A 65-year-old German grandmother of seven and mother of 13 has discovered that she is pregnant with quadruplets, a result of artificial insemination.
Annegret Raunigk, a primary school teacher, had undergone the fertility treatments in the Ukraine, with four eggs implanted. Doctors weren’t sure about whether even one of them would fertilize, but all four eventually developed into embryos.
A full decade ago, Raunigk was in the headlines for becoming a mother at the age of 55. Her oldest child is 43, and she said that she based her decision to have more children on the fact that her nine-year-old daughter wanted a brother or sister.
The reason that Raunigk traveled to the Ukraine was because she was considered too old for the in vitro fertilization treatment in Germany. The country bans not only egg donations, but also the number of eggs that can be implanted, a remnant of the reviled Nazi era.
Raunigk’s decision has led to criticism about the ethics of her decision, as well as her ability to raise them. The ethics considerations are based on the history involved with older women giving birth, which includes higher risks related to underweight babies and premature births.
Regarding the latter criticism, Raunigk says, “I’m of the opinion that everyone should live their life as they want to. Because this possibility exists and is used by thousands of people, I’m allowed to use it too.” She says provisions have been made if she’s unable to care for the children.