Multiple Births

Oldest mother, Maria Carmen del Bousada, Looses Cancer Battle Leaving Twins Behind

Sad news today…The Spanish woman who became the world’s oldest mother when she welcomed her twins in 2006 at the age of 66 has lost her fight with cancer, leaving the babies orphaned.

Maria Carmen del Bousada was diagnosed with cancer a year after giving birth to Cristian and Pau. She died at a hospital near Cadiz on Saturday aged 69.

Her two-year-old twins will be left to the care of the family and are unlikely to retain many memories of their mother.

The Diario de Cadiz newspaper reported that Miss Bousada was diagnosed with a tumor before she gave birth at a clinic in Barcelona in December 2006.

During an interview after the babyies arrival, Miss Bousada said the drugs used during her fertility treatment may have helped the disease spread. But she insisted she had no regrets.

In 2006, she traveled to the US to undergo in vitro fertilization treatment costing $50,000.

Later, she admitted that she lied to doctors about her age, saying she was only 55 to get round age limits at the Los Angeles clinic.

At the time the birth causes controversy in Spain, from fertility experts and even from her own family.

“My mother would turn in her grave if she knew what my sister has done,” said her brother Manuel Bousada de Lara, 73. “She would ask: ‘How are you going to bring up two boys at your age?’’


Before the birth, which was premature and by Caesarean section, she only told most of the family she had gone to America, failing to mention it was for intensive in vitro fertilization.

The determined mom had never been married and lived in a two-bedroom flat above a supermarket.

Neighbours said she rarely ventured out and spent most of her time inside with her children.

As her twins approached their first birthday, Maria gave an interview to a Spanish television show and admitted she had been diagnosed with a ‘very serious illness’.

She said at the time:

‘The little ones are beautiful, very chubby, very big.

‘At the moment I am still here. I have my family, the two children have their godfather.

‘I have a girl who helps me look after the children. I am always there for them. I always have help.

‘I’m not thinking about fear in my life at the moment but of course you never know.

‘I am well at the moment but you never know how things will work out. I have always been healthy and never had problems.’

Asked if she had any regrets over her decision to have children, she replied: ‘No, not at all, not at all. No.

‘Yes, I think about myself, but the children I was lacking, they have a family.’

And asked who will look after the children if she dies, she replied: ‘I have a nephew, I have their godfather who is very good with the children.

‘They are not going to be alone. But come on, I’m not thinking at the moment that I’m going to…

‘The love that these children receive, very few children get that amount of love. That’s the truth.’


The concern now is for these babies. Their uncle Ricardo would only say that they were doing brilliantly and that he would not discuss who will be looking after them.

The sad part is that they are old enough to know their mom. Three years is just not enough time.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

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