Who is Elizabeth Munro?
Elizabeth Munro is a British woman who recently announced she is pregnant. She received successful in vitro fertilization treatments in the Ukraine and plans on raising the child by herself. None of this would be newsworthy if it weren’t for Ms. Munro’s age. She will turn 67 just after delivering her first child.
Needless to say, there is plenty of public outrage. Doctors and clinical professionals worry about the health of the child — it is well known that children born to older mothers are more likely to have health problems. Others worry about the child growing up “without a mother”. After all, at the age of 67, it is very likely that she will die well before her child hits its teen years. The death of a mother at such a young age can have a seriously negative impact on a child, and while most mother’s can’t be blamed for dying while a child is young, the same can’t be said for a woman who chooses to give birth just this side of 70 years old.
Elizabeth Munro, a wealthy divorcee currently aged 66, is set to become the world’s oldest first time mother on record. On Monday, May 18, Munro spoke of her joy at finding she was pregnant, saying: “I feel 39 years old.” Interestingly enough, at around age 39, doctors have suggested that women’s chance of delivering a healthy baby begin to drop.
The childless Elizabeth Munro insists her age doesn’t matter, and has claimed in many television interviews that she is more fit and “certainly healthier” than “the girls in their 20s” who work at her factory. In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mirror, Munro defended her decision to travel to the Ukraine to receive the extremely expensive IVF treatment, saying she is “not daunted by the thought of bringing up the child alone.” Elizabeth went on to say: “It doesn’t interest me that I’m going to be the oldest mum in the country. It’s not my physical age that is important – it’s how I feel inside. Some days, I feel 39. Other days, I feel 56.”
The British businesswoman – born in July of 1942 – is eight months pregnant as of this week, and already knows the sex of her baby, due next month, just before her 67th birthday. She mentions having tried IVF once before, several years ago, but was so distraught when the treatment failed that she abandoned all hopes of having a baby. Munro runs a successful manufacturing business by herself, and lives alone in a beautiful mansion near Newmarket, Suffolk. Reportedly, Munro spends every January at a vacation home she owns in Cape Town, South Africa. No doubt, Munro has the means to raise a child. But, experts wonder, is it ethical for a person of her age to bring a child into the world?
Munro’s statements reveal her “devil may care” attitude.
“I have young girls working for me in my factory and I’m fitter than half of them. I don’t have to defend what I’ve done. It’s between me and my baby and no one else. It’s a very private thing and I don’t expect anyone else to understand it. I’m not even asking them to. I’m amazed that the fact I’m having a baby is at all interesting to anyone.”
Elizabeth split from her wealthy husband Robert Adeney, now 70, more than 15 years ago and has never married again. She has no partner and no brothers or sisters, and would be 80 when the child becomes a teenager. But Munro insists that her single status doesn’t matter any more than her age. She says she’s “perfectly capable of looking after myself. I’ve done it for years. It will be just me and my baby. I know some people won’t understand, but I don’t care.”
This week has been a typical work week for Munro — she has worked seven hour days at her plastic fastenings factory, located near her home, wearing form fitting clothings intended to clearly show off her pregnancy. Elizabeth Munro, who has undergone multiple cycles of IVF travelling back and forth to the Ukraine each time, became pregnant using a younger woman’s donor egg. She is prepared to give birth via an elective caesarean section in less than a month at a private hospital in Cambridge.
Because of the massive amount of media attention, Elizabeth Munro has reportedly fled her home to a private location to wait out the rest of her pregnancy. In a poignant photo released by the Daily Mirror, a stroller can be seen parked in the hallway of her home.