says:

    As for when one is too old to give birth-I think there is a good reason humans have menopause-and that should be a pretty clear ethical line for when a woman is too old to give birth.

    it is very sad for the babies-but giving birth in your 60’s pretty much means the kids were going to end up motherless sooner than later.

  2. triumph says:

    Damn! This chick was in her frikking SIXTIES! And I had thought Sarah Palin held the “oldest mother” honour! By the time Palin gets that old, she’ll have more kids than the damn Osmonds!

  3. It’s really very simple Joyner.

    It’s essentially impossible to find a four seater convertible with any sex appeal. Now, in most cases a man can’t afford a Porsche or a Vette until he’s reached middle age. And most middle-aged guys are counting the months not years until their last kid gets the hell out of the house and he can buy a sweet little two-seater.

    But as a man who is 54 and whose kids won’t be in college for ten long, long years, the convertible isn’t coming until I’m old enough to collect social security.

    There is a window of opportunity, The Porsche Potentiality Period (PPP.) If this period is really long, you’re probably gay or at least sterile. (Or maybe just lucky.) If the period is too short you go straight from four-door sedan to assisted living facility.

    Which sucks.

    This is why I favor legislation dictating that the PPP should be a minimum of five years.

  4. James Joyner says:

    All things are possible: I’m 43, have a 6-month-old, and drive a 350Z Roadster. We also have a really kick-ass minivan.

  5. just me says:

    We also have a really kick-ass minivan.

    I hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as a kick ass mini van when compared to almost any other car. It may be more kick ass than other mini vans, but it is still a mini van and kick ass just isn’t in the cards.

  6. James Joyner says:

    I hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as a kick ass mini van when compared to almost any other car.

    Written mostly in jest but, frankly, I’m not sure why ordinary sedans or pseudo-truck SUVs got to be considered “cool” compared to a minivan. They’re all low performance vehicles. At least the minivan gives back utility, unlike so-called sport utility vehicles which are, for the most part, neither sporty nor utilitarian.

  7. At least the minivan gives back utility, unlike so-called sport utility vehicles which are, for the most part, neither sporty nor utilitarian.

    You’ve clearly never had to drive the minivan through deep snow yet. 😉

  8. James Joyner says:

    You’ve clearly never had to drive the minivan through deep snow yet. 😉

    Not much deep snow in these parts. But most modern SUVs are just cars shaped like a truck, with small tires and no 4WD. And our minivan is AWD.

  9. Just Me:

    Stop picking on Joyner. If he wants to believe his minivan is cool I think we should all play along and snicker privately.

    The Z’s cool though.

  10. just me says:

    You’ve clearly never had to drive the minivan through deep snow yet. 😉

    Which is why we ditched our mini van for an SUV. Although I don’t think it is necessarily more “cool” it does get me up my hill in winter.

  11. hln says:

    When I had just one kid, I had a 1999 bright red Mitsubishi Eclipse with this big spoiler. Strangers would often stop me to ask how on earth I could contort to get him in the back rear-facing seat.

    It was no problem until I was about 4.5 months pregnant with the second one…then we got the SUV, and bye bye to the fun car.

    On the flip side – yes, it’s sad for those two babies. But it’s the ONLY chance they got at life. So, hey, mom was kinda “irresponsible” in having babies so late – but at least they’re here. I wish them the best.

  12. Brian Knapp says:

    I’ve had two makes and models of mini-vans that were awesome in the snow. And we get a decent amount of snow around here too – at least plenty to make a judgment call on mini-vans vs. snow.

  13. Furhead says:

    If I’m not mistaken, many if not most of the current SUVs have the same basic design as a minivan, at least that’s what a few people in the industry have told me. They may be raised a couple inches for snow or off-roading clearance, but there’s little other difference than style.

    Neither are cool, though.

  14. just me says:

    I have had two different mini vans and both were horrible in the snow. The day I had to leave the van at the bottom of the hill and walk up it, was when we decided we were getting something with 4-wheel drive. The SUV I drive is a truck-it is on a truck base and drives up my hill just fine, it was the right price at the right time and is fully paid for-and not having a car/truck payment suits me with the current economy.