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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Should we condemn elderly mothers?

A photo of Carmela Bousada with her daughter-taken from google picture

Last night, I watched a BBC documentary about elderly mothers around the world that had sparked so much debates. It's been aired on TV One TVNZ through the program called "Close Up".

At first I didn't pay much attention as I was also watching my daughters played with their blocks and they wanted my attention too. However, when I paid a close attention, I felt so interested to know more about this issue.

It's not a new issue as we've heard few cases od elderly mothers (first time mothers) who are way past their menopouse gave birth. I gathered this information from

In 2004 New Yorker Aleta St. James became the oldest American woman to give birth when she had twins. She was nearly 57. A year later, a 66 year-old Romanian woman became the world's oldest mom. Then, in 2006, Carmela Bousada of Spain, who was nearly 67, took the title.
And last year, Omkari Panwar from India stole her crown. Desperate for a male heir, she underwent IVF at age 70. She got her wish when she gave birth to twins, one of them a boy.

In the BBC documentary last night, they interviewed the late Maria De Carmen (she passed away in July 2009) who had her twin sons at the age of 67, Rajo Devi from India who had her daughter at the age of 70 and a british woman who wanted to have a baby at the age of 72 (I forgot her name-sorry).

Maria De Carmen had to take care of her elderly mother who lived until the age of 101, when she was younger. That's why she waited too long to have a family on her own. Rajo Devi and her elderly husband had waited so long to have their own child and they are lucky because they have a large supported extended family.  They claimed that their family members wouldn't mind to take care of their daughter if anything happen to them. But for the 72-year-old British woman, her desire was denied in one of Fertility Clinic in Britain. Apprently she wanted to go abroad to fulfill her dream to become a mother.

Rajo Devi with her daughter (from BBC news)

From what I've gathered from various sources; internet, documentary on tv, articles from magazines and newspapers, many people condemned these elderly mothers. They said these mothers are selfish to have children at a very old age. The mothers are unlikely to be able to see their children grow up or not even through the children's teenage years.

Personally I sympathize with those elderly moms who long to be moms even it was too late. I also agree when other people argued about the children's future. Why are elderly mothers disgust us but not the elderly fathers? Is it because there's a gender biased AGAIN in this issue? Many people admire those elderly fathers who are still be able to provide their sperms. huh! What about those who had to take care of their elderly parent before they can even start their own family like Maria De Carmen and Susan Tollefsen (had her daughter Freya at the age of 57).

I consider myself lucky to be able to start my own family by the age of 26. That's why I don't condemn these elderly mothers. Though it's good if they consider who would take care of their children once they pass away.

Now, I don't want to keep rambling about this as part of my intention is to seek other people's opinion about this issue. So, WHAT SAY YOU?


Anonymous said...

Nabi Ibrahim & wife waited berpuluh tahun utk dapat anak. Then Allah bg anak, skali mintak kena korban lak... From that reading, kit tau betapa tersiksanye hati diorang time tu kan? But in the end, we know that they did become great parents to their son.

So what, kalo biologically dah tua, they have no rights to be parents? Tak fair kan?

Kalo kata, nnt kesian anak tu live kejap aje dgn parents dia coz diorang dah tua & anytime can passaway. tu takdir. But kalo kita hidup berkomunity, there is an old saying "it takes a village to raise a child". takkan takde org kisah welfare budak tu nnt. unless la kita semua bz nak pikir hal2 sendiri & nak penuhkan perut sendiri aje kan?

my my opinion, there is nothing wrong about old mothers, there only something wrong with the society & community.

temp. housewife said...

yup u're absolutely right Mama Miya. let's see what others have to say abt this issue.

sirna said...

Its sound so biologically illogical, but Allah already said KUN FAYAKUN...we cannot blame them as they have their own reasons behind like Rajo Devi and Maria de carmen. The future of these children wouldn't compromise as long as they are raise in a supportive community.

kakyong said...

siankan dah wanita2 yg dah berumur tp tingin nak ada anak...

temp. housewife said...

dulu sy pun fikir diaorg ni selfish esp. lps dengar cerita pasal Carmela. (dah meninggal juga sbb ada cancer sprt Maria). Kalau kita yg Muslims ni tak bolehla kalau guna IVF bila guna other people's eggs and sperms.

Nadiah Sidek said...

memang fitrahnya seorang isteri nak jadi ibu. tak baik la condemn diorang..diorang pun ada naluri keibuan jugak. cuma dari segi perubatan (setahu nadiah la) tak digalakkan mengandung & bersalin di usia yang agak lanjut..banyak risikonya

temp. housewife said...

mmg betul Nadiah bila lanjut usia banyak risiko kesihatan. Carmela & Maria keduanya terkena jangkitan cancer slps mereka mengandung. tetapi mereka sanggup menempuh semua itu demi kerana inginkan anak.