65-Year-Old Woman Breaks the Law to Give Birth to Her First Baby

A 65-year-old woman became the oldest person in Israel to give birth when she delivered a healthy baby boy via C-section on Monday after reportedly having illegal in-vitro fertilization treatments.

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Haya Shahar and her husband Schmuel, who is 67, tried for many years to conceive a child during their 46-year marriage. Doctors believe she may have purchased or used donated sperm from Russia to help her conceive using IVF treatments — something she likely felt she had to do because it is illegal in Israel to perform IVF on a woman over 54.

Fortunately, this couple's story has a happy ending. Their child was born healthy and Shahar says she believes her example should provide inspiration for women who desperately want children — a reminder that they should "never give up."

But is that really true? At some point in a woman's life, shouldn't she "give up" trying to have a child if the complications could include low birth weight, premature birth, and even infant mortality?

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I feel for this woman and for all women who want children but can't conceive. I don't think there is anything more heartbreaking than knowing you have a lifetime of love to give a little person, and not having the opportunity to do so.

It may seem cruel to have a law in place to stop women from giving birth after a certain age, but doctors in Israel put a limit on IVF because it's the responsible thing to do. And this isn't just about a mother's health.

I feel it is shortsighted to bring a child into the world knowing you may not be able to be there for them in 10 years because of your advanced age. Even if a much-older mom or dad lives another 20 years, the chances that he or she will deal with sickness during that time are higher than if they were in their thirties. It isn't fair to do this to a child.

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I'm happy things turned out okay for these parents, but worried someone else might read this story and think they should take the same risk.

Do you think there should be a law against older women using IVF treatments?

 

Image via Daniel Lobo/Flickr

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