A grieving 67-year-old woman who became pregnant with twins via IVF has rejected medical advice suggesting she terminate this much-wanted pregnancy.
Life after loss
The Beijing News reports that the expectant mum, named Zhang, lost her only son in a car accident four years ago.
“I couldn’t fall asleep without sleeping pills for years. I used to dream about educating my son’s children, but it came to nothing [after the accident],” Zhang told the newspaper. Her son was born when China’s one-child policy was still in effect.
The grieving parents then tried to adopt a child, but were refused due to their advancing age.
Desperate to have a baby, they turned to a Taiwanese IVF clinic for help, becoming pregnant after a procedure in June this year.
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Once her pregnancy was confirmed and she had returned to China, a number of doctors refused her antenatal care and advised her not to move forward with the pregnancy. This ‘geriatric pregnancy’ was deemed too high risk and it was suggested Zhang should undergo a termination to safeguard her health. (The oldest Chinese woman to become a mother at this point is Sheng Hailin who was 60 when she gave birth to twins in 2010.)
“Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning told other hospitals in the capital not to treat her without contacting it for guidance,” The Beijing News reports.
Zhang said this official response made her “feel like I was a wanted criminal.”
“No one cared about me when I lost my only child, so I found a way out by myself, but you’re blocking me again,” she said. “I’m not so rich, but I’m prepared to support a child, and I believe I could live to 85 to see my child grow up to be an adult. Even if I couldn’t, my nephew, who’s about 40 years old, can help raise the child.”
“Having a child is everything to me,” Zhang revealed.