MUZAFFARNAGAR, India --Omkari Panwar, a 70-year-old
grandmother from India gave birth to twins, setting the world
record for the oldest mother. Photo:
Singh Panwar:"If I am the world's oldest
mother it means nothing to me. I just want to see my new babies
and care for them while I am still able."/ Barcroft
Omkari Panwar and her 77-year-old husband
Charan Singh Panwar, a retired farmer already have two grown-up
daughters, and five grandchildren, but were desperate for
a son and heir.
And, after she controversially underwent IVF treatment,
which cost 350,000 rupees (£4,375 or $9,000)-a small fortune
in India, the couple's wish was granted, when the twins, a
boy and a girl, were delivered by Caesarian section.
To pay for it Charan mortgaged his land, sold
his buffalo, spent his life savings and took out a loan.
"I am very happy," Charam Singh, 75, the
father of the twins, told ABC News through an interpreter.
Singh was reluctant to speak because he has received
negative publicity for his wife's having children at such
an advanced age. Even many people of his village in India's
state of Uttar Pradesh haven't supported the decision. Still,
he and his wife are happy.
"The desire for a male child has always been there,
but God did not bless us with a male child," he said of the
son who is a product of in vitro fertilization. "Now, we are
very grateful to God, who has answered our prayers."
Photo: Omkari Panwar, 70, and her husband,
Charan Singh Panwar, 77 / Fame Pictures(enlarge
The twins — born one month premature and each
weighing two pounds, nine ounces — are healthy and expected
to survive, according to doctors at Jaswant Roy Speciality
Hospital, where they are in incubators, the paper goes onto
Panwar's doctor Nisha Mallik, who delivered the
twins, explained some of the details of Panwar's pregnancy.
"Omkari is a 70-year-old patient who has conceived through
IVF fertilisation with a pre-term of 32 weeks. Due to some
complications, we had to start with the caesarian section.
She has delivered twins," explained Panwar. "I have been
practising medicine for 20 years and I have never heard of
such a case."
She underwent in-vitro fertilization, after which the
couple's wish was granted when the twins, a boy and a girl,
were delivered by Caesarian section, the paper says.
Recuperating on a rusty steel bed in her daughter's
mud-brick home, Omkari said: "For eight months the pregnancy
was hectic and very painful. But I have given birth before,
so I knew what to expect. "Sometimes, you have to face the
pain if you want something good. All I care about is that
my children are healthy. "My daughters' have got a little
brother, my husband and I have got an heir – that is all we
"At last we have a son and heir," he said. "We prayed
to God, went to saints and visited religious places to pray
for an heir.
"We kept no stone unturned and God has rewarded us.
The treatment cost me a fortune but the birth of a son makes
it all worthwhile. I can die a happy man and a proud father,"
the paper states.
The twins are currently under observation because
they were born a month early but they are doing fine.
According to India's 2001 census, the country
has a national average of 927 girls born for every 1,000 boys.
The British medical journal the Lancet recently estimated
that 500,000 female fetuses are aborted each year in India
solely because of their gender.
In April, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed
female foeticide and infanticide "a national shame."
The previous oldest ever mother was Adriana Iliescu,
a Romanian who gave birth to a daughter, aged 66 in 2005.