After two years of going to a fertility clinic, an elderly senior couple has done what was almost impossible: become first-time parents in their 70s.
A 72-year-old Indian woman gave birth to a baby boy through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The couple, Daljinder Kaur (72) and Mohinder Singh Gill (79), named their son Armaan, who weighed 4.4 pounds when he was born.
Despite the couple's old age, the National Fertility & Test Tube Baby Centre in Haryana, India announced that Armann is a "healthy and hearty" boy.
"I feel blessed to be able to hold my own baby. I had lost hope of becoming a mother ever," said Kaur, who has been married to her husband for 46 years.
In India, infertility is sometimes believed to be a curse from God. Not having a child made Kaur feel empty.
However, the couple's joy is being surrounded with several ethical issues following the "controversial" birth.
Several reports showed that the baby was conceived using Kaur's own egg and her husband's sperm while another report said the couple used a donor egg.
Kaur's age was also seen as an issue. She has no birth certificate, which is not uncommon in India, but she places her age around 70. The clinic said she's 72.
Kaur said she is about five to seven years younger than Singh whose birth certificate showed he was born on April 12, 1937, shared Anurag Bishnoi, the Centre's owner and embryologist.
Regardless of her real age, a woman in her 70s is deemed too old to handle pregnancy. Apart from the health issue, there are also concerns about how the mother will raise the baby as he grows.
"The sheer fact that a woman in her 70s has to carry the weight of a child in her womb for nine months is stressful," said fertility expert Sunil Jindal who said there are many ethical issues surrounding the procedure.
Jindal added that personally, it is "unfair" to conduct such a procedure on a female patient over the age of 60.
The clinic conducted several tests to see if Kaur will be able to handle the pregnancy. The results turned out positive and the Centre went through with the IVF procedure.