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Woman, 61, will give birth to first child

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Many women are having children later in life. But at an age when most would be planning for retirement, a 61-year-old Brazilian woman is preparing to give birth to her first child.

The woman, whose name has not been released, is due in November, according to Agence France-Press. She told local media she became pregnant with a donor egg because she and her 38-year-old husband wanted to be parents.

"I had already gone through menopause… My husband wanted to be a father. I wanted to be a mother too," AFP says she told the O Globo newspaper. "I am in great health…and I have undergone a very thorough medical clearance."

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In Canada, nearly one in five babies is born to a mother age 35 or older.

But with the help of fertility treatments, women around the world are able to give birth at nearly twice that age.

In 2009, 66-year-old Elizabeth Adeney became the oldest new mother in Britain when she gave birth to a son conceived through in vitro fertilization.

In 2008, Omkari Panwar, a 70-year-old grandmother in India, set a record as the oldest woman in the world to give birth to twins. That same year, another 70-year-old Rajo Devi Lohan gave birth to her first child in India. Only 18 months later, however, Ms. Lohan revealed she was dying and was unable to lift her young daughter.

She told the Daily Mail she had no regrets: "I dreamed about having a child all my life. It does not matter to me that I am ill, because at least I lived long enough to become a mother."

The rise in late-in-life pregnancies has prompted concerns over the risk of complications and the potential harm to older women's health. Is a chance at motherhood worth the gamble?

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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