A 67-year-old woman who became the world’s oldest mother when she gave birth to twins two weeks ago has been publicly attacked by her own family.
The brother of Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara said that the family was “mystified” and questioned whether she was capable of bringing up her sons, Christian and Pau, who were born in a hospital in Barcelona.
Manuel Bousada de Lara, 73, said that his sister traveled to America for IVF without telling her relatives the reason for the trip.
He said: “My mother would roll in her grave if she knew what my sister has done. She would ask: ‘How are you going to bring up two boys at your age?’”
Staff at the Sant Pau hospital said the boys, who weighed 3.5 pounds each when they were born, are doing well but are still being cared for in incubators. Their mother visits daily.
Before the birth, which was premature and by caesarean section, Maria del Carmen simply told most of her family she had gone to America for treatment seven months ago, failing to mention it was for intensive in vitro fertilization.
The next her astonished relatives knew of the “strong-willed” pensioner was when journalists began asking them what motivated her to give birth at 67.
Her brother Manuel, who lives near his sister in Cadiz, at first thought it was a media hoax. Later, he said: “She never talked about having children or seemed to want to. She has always been very independent. We’re mystified why she should suddenly want to do this now.”
Maria del Carmen has refused to discuss her reasons. She simply said: “That’s life. I have my motives.”
Dismissing suggestions that she wanted to make cash by selling her story, she said: “I did it to be a mother and not for the money.” Her story is believed to be up for sale to Spanish gossip magazines.
Much of the reaction to the birth has been hostile. A cartoon in the Spanish daily El Mundo showed a mother pushing a walker while her child asks for dinner.
Maria del Carmen, originally from a middle-class family in Cadiz, is one of four children. She worked for a local company until it went out of business a few years ago and has since lived off her pension. Neighbors describe her as quiet, reclusive and very young looking for her age.
Maria is one year older than Adriana Iliescu, a Romanian who, in January 2005, gave birth to Eliza Maria at age 66.Click here for more news from Europe.