Older Mother with twins

Britain’s oldest first-time mother of twins believes IVF should not be offered to women over 50

Ten years ago, at the age of 58, Janet Maslin-Bosher gave birth to twins – James and Sarah – after she and her husband spent their life savings on in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. At the time she was Britain’s oldest first-time mother to give birth to twins. Sadly, five months after the twins’ birth, her husband Martin who was 64, died suddenly from a heart attack. This devastating loss left Maslin-Bosher to raise the children on her own, and with very limited financial resources. She is now 68 years old, and the twins recently celebrated their tenth birthday.

Maslin-Bosher’s journey toward motherhood was long and costly. She didn’t meet her late husband until later in life. She wanted to have children but entered menopause early at 47 years of age. At the age of 51 she was denied treatment at a fertility clinic in London due to her age and the presence of a preexisting medical condition. However, she was subsequently offered fertility treatments at the age of 56 using embryos donated by an anonymous couple.

A new law recently introduced in Britain permits women over the age of 40 to sue if they are refused publically-funded fertility treatments. However, although her “children are [her] joy and [her] salvation”, Maslin-Bosher believes that IVF should not be offered to women over the age of 50. In her words: ‘The children are my life and of course I wouldn’t be without them. But 58 is old to become a mum. There should be a cut-off age for IVF treatment and 50 is sensible’. Says Maslin-Bosher “you don’t realise what’s involved until you have them. It’s hard work. You don’t have a social life outside them”. However, she also feels that there are some benefits to being an older mother, such as being more patient, having more life experience, and being able to allocate ample time for her kids.

Read more about this family’s story here.

Read one 37-year-old woman’s story of suing the UK National Health Service for being refused IVF treatment here:

Woman, 37, sues health minister after she was told she is ‘too old’ for IVF [Daily Mail Online]

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