// you’re reading...

Assisted Reproduction

When Are You Too Old To Be Parents?

If you thought the Brazil situation was bad, take a look at this case involving a 57 year old mother and her 70 year old husband:

A court in Italy has ruled that the 70 and 57-year-old parents of a toddler are “too old” and selfish to raise her and have recommended she be put up for adoption, Italian media reported on Friday.

The 18-month old girl, known as “Viola”, was conceived with the help of artificial insemination after the couple’s repeated applications to adopt a child were turned down on the basis that they were too old.

“They never thought about the fact that their daughter would be orphaned at a very young age, and before that would be forced to care for her elderly parents,” ruled four judges in a Turin court in northern Italy.

The child is “the fruit of a distorted application of the enormous possibilities offered by genetic progress,” they said.

The couple were reported to social services by neighbours after they left the infant alone in a car for a few minutes late one evening, and “Viola” was immediately taken into care.

The judges ruled that librarian Gabriella De Ambrosis and her retired husband Luigi were driven by “a narcissistic need to have a child” and showed “indifference with regard to the child’s perspective”.

The couple, who married in 1990 when Gabrielle was 36 and spent years trying to conceive naturally, are planning to appeal the ruling, their lawyer said.

While the story reports that a pregnancy was achieved through the use of artificial insemination, that seems unlikely given the age of the mother. So I suspect she underwent IVF with donor eggs. Regardless, it is still pretty shocking to learn of a government removing a child from the home because of the age of the parents. I know many fertility groups and agencies in the United States set an age ceiling (i.e. the combined age of both parents cannot exceed 100). However, it is an entirely different story when a government makes a subjective decision after-the-fact that you are too old to parent and places your child in a new home. Too Orwellian for my comfort.


One comment for “When Are You Too Old To Be Parents?”

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed