Tori's Blog

A Loss That is More Than A Loss?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Last week two year old twin boys lost their mother. Maria del Carmen Bousada died of a tumor in her native country of Spain. The boys will never know or remember their mother. This isn’t a typical kind of tragic loss – the particular situation with this family is that Maria was 69 years old. She did not adopt the boys. She was the one of the oldest known women to give birth.

In 2006 she came to a well-respected California fertility clinic and lied about her age, stating that she was 55 years old, their limit for fertility treatments. I remember when she gave birth, because it was at that time that her true age was revealed. Although, at the time it set off quite a controversy, once she went back to her country, she became simply a single mother raising her boys. That is until they were left orphans.

The answers to this are not clear. Anyone can lie about their age and there is no way to require individuals to make ethical decisions about personal matters. The fertility clinic is not to blame as they appropriately maintained their professional standards. The only question that keeps coming up is why a woman would play the odds of being able to watch her children grow up or leave them parent-less. Was it a completely selfish act? Of course it was. But then again the choice to parent is often a selfish act. Isn’t the desire to become a mother essentially for our own benefit, rather than for that of our potential children?

I have read blog after blog about this. The sentiment is the same but the reasons might surprise you. It is abundantly clear that the same age standards do not apply to men, that is, older fathers. Is the loss any different for the child? An interesting point to make. For myself, I am not clear.

Personally and professionally, I think Maria del Carmen Bousada made an extremely selfish, unethical choice to become a mother. However that doesn’t really matter any more. All that is left is the sadness of those boys growing up without their mother.

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