Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara

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Carmen Bousada
María del Carmen Bousada

(1940-01-05)January 5, 1940
DiedJuly 11, 2009(2009-07-11) (aged 69)
Known forFormerly world's oldest mother
ChildrenPau Bousada, Christian Bousada

María del Carmen Bousada de Lara (January 5, 1940 – July 11, 2009[1]) was a Spanish woman who gained worldwide attention when at the age of 66[2], she became the world's oldest mother on December 29[2] or 30[3], 2006 when she gave birth to twins.[2] She later became an outspoken advocate for the rights of older mothers and a subject of considerable controversy.[4]


Bousada had worked as an employee for a department store before she retired and had never married. She spent most of her life living with her mother in Cadiz, before deciding to have children after her mother passed away in 2005. She sold her house to raise the money (equivalent to around £30 000[5]) required to pay for IVF treatment.[6]

Giving birth[edit]

She gave birth to twin baby boys on the 29th or the 30th of December 2006, Christian and Pau in the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona. They were delivered prematurely by caesarean section and weighed 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) each.[3]

Bousada de Lara admitted that she had lied to physicians about her age (she had told them she was 55)[2] when seeking in vitro fertilization treatment at the Pacific Fertility Center in California.[7] At the time of the delivery, Bousada was the world's oldest documented mother, surpassing the record established in 2005 by Romanian mother Adriana Iliescu, who was also 66.[8]

Two years later, Omkari Panwar, a 70[4] or 72[9] year old woman from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, gave birth to twins. However, Panwar's age is not officially documented, as she does not have a birth certificate.[4][9]


Bousada died of ovarian cancer on July 11, 2009, when her sons were two and a half years old.[10] After her death, her sons were cared for by her nephew (the son of her brother) and his wife.[4]

Ethical controversy[edit]

Critics of later-life motherhood characterized Bousada's decision to have children as "selfish, unnatural and wrong, her children innocent victims in her pernicious plan for reproductive self-gratification."[11] Her own brothers publicly criticized her decision.[12] Bousada herself vehemently defended her decision. In an interview in 2006, she stated "Yes, I am old of course, but if I live as long as my mum [who died aged 101], imagine, I could even have grandchildren." However, she died of cancer less than three years after giving birth.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Oldest person to give birth to twins". Guinness World Records.
  2. ^ a b c d World's oldest mother dies at 69, BBC News, July 15, 2009
  3. ^ a b Keeley, Graham (7 January 2007). "Spanish woman, 67, sparks mother of all debates". South China Morning Post.
  4. ^ a b c d Appel, Jacob M (15 August 2009). "Motherhood: Is It Ever Too Late?". The Huffington Post.
  5. ^ Laurance, Jeremy (16 July 2009). "World's oldest mother dies, leaving her two-year-old twin sons orphaned". The Independent.
  6. ^ Goodman, Al (July 16, 2009). "Mom of twins at 66 dies three years later". CNN.
  7. ^ a b "Woman who had twins at 66 dies". The Guardian. 15 July 2009.
  8. ^ Irvine, Chris (9 December 2008). "World's oldest mothers - An Indian woman is thought to have become the world's oldest mother at the age of 70 following fertility treatment". The Telegraph.
  9. ^ a b Russo, Karen. "World's Oldest Mom". ABC News.
  10. ^ Tremlett, Giles (15 July 2009). "Spanish woman who gave birth through IVF at 66 dies". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Vine, Sarah (16 July 2009). "María del Carmen Bousada de Lara's death does not mean she was wrong". The Times. Archived from the original on 9 March 2019.
  12. ^ Keeley, Graham (14 January 2007). "Family turns against world's oldest mother, 67". The Times.