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IVF specialist, Dr Sahakia
"I would treat each case for its value"
 real 28k

The BBC's James Coomarasamy
"The details of this case have shocked the French people"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 20 June, 2001, 15:33 GMT 16:33 UK
Brother fathered 62-year-old's baby

By James Coomarasamy in Paris

A 62-year-old woman who last month became France's oldest mother has revealed that her brother was the biological father of the baby.

The woman, a retired teacher from Frejus in the south of France, conceived the child in the United States under an artificial insemination procedure that is illegal in her home country for women who have been through the menopause.

Fertility treatment
The child was conceived in the United States by artificial insemination
But this already controversial birth is now posing an unprecedented ethical problem after the 62-year-old, identified simply as "Jeanine", revealed in an interview that her brother Robert is the child's biological father.

The details of this case have shocked French people.

Doctor tricked

Robert's sperm was used to fertilise two eggs donated by a Californian woman: one was brought to term by "Jeanine", the other by the donor.

The two babies were born on either side of the Atlantic within a few days of each other and are now being brought up by "Jeanine" and Robert in the home they share with their 80-year-old mother.

In her interview, "Jeanine" admits that she tricked the doctors in Los Angeles into believing that she and her brother were married.

The man who performed the fertilisation treatment has expressed his disappointment at the news and says that in future he will demand to see couples' marriage certificates.

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31 Mar 99 | Medical notes
IVF
18 Aug 98 | Health
Fertilise now, get pregnant later
31 Mar 99 | Health
IVF: the drawbacks
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