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A mother at 63: oldest in UK!

Dr Patricia Rashbrook, the psychologist and the oldest mother in UK, from Lewes in East Sussex, has two grown-up children but has recently remarried //and undergone fertility treatment. She gave the statement that this child had been given serious thought.

She and her husband John Farrant made a joint statement, "We wish to emphasise that this has not been an endeavour undertaken lightly or without courage. A great deal of thought has been given to planning and providing for the child's present and future well-being, medically, socially and materially. We are very happy to have given life to an already much-loved baby, and our wish now is to give him the peace and security he needs. We will therefore welcome a return to an undisturbed family life, in order that the well-being of both mother and child may continue to be promoted. We have greatly valued the warm support shown to us by family, friends and colleagues."

The Italian doctor Severino Antinori, who runs a private fertility clinic in Rome, first made headlines in 1994 by helping a post-menopausal 63-year-old woman become pregnant with donor eggs and hormones. He is the doctor who has treated the psychologist.

But it also has a controversial angle.

"It is extremely difficult for a child to have a mother who is as old as a grandmother would be. It is just that consumer society that wants absolutely everything, and never stops to think that a child is not a product. She is being selfish and sometimes greater love is saying no,” said. Josephine Quintavalle. She is from Comment on Reproductive Ethics (Core). She added, “You cannot buy life expectancy - that is the most important," she said. "It is a very worrying development. I do not think that maternal love or the welfare of a child should be equated to financial well-being or a degree."

On the flip side in her defence came, former Lewes neighbour Paul Pyant said, “ Dr Rashbrook had brought up two happy stab le children - one of whom is now a doctor - and had remarried recently. She is a very nice person and was a wonderful neighbour," he said. " I am very happy for her - it is remarkable really. I am sure it is going to be very hard work."

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