America's oldest mother of twins, 65, on how she lied about her age to conceive now five-year-old sons
19:28 GMT, 31 August 2012
America's oldest mother of twins has revealed how she flew to South Africa and lied about her age to doctors, after U.S. clinics refused her IVF treatment.
Frieda Birnbaum, now 65, gave birth to Josh and Jarrett five years ago at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey via caesarean section.
At the time Mrs Birnbaum, who worked as a psychologist, was considered too old to have fertility treatment, however she has now detailed for the first time about how she managed to conceive after seeking help abroad.
The psychologist gave birth to twin boys in New Jersey, five years ago, after her and her husband of 38 years decided to go through with IVF abroad
After being turned down by a number of fertility centres in the U.S. both Mrs Birnbaum and her lawyer husband Ken decided to look further afield and flew 8,000 miles to South Africa, where rules were more 'flexible'.
'In South Africa there's difference, they were not as strict. They seemed very flexible with everything,' the mother-of-five told ABC news during an upcoming episode of 20/20.
When questioned, Birnbaum also admits she was never asked for a proof of age or ID and 'may have' told doctors that she was younger than she was.
Frieda Birnbaum gave birth to twin boys making her the oldest woman to give birth to twins in the U.S.
Proud parents: Frieda and Ken cradle twin Josh
Explaining the reason she decided to have more children at a later stage Mrs Birnbaum, who already had three children at the time, added: 'I had children for my husband… call me stupid. I did it because he said 'try it.”
Despite becoming a mother again aged 60 Ms Birnbaum, who had her first child aged 26, says that she feels 'more energetic' than she did in her 20s.
Birnbaum and her husband, Ken, first
became parents more than three decades ago, when she gave birth to their son Jaeson.
Four years later, she had her second child, Alana.
After suffering a miscarriage in her 40s she began IVF and at 53, she gave birth to her third child, Ari.
Reports have shown that the average age of motherhood is on the rise as more women focus on their careers during their 20s and 30s.
And according to the Centers for Disease Control women in their early 40s have the highest birth rates for their age group since
Despite the couple being overjoyed with their IVF success Mrs Bimbaum said other family members are less enthusiastic.
Mrs Bimbaum became a mother-of-five aged 60
Mrs Birnbaum: 'I had children for my husband… call me stupid. I did it because he said 'try it.''
'Jaeson was angry at me… (He) said we were crazy,' she said of her oldest son, who is now in his 30s and has two children of his own.
Doctors have also expressed concern and Dr.
Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, said that many people fail to look ahead to the future.
central question is what can we do to ensure the best interests of the
children. And if you're going to be entering a nursing home when your
child is entering junior high school, I think that's trouble,' he told ABC.
But Mrs Bimbaum shows no sign of slowing down. She added: 'I'm so inspired by life I am so excited by life… I am more excited by life now than ever before.'
The oldest mother is Maria del Carmen Bousada Lara (Spain, b. 5 January 1940), who gave birth by caesarean section to twin boys, Christian and Pau, aged 66 years and 358 days at the Sant Pau hospital, Barcelona, Spain on December 29 2006.
Maria passed away on Saturday July 11 2009 after being diagnosed with cancer.
Watch the full story on '20/20' TONIGHT at 9 pm ET