BUCHAREST, Romania – A 66-year-old mother believed to be the oldest woman to give birth dismissed concerns that she is too old to rear the child and said Tuesday that the baby was her mission in life.
“You don’t have to be concerned” about the child’s future, Adriana Iliescu told reporters in Bucharest 48 hours after the 1.45 kilogram (3.19-pound) girl was delivered by Caesarean section.
“That is my concern,” she said, adding that the girl “will have a beautiful future.”
Doctors performed the Caesarean section after the smaller of Iliescu’s twins died in the womb. That child weighed just 700 grams (1.54 pounds).
“Each person has a mission in life and maybe this was my mission,” Iliescu said at a news conference at the Giulesti Maternity Hospital in the Romanian capital.
Iliescu, who was artificially inseminated using sperm and egg from anonymous donors, said she had an “out of this world feeling” when she touched the baby’s fingers for the first time Tuesday. “It is completely different from when you touch someone else’s child. I was very happy that she took my finger.”
Iliescu, a university professor in literature and children’s book writer, said she hoped the child would follow in her steps and become a literature teacher.
“This child has the chance to be raised in an intellectual family,” she said. “I am a modern person, and the child will be a modern person.”
Iliescu has been criticized by leaders of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which disapproves of artificial insemination. Bishop Ciprian Campineanul, who heads the church’s bioethics committee, said Monday that Iliescu’s decision to have a baby that way was “selfish.”
Iliescu replied Tuesday that “every child that comes into this world does so because of God’s will,” and pointed to biblical examples of elderly women having children.
Bogdan Marinescu, a former health minister who now heads the Giulesti Maternity Hospital and is Iliescu’s doctor, has also come under media criticism for performing the in vitro fertilization.
Marinescu said the successful birth proved that Iliescu was mentally and biologically fit to carry the baby, and said the child was evolving normally for a premature baby at 33 weeks.