MADRID (July 15) -- 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, the oldest woman to give birth, died at age 69, leaving behind 2-year-old twins.
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.
Dr. Vicken Sahakian, director and owner of the clinic, said Bousada falsified her birth date on documents from Spain.
When he learned of the deception, "I figured something might happen and wind up being a disaster for these kids, and unfortunately I was right," he said.
It's easy for women to lie to their doctors, he said.
"We don't ask for passports, obviously," Sahakian said. "When is the last time you went to a doctor and he asked you for a birth certificate? We're not detectives here."
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.
Sahakian said he implanted the Spanish woman with a younger woman's eggs and donated sperm, using hormones to "rejuvenate" her uterus with hormone therapy after she had been in menopause for 18 years.
The hormone treatment lasted three weeks. Sahakian said he did not believe that increased the woman's cancer risk.
"Nothing she did (to get pregnant) caused her illness," he said.
The brother, 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 Christian.
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.