... issues and tissues with a touch of the spicy from the spirit hag ...
... 57 year old first time mother says 'age doesn't matter'
Published on December 8, 2004 By mignuna In Current Events

  

In November 2004, just three days before her 57th birthday, New York woman Aleta St. James gave birth three weeks prematurely to twin babies, a boy and a girl, by planned Caesarian section.

 

Using an egg from a stranger and donated sperm, this was the first pregnancy for the unmarried St. James, who said of giving birth at her age “It is never too late. You are never too old. It is just in your mind." 

 

St. James, a motivational speaker and ‘healer’, reportedly paid more than US$25,000 to the doctors at (New Yorks’) Cedars Sinai Medical Centre, who claim to have no ethical problems with her decision.

 

According to Dr. Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, Cedars Sinai doctors cite Tony Randall, Clint Eastwood and Strom Thurmond as capable parents despite their age.

 

Yet, as Caplan points out, Cedars Sinai doctors fail to address the fact that two of these men have died since creating a baby very late in life, and, as he rightly asks, “Is that good for the child?”.

 

It seems that the public view on these ‘older fathers’ is a tolerant one, perhaps largely due to the fact that the childs’ (generally much younger) mother will be available to raise the child in the event of the older fathers' demise before the child becomes independent.

 

But with a sperm donor as a ‘father’ (rumoured to be an ex-partner of St. James’ with whom she has no current romantic attachment) and a mother aged 56 at the time of conception, these children are likely to face an enormous number of social and personal complications.

 

So ...”, asks Dr. Caplan “Does anyone have the right to challenge the reproductive decisions of another person?”.

 

The ethics guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine actively discourage what the doctors in this case have done, and, as Caplan points out “I know there are grandparents who have successfully raised kids when the parents could not”.

 

“But it is one thing for two older people to deal with a difficult situation and make the best of it. It is quite different to deliberately create the situation Most nations with laws governing reproductive technology would not have allowed a 57-year-old single mom to become pregnant”

 

“This is why St. James said that it is never too late to have a child. And reproductive technology does appear to support her statement. But this is simply not true. St. James had to use a donor egg and sperm. The doctors could not create a baby (that was) biologically related to her”.

 

Caplan also warns that this trend towards ‘no upper age limit’ for pregnancy sends a dangerous message that “could give any young woman the impression that there is no rush to reproduce because medical technology can bail them out if need be”.

 

“Watching a new family come into being is a wonderful thing, but let’s not kid ourselves. The new reproductive technologies raise a lot of difficult ethical questions for patients and doctors about who should use them, why and when”.

 

“Society needs to be sure that as we stand in amazement watching medicine circumvent nature’s reproductive limits, nothing is done to put the best interests of the children that are created at risk”.

 

 

 

*All quotes from Dr. Arthur Caplan are from this original article: Link

 

 

 

"
Comments
on Dec 08, 2004
This is one of those things I have to wonder if the people involved are crazy. On the one hand, I don't think there should be laws against having children at certain ages. But on the other, I don't think it's good for you to have kids if your too old. Not sure if 57 is too old or not, but if it isn't it's pretty close. Although if memory servers there was a woman in the bible that had a child when she was over a hundred years old. Course, that would be a special case anyway you look at it. If she just wanted a kid to play with she might have been better served finding a family to adopt her as a grandmother, that isn't unheard of.
on Dec 08, 2004
Or even adopting a child herself, since according to the article her new child is not genetically related to her anyway. Why put yourself through pregnancy at 56 just to have a child that's not really even yours (biologically)?
on Dec 08, 2004
Maybe thats it, she wanted the pregnancy, and didn't care about anything else?
on Dec 08, 2004
Or even adopting a child herself, since according to the article her new child is not genetically related to her anyway. Why put yourself through pregnancy at 56 just to have a child that's not really even yours (biologically)?


Excellent point! It all seems very selfish to me. There are plenty of children, already here on earth, in need of adoption. Not only did this woman disregard these children, but she quite possibly created two more. Of course, it's possible she could live to be at least 74, when her children will be 18 and (technically) adults. I sincerely hope she does. It just seems a little more likely that she won't.

there was a woman in the bible that had a child when she was over a hundred years old. Course, that would be a special case anyway you look at it.



on Dec 10, 2004

There are plenty of children, already here on earth, in need of adoption


hamster, i agree totally. my husband and i can't have children, and after the initial grief (which is think was largely related to the 'ego' aspect of reproduction), we have come to understand that what we consider to be 'a tragedy' is  a blessing to the children we hope to adopt one day. it's all in how you see it


Maybe thats it, she wanted the pregnancy, and didn't care about anything else?


oh danny, every woman that reads this is going "pregnancy at 56 ? ... noooooo". i cross my legs just thinking about it !


Why put yourself through pregnancy at 56 just to have a child that's not really even yours (biologically)?


indeed, citahellion. the child was in no way genetically related to her, which makes it just an adoption, except the adoptive mother carried the child.


On the one hand, I don't think there should be laws against having children at certain ages. But on the other, I don't think it's good for you to have kids if your too old


exactly, danny. we technically have no right to interfere in the reproductive rights of individuals, yet there needs to some consideration of the life that the offspring will have.


mig XXX

on Dec 11, 2004
we have come to understand that what we consider to be 'a tragedy' is a blessing to the children we hope to adopt one day.


Aw, that's beautiful. Good luck to you!

Meta
Views
» 708
Comments
» 6
Category
Sponsored Links