A 62-year-old became Britain's oldest mother on Wednesday morning, it emerged last night.
Dr Patricia Rashbrook gave birth by Caesarean section to a "beautiful" 6lb 10oz baby boy - temporarily called "JJ" while she and her husband consider names.
Dr Rashbrook, from Lewes, East Sussex, travelled with her 60-year-old academic husband John Farrant to a fertility clinic in the former Soviet Union, where they paid a reported £10,000 for IVF treatment using a donated egg in order to fulfil his dream of having a child.
The treatment went ahead under the supervision of the Italian specialist Professor Severino Antinori. Fertility clinics in Britain will not help women over 55.
"Seeing him for the first time was beyond words," she told The Daily Mail. "I had some apprehensions about the birth but it all went very smoothly. JJ is absolutely beautiful, a perfect small person."
Her husband added: "By some amazing miracle I am a father. I feel that life will never be the same again. To me that's super, something I never thought would happen. We would not have gone ahead if we'd felt we would not be good enough parents."
Mr Farrant was previously childless, but Dr Rashbrook has three children, aged 26, 22 and 18, from her first marriage, and pro-life groups accused her of selfishness for having a child at such an advanced stage in her life. The child psychiatrist said before she gave birth: "This is about wanting a child with the man I love in the knowledge of everything that will entail." The couple will both return to work part-time in order to share caring for "JJ".
Britain's previous oldest mother was the Welsh hill farmer Liz Buttle, who gave birth in 1997 at the age of 60 after lying about her age to get fertility treatment in the UK. The world's oldest mother is the Romanian Adriana Iliescu, 66 when her first child, Eliza Maria, was born last year.Reuse content