When Is Too Old Really Too Old?

By on December 8, 2008

I have to admit I am really bothered. I mean really bothered. I just read another headline about yet another woman who way past her fifties – this time a woman had a child at SEVENTY.

Yes, I said seventy years old.

You can read more about the article here.
I am thankful each and every day that we have the technology of ART. If we didn’t I wouldn’t have be a mother and have my incredible child.

However, I have to ask myself, “At what age do we say as a society you are too old to be bringing a child into this world?” Or do we as people have the right to impose age limits on this process?

I wasn’t concerned about what this 70 year old woman would experience being pregnant at 70. She knew what to expect. She’s an adult, and can make decisions for herself. My first thought goes to the children born to parents who bring them into the world being 70 years old.

My mind races to all kinds of things like:

· At the age of 5, these parents will be 75.
· At the age of 10, these parents will be 80.
· At the age of 15, thee parents will be 85.
· And 20 – well if they are alive they will be 90, however, they might be dead.

I myself can’t imagine being without my parents at the tender age of 20, however, there are lots of kids who are without parents from birth onward. And really I guess regardless of what age our parents are, we never know what life is going to bring us do we? I know sadly of lots of parents in their 20’s 30’s and 40’s who have died suddenly leaving behind families.

But I also can’t imagine what it would be like to parent my own parent at the age of 20 and all the other things that go hand in hand with having 90 year old parents. We prepare ourselves to care for our aged parents when we are in are in our forties, fifties and beyond – shouldn’t we be foot loose and fancy free at the age of 20.

I know lots of parents who are becoming first time parents in their forties and fifties. I don’t blink an eye. I can remember when I began this process, I thought I was ancient having a child at the tender age of 38. Oh my poor child would have a 56 year old mother when he graduated from highs school. And to think I’d have a child past the age of 45 back the was just so over the top. But times change, opinions change and now it’s not only quite common for women having their first baby at 35+ it’s even more common to be a first time mother at the age of 40.

So why am I blinking an eye when I hear that mothers that are in their late fifties are having babies for the first time? Is fifty-five the magic age for me?

I don’t know – my only hope is that these folks who are choosing to have children after they are designated by AARP as senior citizens have a great support system and a back-up plan in the event that something catastrophic and unforeseen OR foreseen should happen to them so that their children will receive the love and care they so richly deserve.




Portland, OR

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December 2008
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