THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Oldest woman to give birth dies at 69

By Daniel Woolls
Associated Press / July 16, 2009
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MADRID - A Spanish woman who deceived a US fertility clinic about her age and become the oldest woman to give birth has died at 69, leaving behind 2-year-old twins, newspapers reported yesterday.

Maria del Carmen Bousada gave birth in December 2006 after telling a clinic in Los Angeles that she was 55, the facility’s maximum age for single women receiving in-vitro fertilization. Guinness World Records said the 66-year-old was the oldest on record to give birth and the case ignited fierce debate over how much responsibility fertility clinics have over their patients.

Bousada told an interviewer at the time the Pacific Fertility Center did not ask her for identification, and maintained that because her mother had died at 101, she stood a good chance of living long enough to raise her children.

Dr. Vicken Sahakian, director and owner of the clinic, said Bousada falsified her birth date on documents from Spain.

When he learned of the deception, “I figured something might happen and wind up being a disaster for these kids, and unfortunately I was right,’’ he said.

It’s easy for women to lie to their doctors, he said.

“We don’t ask for passports, obviously,’’ Sahakian said. “When is the last time you went to a doctor and he asked you for a birth certificate? We’re not detectives here.’’

Bousada’s brother told the local newspaper Diario de Cadiz she had died but he did not disclose the cause.

Bousada said in November that she was being treated for stomach cancer.

Sahakian said he implanted the Spanish woman with a younger woman’s eggs and donated sperm, using hormones to “rejuvenate’’ her uterus with hormone therapy after she had been in menopause for 18 years.

The hormone treatment lasted three weeks. Sahakian said he did not believe that increased the woman’s cancer risk.

“Nothing she did [to get pregnant] caused her illness,’’ he said.

The brother, Ricardo Bousada, told the Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico de Catalunya he had exclusively sold details of his sister’s death to an unidentified television program and that the proceeds would go to looking after his sister’s twin boys, Pau and Christian.