The cover of this month’s New York Magazine pictures a pregnant woman in her 50s looking at the camera with a gaze daring the reader to make a judgment on her age, her fertility and her role in society.
The story centers around Ann Maloney (48 years old) and John Ross (57 years old) who met, fell in love and decided to start a family.
Odds that a woman over 45 will get pregnant in the no-tech way are dauntingly low. And donor eggs result in live births about 60 percent of the time, no matter how old the mother-to-be is. But clinics set various age cutoffs, and when Maloney and Ross were attempting to conceive, she was 48, which represented the outer limit of most clinics and physicians.
Eventually, Columbia University took the couple on and Ann Maloney gave birth to Isabella in February, 2001 - “a blissful event followed by severe postpartum depression followed by the hormonal rages that accompany the onset of menopause”. Mahoney gave birth to her second child, Lily, when she was 52. This time, Maloney had to be brought out of menopause with hormones before she could get pregnant.
The age of first motherhood is rising all over the West. In Italy, Germany, and Great Britain, it’s 30. In the U.S. it’s gone up to 25 from 21 since 1970, and in New York State, it’s even higher, at 27. But among the middle-aged, births aren’t just inching up. They are booming. In 2008, the most recent year for which detailed data are available, about 8,000 babies were born to women 45 or older, more than double the number in 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Five hundred and forty-one of these were born to women age 50 or older - a 375 percent increase. In adoption, the story is the same. Nearly a quarter of adopted children in the U.S. have parents more than 45 years older than they are.
Are you a woman over forty working with an egg donor? Make sure you have an airtight agreement reviewed by an attorney, and proper medical testing conducted by a qualified licensed physician. Contact us to schedule a consultation. 310.598.6428 or firstname.lastname@example.org.