MADRID -- A Spanish woman who deceived a U.S. 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 Wednesday.
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 that 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.
An early-morning call and an e-mail to the Pacific Fertility
Clinic were not immediately returned Wednesday.
Bousada's brother told the local newspaper Diario de Cadiz that
she had died but he did not disclose the cause. The newspaper said,
without citing a source, that Bousada had been diagnosed with a
tumor shortly after giving birth.
Ricardo Bousada told the Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico
de Catalunya that 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
Repeated calls by The Associated Press to Ricardo Bousada's
residence in the southern province of Cadiz went unanswered.
A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for another
brother, Jose Luis Bousada, declined to comment.
Her death was also
reported by the national newspapers El Mundo
There was no word on who would raise the twins. Bousada had once
said she would look for a younger man to help her raise them.
Bousada lived with her mother most of her life in Cadiz and
worked in a department store before retiring.
She decided to have
children after her mother died in 2005 and initially kept her plan
secret from her family, she told reporters.
She told the British tabloid News of the World that she sold her
house to raise $59,000 to pay for the in-vitro fertilization.
"I think everyone should become a mother at the right time for
them," Bousada told the paper.
"Often circumstances put you
between a rock and a hard place, and maybe things shouldn't have
been done in the way they were done, but that was the only way to
achieve the thing I had always dreamed of, and I did it," she
When she finally told her relatives she was two months pregnant,
they thought she was joking, she said.
"Yes, I am old of course, but if I live as long as my mom did,
imagine, I could even have grandchildren," she told the News of
Allan Pacey, secretary of the British Fertility Society, said
the organization recommends that assisted conception generally not
be provided to women beyond the natural age of menopause at about
"The rationale for all that is that nature didn't design women
to have assisted conception beyond the age of the natural
menopause...once you get into the mid-50s, I think nature is trying
to tell us something," Pacey told The AP.
He added: "I think many people would worry about providing
fertility treatment to women in their 60s. I think as a general
rule, to embark on pregnancy when you may not see your child go to
university is potentially a very difficult situation."
Adriana Iliescu, a Romanian who in 2005 also gave birth at 66,
although she was 130 days younger than Bousada, said she was pained
to hear of her death and what it meant for her sons.
"It is a great sadness when kids are orphans but civil society
will help these children," she told The AP.
She described her little daughter Eliza as "very energetic and
spoiled. We dance and sing together."
"I don't feel I am getting old. My pregnancy kept me young,"
World's Oldest New Mom Dies, Leaves Twins
Maria del Carmen Bousada