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Relax! The Zsa Zsa-baby thing won't happen
April 14th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Relax! The Zsa Zsa-baby thing won't happen

You probably saw the headlines Thursday about 94-year-old actress Zsa Zsa Gabor becoming a mother. Sounds like a miracle of modern science, right?

Wrong. There are a bunch of significant problems with the whole scenario that make it, in the end, just another sensational Hollywood tale that won't actually happen.

First off, while Gabor's husband says he'll spend about $100,000 for the couple to have a child, it won't be biologically connected to the actress. In fact, while some women are today having children in their 40s and 50s, there exists no technology to make a child that is the biological offspring of a 94-year-old woman.

Prince Frederic von Anhalt told CNN he is finding an egg donor and a surrogate for the purposes of artificial insemination. Theoretically, that means his sperm would fertilize the donor's eggs and then one or two resulting embryos would be implanted into a surrogate. Current guidelines suggest that the combined age of two biological parents shouldn't be above 100; if 67-year-old von Anhalt is the father, the egg donor will have to be under 34. He could alternatively use an anonymous sperm donor.

But it's not as simple as that. Dr. Dan Shapiro of Reproductive Biologic Associates of Atlanta says von Anhalt and Gabor's public desire to have a child would not be considered a legitimate reason to go through with this procedure, given the circumstances. Gabor has suffered significant health problems and would have to pass a psychological evaluation to become the child's legal mother.

In her condition, it’s questionable whether she can consent to the conception of the child Shapiro said. And without Gabor's consent to be a legal parent, her husband cannot legally enter into a contract of this nature while married.

"This is not a reasonable request. This is not a childless family seeking to family-build," he said.

There is also a whole bunch of ethical issues raised in the situation that would make any credible fertility clinic decline the request, he said.

"Just because you’re capable of creating a baby and creating a family, is it in the interest of the couple? In the interest of the baby? Is there a social interest in making families that look like this? I think the answer in this particular situation is no, no, no.'”


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.