Wednesday, Aug 20, 2008
TOKYO (Reuters) - A 61-year-old Japanese woman has given birth to a surrogate child, an obstetrician in central Japan said on Wednesday. She is believed to be the oldest surrogate mother yet recorded in Japan.
The woman became pregnant with an embryo created from the egg of her daughter, who has no uterus, and sperm from the daughter's husband, the maternity clinic involved said in a statement.
The clinic is run by Yahiro Netsu, who has defied longstanding opposition to surrogate births from Japanese obstetricians.
The clinic declined to confirm when the woman gave birth or to give her name, citing privacy concerns.
"The clinic hopes that Japan will hold forward-looking discussions on surrogate births and that it will take place in Japan without abuses," the clinic said.
Netsu helped eight surrogate mothers become pregnant and give birth between 1999 and 2008, said clinic spokeswoman Chihiro Netsu.
In four of the eight cases, mothers aged 55 to 61 gave birth for their daughters. The remaining four involved women giving birth for their brothers or sisters, she added.
Prior to this case, the oldest surrogate motherhood case known in Japan was a 60-year-old woman who became pregnant in the United States last year with an embryo created from donated egg and sperm.
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; editing by Roger Crabb)