She’s seventy-two, but Jenny Brown says she’s ready to be a mother. No matter how much it costs.
The British woman is about to undergo her seventh course of IVF in attempts to become pregnant at an age four years past the age of the current oldest new mom in the world (who just died at sixty-nine).
And that’s not all, she’s asking women to come forward as egg donors because she wants to continue with IVF rather than use a surrogate to carry her baby.
She’s already tried using her own eggs, a process that began twenty years ago, when she was fifty-two and using a sperm donor. It didn’t work, and she’s blown through tens of thousands of dollars since trying to become a mother.
I have taken criticism on here before for questioning why women of SUCH an advanced age would choose to have children alone, and the fact that a woman just died at sixty-nine leaving behind toddler twins only buoys my argument. I’m well aware of the desire to be a mother, and of women’s rights over their own bodies. But let’s step back and think about who you’re doing this for . . . having kids is supposed to be about THEM.
And the chances of a seventy-two-year-old woman dying shortly after her children are born are signficantly greater than those of a twenty-, thirty-, even forty- or fifty-year-old woman. I’m also much more hesitant to support single parenting at such an advanced age for much the same reason – the likelihood of death before the child is old enough to care for him or herself. Which leaves them with who, exactly, to care for them?
I was in my twenties when I gave birth, and it’s true I could be hit by a bus tomorrow. I’m also married, so that would leave my daughter with a second caregiver. But even if I wasn’t, my age means I have two parents still alive and still young enough to ostensibly care for her for the next sixteen years as well as a brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. who are all young enough right now to step in should something happen. But the sad thing about aging is watching our closest relatives and friends die off, leaving ourselves with limited support systems.
Brown has thought of giving her kids a guardian, a younger friend. But as much as I can agree that women’s bodies are our own to do with what we please, I would posit this isn’t about her body at all. It’s about the body she creates and what happens to that new person after they arrive.
What do you think?