64-year-old mother's newborn twins taken into care

The Spanish retiree had previously given birth at 58 - with that child also removed by social services

64-year-old mother's newborn twins taken into care

Mauricia Íbañez with her twin babies [YouTube]

A woman in Spain who became a controversial figure in February after giving birth to twins at the age of 64 has lost custody of her children.

Mauricia Íbañez was forced to give up her son Gabriel and daughter Maria de la Cruz to social services after social workers in Burgos in the north of Spain found “signs they could be at risk.”

Íbañez, a retired civil servant who served for decades in Spain’s foreign ministry, is also a mother to a six-year-old daughter, though Blanca was taken into care three years ago and now lives with family in Canada.

Speaking to the Spanish broadsheet El País last month, Íbañez said she was afraid that her newborn babies, conceived from donor eggs in a US fertility hospital, would be taken away from her.

“They’re so defenceless, so delicate. I’m a bit afraid for them. I just ask god that they don’t fall into the hands of social services,” she told the paper.

A family affair

The 64-year-old mother also revealed that her own family members had attempted to stop her seeking fertility care, which she was refused in her native Spain on account of her age.

Íbañez took early retirement from her role in the foreign office after she was diagnosed with a paranoid personality disorder a decade ago, which prompted her sister to seek a court order preventing her from travelling abroad for the purposes of conceiving a child.

While the 64-year-old has yet to comment publicly since her newborns were taken away, her lawyer said: “She is devastated and very traumatised.

“The first time this happened was very painful for her. This time it’s even worse.”

Motherhood in Spain

When the birth of her twins was announced by the Hospital Recoletas de Burgos in February, with the identity of their mother revealed only as M.I.A., it provoked fierce debate in Spain about the appropriateness of a retiree becoming a mother well past the age of menopause.

Íbañez is one of the oldest women in the world to have given birth, but the phenomenon of sexagenarian mothers is not unheard of in Spain; last October, 62-year-old Lina Alvarez gave birth to her third child after receiving IVF treatment in Galicia. Her daughter was born by Caesarian section, despite being told there was only a 5% chance of viability.

In December 2006, Maria del Carmen Bousada Lara, a week before her 67th birthday, gave birth by C-section to twin boys. Christian and Pau were orphaned two years later when their mother died of cancer.

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