A 59-year-old woman in central China who gave birth to twin daughters with the help of IVF technology has ignited a heated online discussion about older couples with adult children who decide to have more babies.
The twin girls were born in Yichang in Hubei province this month and their mother will turn 60 in two months, Jiupai News reported.
The woman, surnamed Wang, and her husband have an adult son living in Beijing who has a daughter of his own.
Wang said she and her husband are wealthy retirees and they sought assisted reproduction treatment, which cost more than 100,000 yuan (US$13,700), because they thought their home was like an “empty nest” and “cold and lifeless”.
Wang said her son’s family only visits once or twice a year.
She said her adult son neither supported nor objected to her decision to have more children.
“I did not ask my son and his wife to take care of my new babies and I won’t do that in the future,” she said. “They have also not taken the initiative to talk with me about this issue.”
Wang said she will nurture her daughters’ independence, aiming to let them handle all the household chores by the age of eight.
She said she and her husband had enough money saved to support the girls until they turned 20.
“Even if they work as shop assistants at a supermarket with a monthly salary of merely thousands of yuan, it’s not bad,” she added.
Comments flooded on to Chinese social media after the birth of the twins was reported.
On Douyin, the video news report elicited 30,000 comments.
“Can a person in his or her 60s have the energy to educate a young kid? I doubt it,” one Douyin commenter said.
Another was concerned about the couple’s adult son: “When they are older and if they have a serious illness, their son will not only have to take care of his own family but also this pair of twin sisters.”
Yet another online observer sided with Wang.
“I think this auntie was just too lonely,” the poster said. “Otherwise, who would be willing to endure the pain of giving birth at such an old age?”