A successful round of IVF treatment has ensured an Indian couple have been able to celebrate the birth of their first child this month...at over 70 years of age.
The birth is the first successful pregnancy in 46 years of marriage for Daljinder and Mohinder Singh Gill.
After two years of treatment using donor eggs at a fertility clinic in the northern state of Haryana, Daljinder gave birth last month.
The septuagenarian does not have a birth certificate, which is common in India, so her exact age isn’t known, although she is purportedly said to be around 70 years of age.
In a country where infertility is sometimes seen as a curse from God, her husband, Mohinder, a farmer, had faced ridicule in the past and did not believe they would have a chance to have their own child.
Their son, named Arman, was born weighing 4.4lb (2kg).
Daljinder said: “When we saw the [IVF] advert, we thought we should also give it a try as I badly wanted to have a baby of my own.”
The couple are not anxious about who will look after Arman after they die and will not nominate any relative as guardian.
The 70-something mother added: “God has a plan for everything. Who would have thought I could have a baby at my age? It happened because God willed it.
“If we die, God will have a plan for taking care of our son.”
It was third time lucky for Daljinder when it came to conceiving after two previous attempts to get pregnant with donor eggs had failed.
The full cost for a cycle of fertility treatment can be as low as 100,000 rupees (£1,000) in India, around half of what it would be in Britain.
Post-menopausal births are increasingly common in India. Couples are often under intense social strain to have their own children and IVF treatment is inexpensive and not always regulated.
India’s medical council has lobbied for a bill which will ban fertility treatment for women over 50, as it is potentially dangerous for both mother and child.
Supporters expect the bill to be passed in parliament within six months.