61-year-old woman gives birth in Japan
A 61-year-old Japanese woman has given birth to her own grandchild last year, using an egg donated by her daughter, becoming the oldest surrogate mother in Japan.world Updated: Aug 21, 2008 11:54 IST
A 61-year-old Japanese woman gave birth to her own grandchild, using an egg donated by her daughter, a clinic said on Thursday. The surrogate mother was believed to be oldest woman to have given birth in Japan.
Surrogate births are extremely rare in Japan, and the Suwa Maternity Clinic in Nagano, northwest of Tokyo, refused to provide information such as the date of the birth or gender of the baby. News reports said the baby was born last year.
"Both surrogate mother and baby were fine," said Chihiro Netsu, a spokeswoman for the clinic.
Netsu said the woman was believed to be the oldest surrogate mother in Japan, and news reports said she was the oldest woman to have given birth overall.
The Japanese Health Ministry does not release precise statistics on mothers' ages, saying only that there were two births to women aged 55 or older in 2006, the latest year that figures were available for.
The surrogate mother used a fertilized egg donated by her daughter, who has no uterus, Netsu said.
Mainichi newspaper reported that the previous oldest mothers in Japan were two 60-year-old women implanted with their own fertilized eggs in the United States.
Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a powerful body with over 15,000 members, has banned such procedures, but they are not illegal and individual clinics are free to perform them though few actually do.
At Suwa Maternity Clinic, eight surrogate mothers have given birth. Of them, four women have delivered babies using fertilized eggs from their daughters.
The clinic will report the latest case at a conference of the Japan Society of Fertilization and Implantation later in August. It was the first time the fertilization conference had taken up the subject of surrogate births, Netsu said.