Some of us are not applauding Aleta St. James for her twin babies

Some of us are not applauding Aleta St. James for her twin babies
The Hamilton Spectator

BYLINE: Lydia Lovric

When a woman gives birth, it’s normally a joyous occasion. When twins are born, doubly so. But when a 56-year-old woman undergoes in vitro fertilization in order to satisfy a much delayed longing, it’s the epitome of selfishness.

A New York woman, Aleta St. James, recently gave birth to twin babies, Francesca and Gian, via caesarean section. The babies were conceived using donor eggs, presumably because her own eggs would have been well past the “best before” date.

Medical marvel or ethical failing?

Although advancements in reproductive technology have been a blessing for couples hoping to conceive, the doctor who helped St. James get pregnant ought to reread the Hippocratic oath.

St. James is a single woman (never married) who didn’t even consider having children until the age of 52. Now that her little miracles have arrived, St. James says she plans to continue working. How nice. Not only will mommy be a senior citizen by the time these kids celebrate their tenth birthday, but in the meantime, they’ll likely be raised by a nanny or day-care worker.

Rest assured that St. James is no saint. She had countless years to think about becoming a mother but chose to wait until it was clearly too late. Unfortunately, she is putting her own selfish desires ahead of what is morally and ethically right.

Will she have the energy and stamina to keep up with busy toddlers? When her children enter high school, will St. James be entering a nursing home? And will she be able to see her kids through to adulthood?

One wonders if St. James gave any thought at all to such questions or if she merely decided to follow through on her whim no matter what.

And what of the egg donor? Most women who donate eggs probably don’t consider the fact that a woman as old as St. James might be the lucky recipient.

Sadly, St. James is not even the oldest mother to give birth. In 1996, a California woman delivered a daughter at the age of 63.

In our never-ending quest for progress, we must pause and think. Just because something can be done, should we?

Aleta St. James would be far more respectable had she decided to adopt an older child. She could then satiate her need to be a parent and also provide a home for a child in need, since older kids are more difficult to place.

Or, perhaps she should have considered being a foster parent where the commitment is only temporary in case she finds it difficult to keep up with the little ones in her care.

But when a woman enters her fifties, she’s better suited to filling the role of a new grandmother, not a new mother. At her age, she should know better.


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