Parenting

Frieda Birnbaum, America's Oldest Mother of Twins, Received Fertility Treatment Abroad

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A 60-year-old woman became America's oldest mother of twins by flying to South Africa, lying about her age, and receiving IVF treatment after American doctors refused to treat her. 

Frieda Birnbaum, now 65, had twins Josh and Jarrett five years ago at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey through caesarean section. 

Birnbaum was a psychologist at the time, and was considered by U.S. doctors to be too old for fertility treatment. For the first time, Birnbaum explained to ABC News how she was able to receive treatment abroad. 

First, Birnbaum tried to receive treatment from multiple centers in America, but all turned her down. After multiple denials, Birnbaum and her husband, who works as a lawyer, looked into South Africa where fertility rules were "more flexible." 

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"In South Africa there's difference, they were not as strict. They seemed very flexible with everything," Birnbaum said. 

Birnbaum also explained that she never had to show her ID, and admits she "may have" told doctors she was younger. 

She was prompted to have more children at an older age because her husband wanted it. "I had children for my husband…call me stupid. I did it because he said 'try it'," she explained. 

While she had already given birth to three children beforehand when she was younger, she says that she feels more energetic now that she's older. 

Birnbaum isn't alone in deciding to have children at an older age, as reports indicate the average age of motherhood is on the rise. More women are focusing on their careers in their 20s and 30s rather than having children. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, women in their early 40s have the highest birth rates for their age group since 1967. 

The Birnbaum's are ecstatic about their new babies, but other family members are unenthused. 

One of Birnbaum's children, Jaeson, was angry at her for going through with the treatment. "He said we were crazy," she said. Jaeson is now in his 30s and has two children. 

Family members were not the only ones upset over Birnbaum's choice. Doctors have expressed worries that she had not taken the future into consideration.

"The 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," Dr. Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, said. 

Despite the downfalls of being an older mother, Birnbaum says she is completely revived by the birth of her two sons. "I'm so inspired by life I am so excited by life…I am more excited by life now than ever before," she said.