An Indian couple in their 70s claim they gave birth to a child in order to secure an inheritance from the estate of the man's father.
72-year-old Dalijinder Kaur became a mother for the first time, thanks to in vitro fertilization, or IVF. According to Mohinder Singh Gill, Kaur's husband, the couple wanted a child so they could stake their claim to his late father's $750,000 inheritance.
"My father was trying to deprive me of a share in his property on the plea because I didn't have a child," Gill said. "We had been engaged in a tussle for more than four decades."
Gill's father, Uttam Singh, passed away eight years ago and wanted the property to be split evenly between his children. But Gill claims that his four siblings deprived him of his share of the inheritance because he was childless. Gill, who is a farmer, then turned to IVF in an attempt to end the lengthy legal battle.
"When this fight started, I was in my 40s so my wife and I tried to have a baby but there was some medical complication," Gill said, according to the Daily Mail. "We went to see many doctors but it was the 1970s and 80s, so medical facilities weren't that great. It was embarrassing to not be able to produce a child, no doubt, but we got caught with litigation."
The couple said they had almost given up on having a child, but then they spotted an advertisement for a fertility clinic in Haryana. After two years of treatment, Kaur gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
"God heard our prayers," she mused. "My life feels complete now. I am looking after the baby all by myself. I feel so full of energy."
Anurag Bishnoi, an embryologist and owner of the National Fertility and Test Tube Baby center in Hisar, seemed pleased with the result. "For them it is a time of great happiness," he said. "In Indian law they don't allow adoption after 45 years of age."
According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnancy after 35 years of age can lead to increased health risks and serious long-term damage to both mother and child. Women who give birth after age 35 are susceptible to higher blood pressure levels and gestational diabetes, while the babies themselves can suffer from chromosome abnormalities and low birth weight.
Gill and Kaur don't seem too concerned about the potential negative effects of conceiving a child so late in life. "People say, what will happen to the child once we die?" reflected Gill. "But I have full faith in God."