Should 60-Year-Olds Have Babies? (Yes, This Is Possible.)

Should 60-Year-Olds Have Babies? (Yes, This Is Possible.)

Mom Jeanine
October 4, 2011


Good Question, hot topic, Jeanine Edwards

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Have you seen the most recent issue of New York Magazine? Yeah, that’s the cover above. And no, your eyes are not playing tricks on you.

The feature story deals with the growing number of women who are now choosing to have children later in life. But I’m not talking past 35 later–I mean, like 50- and 60-year-olds.

Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of a 60-year-old being pregnant just trips me out. Maybe it’s because I’m not 60, so I can only imagine what my body will feel like at that age. Like any ignorant 20 something, I imagine being 60 means your body is starting to deteriorate. Your joints hurt, your knees buckle and you just can’t get around like you used to. It just doesn’t seem ideal for chasing after a toddler if you ask me.

But after reading the article, I’m actually way less freaked out about it. Many of the women profiled talk about wanting a baby so badly and going to great lengths (i.e. multiple rounds of IVF or even surrogacy) to get one. Part of it is totally immature–I’m relieved that I don’t have to think about 2 senior citizens actually having sex. But as a mother who desperately wanted a baby as well, I get it. The difference, of course, is that they all chose to wait to pursue other things and I, well, didn’t.

What do you think? Are you ever too old to have a baby? Weigh in in the comments.

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  • Tamara
    October 4, 2011

  • The thing that I think weighs most heavily on my mind is not so much them getting pregnant and having to keep up with a toddler. That’s their choice. But I just wonder if they take into consideration their life expectancy at all? What if they pass away when their child is in their tweens or teens? It’s a reality to be thought about. I would never want to leave my child in that situation, especially going into it knowing that it’s a possibility. (Or granted, they could live to 100 and I can eat my words.)

  • Beth
    October 4, 2011

  • I am 31 years old and have a 9 month old son. At 31 years old, he wears me out! I can’t imagine doing it at 60 years old- full time… not as a grandmomma! Also, do these women think of what health risks their children may have? And if they do have issues, will they have somebody to talk care of these kids if they pass away? My husband and I do have guardians lined up “just in case.” Why not adopt at a younger age if fertility is an issue? So many concerns… So many issues…

  • Erin
    October 4, 2011

  • I question whether or not it is fair to the child for a parent to take on the role late in life. I was only 36 when I had my fourth and final child and it was hard for me to keep up with the night time feedings, early mornings, and crazy life of a toddler. I can only imagine how I’d feel in my 60s, doing the same things.

  • Sandra
    October 4, 2011

  • I’ve worked on a lot of juvenile dependency cases in which a child has been taken away from his/her mother and father due to abuse, sometimes severe. Based on that experience, I can’t help but feel that the age of the parent(s) is so much less important than other qualities, e.g., the ability to love and care for your child. A lot of older parents also have much more energy and are healthier than younger parents, have a long life expectancy compared to younger parents with minor or major health issues, and are financially more stable. I also think there is a double standard for the two genders, which isn’t really fair. My girlfriend who is 46 and has a 2-year-old often gets comments and questions that aren’t too positive (and frequently judgmental) about the fact that she’s an older mom, including whether it’s hard for her to keep up with her toddler. In contrast, her husband, who is 60, gets, for the most part, positive comments (e.g., “you go, man!”) that suggest that people are impressed by his virility/masculinity in fathering a child at his age.

  • Jessie
    October 4, 2011

  • I totally get it. However as a 40 year old mama of 3 under 6 I even worry about my life expectancy but I am sure they have all of their ducks in a row or they wouldn’t go down this path.

  • able mabel
    October 4, 2011

  • I don’t think it’s right for anyone else to make that decision for another couple, or criticize them for making it. Everyone is different and has different beliefs, ideals, etc. Just respect their decision and move on.

    A 20-something year old mom can die just as easily as a 60 yr old mom, so I think that point is moot. You never know what happens in life.

  • Hannah
    October 4, 2011

  • As someone who had an older mother (she was 41 when she gave birth to me), I can tell you that it’s a mixed blessing. Many women become more secure and comfortable with themselves as they get older, and that can leave them with a far more confidant and secure child. However, that security can scoop away real fast when you find that your 20+ year old is dealing with issues that most people work through in their 40′s, when they may have a partner on whom to rely.

    As a child, you begin to take on more of an adult role earlier, as issues of osteoporosis and arthritis take center stage, when your peers are still dealing with parents who are going through mid-life crisis. I applaud these women who go after their dreams, even if it’s at a later date… but I think they really need to consider that they are leaving children who may not have parents to celebrate with them when they graduate from college…

  • ntiveheart aka jayedee
    October 4, 2011

  • i certainly can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, age brought so much to the table…in a very positive way. i had my youngest son 17 years ago….and was pregnant at the same time as my two oldest daughters….i actually have grandchildren older than MY baby. anyway, i feel that i am a much better mother, this time around, than i was with my older children. there really IS something to be said for experience!

  • Courtney
    December 1, 2011

  • What’s unimaginable to me is not a woman having a baby at 60, it’s that society thinks it’s their business. If the mother thinks she’s well enough to have a baby, and the doctor agrees, why is it an issue? Just because I’m a 20-something doesnt necessarily mean that I’ll live longer throughout my child’s life, nor does it mean I’m in better shape.