Single, 54, and a New Dad: Why Some Start Families Late
(Link): Single, 54, and a New Dad: Why Some Start Families Late by A. Ellin
August 5, 2016
SPARKY CAMPANELLA never heard the thrumming of a biological clock. But his “sociological clock” — his sense that he was missing out on something important in life — boomed mightily. At the age of 54, he decided to do something about it. He became a father.
He was single, but so what? “I decided I could either do it myself, or wait for the right partner to come along,” said Mr. Campanella, a Los Angeles fine arts photographer whose son, Rhys, is a little over 1 year old. Over the years he had dated women who had children of their own, but he realized that he didn’t want to be a stepdad.
….It’s a question many childless people over 50 are asking themselves. Of course, dealing with night feedings and rambunctious 2-year-olds are not for the faint of heart. But with their finances in order and their careers in place, with their life spans extended, some older people are concluding: Why not start — or continue — raising children in later life?
Stories of late-life parenthood often make headlines. This year, the 54-year-old art dealer Nicholas Bergruen had two children via surrogate. Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, the chairwoman of the global trading house Louis Dreyfus Commodities, gave birth to twin girls at age 53. Janet Jackson made headlines when she announced her pregnancy two weeks before her 50th birthday.
…Most important, despite a host of health and ethical issues raised by late parenthood, the whole idea is becoming more culturally accepted, particularly in certain highly affluent circles.
“More women and men who are 50 or over are pushing the envelope and taking the leap into parenthood,” said Rachel Lehmann Haupt, the author of “In Her Own Sweet Time: Egg Freezing and the New Frontiers of Family” (Nothing but the Truth, 2016).
“We’re living longer, and this new middle age is becoming a time when people start to think about what they want to do with the rest of their lives. For many who haven’t had kids, they decide to reinvent themselves as parents.”
…“People are so much healthier today,” said Dr. Philip Chenette, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco. “I see 55-year-olds routinely mountain biking in Marin County, and if you keep a good diet and keep your weight down, you can do a lot of things with your body that you couldn’t do before. If your life expectancy is longer, why wouldn’t you want to fill that time with your kid?”
..Some fertility clinics have extended the age of the patients they will accept. The cutoff at Pacific Reproductive is 55 for women (The combined age for a couple is 110). There is none at the New York Fertility Institute, in Manhattan. “We’ve had patient’s first baby delivered to 57,” said Dr. Majid Fateh, the founder and medical director.
….There are health risks from older fatherhood, too. Sperm from an older man, researchers say, puts children at an increased risk for autism, schizophrenia and dwarfism. While no one has yet advised men to freeze their sperm to save for a later date, “it’s not a terrible idea,” said Dr. Chenette.
(Link): Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)(Link): Stop Pressuring Women to Be Moms: It’s Insulting to Assume We All Want The Same Thing by R K Bussel
(Link): Hypocrisy: Conservative Christians / Catholics Pressure Women To Feel Their Only Worth is in Becoming Mothers, But If Women Try to Use Medical Technology to Get Pregnant, the Women Are Condemned by The Same Groups
(Link): Totally Obnoxious Parent: Childless Couple Who Donates to Childrens Charities Lambasted by Snotty Adult Sister for Not Showering Her Kids with Christmas Presents – Parents Who Discriminate Against the Childless or Childfree