How Old is Too Old to Become a Mom?

"If you have a partner and you're 57, healthy, no medical problems and you're married to a 42-year-old man, what's the difference between that and a 57-year-old man married to a 42-year-old woman?" he asked.

It's the age-old double standard. Even Sahakian admits it exists. Older men frequently father children -- the late actor Tony Randall became a father at 76, and Larry King sired children at 65 and 66 -- while news of Bousada's motherhood has sparked some controversy.

Sahakian says older women should carefully weigh the dangers before deciding to undergo IVF, noting that, in addition to childbirth, women must endure the physical exertion of carrying the child.

Some fertility specialists, such as Dr. Richard Paulson of University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, worry that other women, hearing of Bousada's twins, will put off a pregnancy believing that they have time.

"The biological clock is ticking. If you wait to have a child in your 50s, it's possible, but you'll be using a donor egg," Paulson cautioned.

Sahakian has a more sober prediction: "I think there's going to come a day when someone's going to die -- either the woman or the child -- and there's going to be a lawsuit."

That, he believes, will set a precedent, causing medical malpractice insurers to impose age limits.

"The system will probably control itself eventually," he said.

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