The Spanish woman who became the world’s oldest mum in 2006 after giving birth to twins just before her 67th birthday has died aged 69. Her twin boys, conceived with the help of fertility treatment, will turn 3 in December.

Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara lied about her age in order to have fertility treatment at a private Los Angeles clinic. Reports have claimed she paid £30,000 for the treatment. Her family called her “selfish and irresponsible” at the time, because of her age and the chance of her children being orphaned.

Maria was a single mum, and previously had stated, “I have wanted to be a mother all my life, but I never had the opportunity, or met the right man.”

She had also said she would see her children grow into adults, that she felt healthier than ever, and that her own mum had lived to 101 years, so she had every reasons to believe she longevity ran in the family.

Single mum Maria was diagnosed with cancer within months of her sons’ births. It was suggested that the drugs used in he fertility treatment might have contributed to the spread of the cancer.

The oldest woman to have given birth is thought to be Omkari Panwar from India. She had a twin boy and girl this year. She said she was 70, though had no birth certificate.

Britain’s oldest mum is Elizabeth Adeney.