Pat Hollander, a 57 year-old grandmother of ten, is seeking fertility treatment that will enable her to have a seventh child. Her 36 year-old niece has agreed to donate eggs and Mrs Hollander has found a fertility specialist who is willing to give her IVF treatment using her husband's sperm. Mrs Hollander and her husband have saved £5000 in order to pay for the IVF treatment at a private London clinic, after the treatment was refused by the NHS and several private hospitals. Now they are waiting for the decision of the London clinic's ethics committee. Mrs Hollander has been labelled 'selfish' by family and fertility campaign groups and accused of not thinking about the welfare of the child or children that may result from this treatment.
Family values campaigner Victoria Gillick has criticised the Hollanders' decision to try for this child: 'I would say a woman who wants to use fertility treatment to produce her seventh child is totally irresponsible. Merely because science enables you to do a thing doesn't mean it's right to do it.' There is no official legal age limit for IVF treatment but fertility specialists normally set an upper age limit of between 40 and 50 years.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority issued guidelines for the age of IVF egg donors, setting their recommended age limit for donation at 35. Pat Hollander's niece is older than is recommended and this may have the potential to cause further complications.