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How old is “too old” for IVF?

Have you seen this news story? A 66-year old British woman, who conceived through IVF, recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy. She sought the IVF treatment in the Ukraine, because British infertility clinics refuse to treat women over the age of 50.

It seems to me that the British clinics have it roughly right.

I’ve heard of cases in which an older woman serves as a surrogate for a younger couple, such as a mother doing it for her daughter. That’s a generous and loving gift. This isn’t one of those situations.

No, this is a single divorcee who, at the age of 66, has become a mother for the first time. Statistically speaking, she’s unlikely to live to see her child reach adulthood. Obviously, bad things can happen to any parent. But, to set out on a course that will likely result in your child not having a parent by age 10 or 12 just seems selfish and irresponsible.

I’m sympathetic to anyone who wants a child but has been unable to conceive.

However, simply wanting a child is not always sufficient justification for having one.

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