A 56-year old British woman has placed advertisements in local shops and newspapers asking for an egg donor to help her have a baby. Priscilla Eatwell already has three children and is a grandmother, but has been turned away from IVF clinics in the UK because of her age.
Priscilla Eatwell has two children from her first marriage, who are now adults. A daughter was born to the Eatwells after they underwent IVF 13 years ago, but the couple did not have a second IVF child at that time because of the financial costs of the treatment. Mrs Eatwell was sterilised when she was 24, thinking that she would not want any more children. Now, with the help of egg donor and an Italian fertility clinic, she and her 69-year old husband hope to have their second child.
The couple approached their local fertility clinic three years ago, but were refused treatment because of their age. They tried another clinic based in London, which has an upper age limit of 55, but after searching for an egg donor for two years, ended up being over the age limit there too. Mr and Mrs Eatwell then travelled to Italy to meet fertility doctors there and found one willing to treat them, but only if a suitable egg donor can be found. Acting on this, the Eatwells' advertisement asks 'could you give the gift of life and be our egg donor?'.
A spokesman for the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) said that the couple were free to look for an egg donor: 'There is no age limit in the law on how old a woman can be with regard to IVF treatment'. 'As long as the ad doesn't contravene advertising standards and as long as it is advertising for an altruistic donor - someone who won't be getting paid - then it is OK', they added.