An Indian woman and her husband who are both in their 70s have celebrated the birth of a baby boy following ⒾⒻⓋ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ, their first successful ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ in 46 years of marriage.
Daljinder Kaur gave birth last month after two years of ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ using donor eggs at a ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ clinic in the northern state of Haryana. Though certainly one of the oldest mothers to give birth, her exact age was unclear. She has said she is about 70 but does not have a birth certificate, which is not uncommon in India.
Kaur said she and her husband, Mohinder Singh Gill, a farmer, had almost lost hope of having their own child and had faced ʀɪᴅɪᴄᴜʟᴇ in a country where inꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ is sometimes seen as a ᴄᴜʀsᴇ from Gᴏᴅ.
“Gᴏᴅ heard our prayers. My life feels complete now. I am looking after the baby all by myself, I feel so full of energy. My husband is also very caring and helps me as much as he can,” Kaur said from the northern city of Amritsar. “When we saw the (ⒾⒻⓋ) advert, we thought we should also give it a try as I badly wanted to have a baby of my own,” she said.
The parents welcomed baby boy Arman Singh on April 19 — about 20 years after Kaur’s ᴍᴇɴᴏᴘᴀᴜsᴇ. He is now ‘healthy and hearty’ after weighing just 4.4lb.
Bishnoi, who set up the clinic after gaining a master’s in clinical embryology at the University of Leeds, has carried out successful ⒾⒻⓋ on several geriatric couples. He said Kaur and Gill had suffered several setbacks in their quest for parenthood and had previously been unable to afford the ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ. After trying unsuccessfully to ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇ, they adopted a boy in the 1980s, but he went to study in the US and never returned.
“They also had some family problems. A person who is ɪɴꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟᴇ is not given a piece of land or any property by his father,” said Bishnoi, explaining that Gill had to ꜰɪɢʜᴛ his father in the courts. “He won, and then he got this piece of land and he got the money for the ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ.”
Bishnoi said he was initially reluctant to perform the procedure due to Kaur’s age and the fact she looked ꜰʀᴀɪʟ. A series of medical tests, including stringent ᴄᴀʀᴅɪᴏ checks, showed she was fit and healthy, and the ʀɪsᴋ to her health of becoming ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ was no higher than if she had been middle-aged, he said.
Some critics worry that the couple’s story will give unrealistic expectations to other parents hoping to have children at a late age. But Farrell said while it may garner interest among older parents wishing to ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇ through ⒾⒻⓋ, she expects most won’t move ahead with such plans after being educated about the ʀɪsᴋs.