At 57-years-old, Susan Tollefsen was all for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Now, raising a three-year-old daughter on her own, the British mom has her doubts.
Tollefsen, 61, told the Daily Mail that there should be a cap for people seeking fertility treatment.
When her daughter was conceived, Tollefsen was confident that her partner, 11 years her junior, would be able to help care for their daughter Freya. That was all well and good before the couple split.
“If I’m completely honest, my experience has taught me that 50 should probably be the cut-off limit for having children, but until you have them it’s almost impossible to appreciate that,” said Tollefsen who now suffers from health problems, including being deaf in one ear and having a replaced knee.
“It’s so true that you only learn by your own mistakes, and my mistake was not to have had [Freya] sooner.”
While the UK, like Canada, recommend that doctors refuse IVF treatment for women over 40, Tollefsen underwent treatment in Russia, via a donor egg and her partner’s sperm.
The accessibility of fertility treatments and more and more women putting off having children until later, means women are giving birth at older ages.
Take Rajo Devi Lohan for example. 70-year-old Devi gave birth in 2008, only to admit 18 months later that she was dying and unable to look after her only daughter.
Modern science is often guilty of putting the cart before the horse. While fertility treatment is in and of itself a splendid thing, clear ethical boundaries and restrictions need to be in place before such treatment is offered to the masses.
IVF is big business. Not only is it eye wateringly expensive, when doled out willy nilly, such treatment comes at a cost -- to the children it delivers.