Dressed in a white hospital gown and surrounded by flowers, the only thing distinguishing Carmen from other new mothers is the horde of reporters and paparazzi maintaining a vigil outside her room. Carmen is quite unlike any other woman who has just given birth. At 67, she is the oldest new mother in the world. When she gave birth to twins, Pau and Christian, by Caesarean section on December 30 she pushed the boundaries of fertility to hitherto unimagined lengths and sparked raging debate about the ethics of administering fertility treatments to 'elderly' women and the sociological implications for children born of such parents. She is one year older than Romanian Adriana Iliescu, who gave birth in January 2005 to Eliza Maria. Carmen's two boys, who weighed in at 1.6kg each, are said to be 'doing well' and are being cared for in incubators, according to medical staff at the hospital in Barcelona, Spain, where she gave birth. Hailing from Andalucia in southern Spain, Carmen's story remained shrouded in secrecy a week after she gave birth. Carmen, whose full name has not been revealed, chose to give birth in the Hospital Sant Pau for its specialist unit dealing with high-risk births, usually involving teenage pregnancies or women half Carmen's age who have been diagnosed with complications in their pregnancies. She became pregnant with twins - her first pregnancy ever - after three years of in vitro fertilisation treatment in the United States. It is not known if she is married. Beyond the basic medical facts, nothing more has been revealed of this woman who has chosen to give life when many her age are caring for grandchildren. A security guard stands on her hospital ward round the clock to fend off the legion of journalists from around the world who are trying to get her story. The hospital has refused to divulge any more details of her case, beyond the basic medical details. But it is not out of a desire for complete privacy for herself and her boys - Carmen has reportedly already sold her story to an undisclosed magazine. Carmen, it is understood, has been told not to talk to other women on her ward so as not to give away any details of her experience inadvertently. When asked how she felt about having a baby at such a late age, she replied simply: 'That's life. I have my motives.' And Carmen has denied she was interested in doing it for the money any media deals would bring. 'I did it to be a mother and not for the money,' she said. Strangely, she appears to have been surprised by the reaction to her case. 'I never thought giving birth was going to attract such attention,' she told a source at the hospital. One nurse, who asked not to be named, said: 'She is very nice, but seems a little lonely. She seems much younger than her age. There has been no sign of any family coming to visit and we cannot be sure she is married.' Though she has been very tired since the birth, the nurse said she was taken in a wheelchair to see her sons for two hours every day in the neo-natal unit. But some doctors say the implications of motherhood so late in life are mind-boggling if not 'reprehensible'. How, for instance, will a woman in her late 60s cope with waking up through the night to feed two infants? When Pau and Christian are 18, their mother will be 85, if she is still alive. Italian doctor Severino Antinori, who administered fertility treatments to enable a 63-year-old British woman to give birth last year, told the La Stampa daily 67 was beyond an acceptable age. 'What's happened in Spain is reprehensible,' Dr Antinori told the Italian newspaper. 'Having a baby isn't like drinking a glass of water ... the aim isn't to make babies who will soon become orphans.' Joaquim Calaf Alsina, who led the team dealing with Carmen's pregnancy, admitted he had misgivings. 'After the age of 40 or 50, the risk of serious arterial hypertension, diabetes or heart problems multiplies,' he said. But the case has surprisingly led some fertility specialists to predict the age of more women 'cheating nature' and having babies into their 70s may not be far off. Infant psychologist Maria Luisa Ferreros said older mothers could offer more 'time and patience' to their children. Sammy Lee, an embryologist in the anatomy department of University College London, said: 'In five years, we might not see hundreds of women 60-plus become mothers, but we will see an increase. 'Now we have the technology to help women individually, or in a couple, cheat nature, it is becoming ever clearer that the desire to have a child overrides any concerns about age - even when the woman is in her very late 60s. I can envisage a time when eventually a septuagenarian will manage to give birth.'