Adriana Iliescu

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Adriana Iliescu (born 31 May 1938, Craiova) was reported as the world's oldest woman to give birth, at age 66, a record which stood until 2006. Iliescu gave birth to Eliza Maria on 16 January 2005, at the Giuleşti Maternity Hospital in Bucharest, Romania. The child, however, is not her biological child, as the ovum (and also the sperm) was from an anonymous donor, and Iliescu was more of a surrogate mother. She is a retired university lecturer and writer of children's stories.


Iliescu was first given hormone treatment to reverse menopause in 1995 and in vitro fertilisation (three zygotes with sperm and ovum from two anonymous donors) in 2004, becoming pregnant with triplets. After ten weeks one of the three fetuses failed to progress and died. The remaining two fetuses, both girls, weighed just 1.45 kilograms (3.19 pounds) and 0.69 kilograms (1.54 pounds) after 33 weeks of pregnancy, but after complications the smaller of the two died in the womb. Though doctors were expecting to perform a caesarian section soon after the 34th week, the death of one of the twins led to the decision to operate earlier than planned. The surviving baby was expected to remain in hospital for six weeks.

International interest

Romanian laws governing the process are currently under review and, to bring them in line with typical European legislation, may prevent any form of such treatment after the age of 50.

The story became international headline news, causing debate as to whether fertility treatment is ethical after a certain age. The release of details about the pregnancy and birth was criticised when different information was reported by different news companies. One primary source was a Realitatea TV interview with Iliescu conducted a month before the birth. The age of Iliescu was reported as 67 by some sources and the exact details of the second, and in some reports third, fetus differed greatly. For example, a CNN news website article [1] was updated after a day, changing her age from 67 to 66. Gheorghe Borcean, head of the Romanian medical profession's ethics committee commented:

"A case of such prominence should require academic debates and not just one single television report" [2]

Television and newspaper polls and discussions around the world asked the public what their opinion of the ethical decision was.


External links

ms:Adriana Iliescu nl:Adriana Iliescu