Popping One Out At 70...

Bonnie - posted on 12/08/2010 ( 75 moms have responded )

4,813

22

262

Do you ever think you would consider having a baby at the age of 70?
I have seen a number of shows on tv with women who are either pushing 70 or already at 70, looking for a way to have a baby or she is already pregnant. I'm not just necessarily talking about having just one at that age either; some are considering two or even three.
I don't necessarily agree with this. To each their own really, but what about the child? Are they even thinking about the child in the end?
They would like to think they still have 10, 20, or even 30 more years to live, but that is taking a chance. Yes of course anyone could be young and lose their life tomorrow, but by that age there is risk. A baby could be left with no mother.

Thoughts?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 12/10/2010

3,562

36

3907

I wholeheartedly disagree, because this is about far more than "what someone can or can not do with their own body.". It is also about the life of a child. I don't care what someone does with their body. To me, that is not the entire point of the debate. There is also a child to consider, and the impact the decision has on THAT child. I think you would find, in many incidences, no-one considered the impact on the child when making their decision, they were concerned only with their own selfish reasons for going ahead and having that child. Show me a single case of a woman having a child beyond the age of around 55 where they gave consideration to the welfare of the child rather than putting their own feelings first.

Ez - posted on 12/09/2010

6,569

25

237

Haven't read all the other posts, but I just feel like menopause happens for a reason. Once a woman's periods stop, it is her body telling her she is too old for pregnancy and birth.

LaCi - posted on 12/09/2010

3,361

3

171

I don't get it. I mean, I wouldn't judge anyone for doing that. But, just my opinion, old age is for relaxation and a lack of responsibility. That's what we WANT, that's why we save for retirement, so we can play golf all day and watch the price is right without *having* to do anything else if we don't feel like it.

Veronica - posted on 12/08/2010

1,539

61

94

Utterly ridiculous - they could simplly take care of other children by donating their time and money to other children's wellfare - so many homeless and starving in the world - or volunteering at a daycare/preschool/school - they could still enjoy kids -- 70 is way past pushin' it stage!! Craps 40 is already pushing it for your body!! And there are huge risks by then - 70 would have to be way worse!! Are these ladies having onset of alziemers or dementia? do they think they are living in their 20s again?? (not knocking down dementia or alziemers - just examples, i know they are terrible diseases and health issues).
I guess i just dont understand - gonna have to find a 70 year old woman considering this, and ask WTF?! hehehe

Jodi - posted on 12/12/2010

3,562

36

3907

"Nikkole, Jodi etc I think this is one of those situations where you can't really say what you'd do until you were in that situation"

But this wasn't a question about what "we" would do in that situation. It's about whether we think it is right or not. And the fact is, it is not doing the right thing by the child.

75 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

@Jodi - Also, saying its not doing right by the child is subjective. Again, you're not looking at it from the perspective/world view of the people involved.

[deleted account]

@Jodi - I was just going with the progression of the conversation. And actually, if you look at the OP, the first sentence is "Would you....."

Stifler's - posted on 12/12/2010

15,141

154

604

BAHAHA Kimberly. I've seen that many 70 year olds in incontinence pads eating purees that it's not funny.

Bonnie - posted on 12/12/2010

4,813

22

262

Anything can happen to someone at any age whether you are 2 years old or 80 years old, so personally I don't necessarily think the fact that anything can happen to us at any age should play a factor, but it is true. I just think that by 70 you have to expect that something could happen soon.

Emily - posted on 12/11/2010

67

0

5

I think it's selfish. At that age you are not 100% and could die anyday (yes, even 20 year olds can too, but the chances of that happening are far far less than the chances for a 70 year old). I don't think it would be fair to the child.

[deleted account]

@Nikkole, Jodi etc I think this is one of those situations where you can't really say what you'd do until you were in that situation. And since we're all mothers, we will never be in that situation. It is easy to say, in our situation and in our world view that we'd just adopt, but we haven't lived with years of childlessness and we haven't lived in a society where motherhood is the bastion of female achievement. If you were looked down upon everyday for being childless and thought that in the afterlife you'd be disadvantaged forever for not having children, well then I think you'd have a different opinion.

Do I think its ideal? No. Do I think its a bit gross (I may never erase the image of that 70 year old breastfeeding)? A bit. Do I think its a smart idea? No. But do I think we have the right to tell someone else that they can't? Not at all.

Rosie - posted on 12/11/2010

8,657

30

321

i can see how these women if they were unable to bear children would desperately want to be able to do that. i kindof had that mindset after miscarrying twice. i was desperate to know if i could carry a child to term. however, there are years and years and years of time to conceive. if you havn't done it by age 40ish, i say adopt.

[deleted account]

Thats kinda crazy:\

There are way too many health risk to mama and baby at 50! That is way to old.

Bonnie - posted on 12/10/2010

4,813

22

262

I agree with both Jodi and Nikkole and really, if it turned out that I had problems conceiving all those years, if that were really the case, I would most certainly give up by the time I were 40(maybe even younger than that). There are many other things to consider at an elderly other than, "oh I have been trying for years to have a baby, this has been my dream. I gotta keep trying."

Nikkole - posted on 12/10/2010

1,505

31

49

I agree with Jodi and IF you know you cant have children or are going to have a VERY slim chance why not adopt a baby that needs a good home there are tons of kids that are just thrown away like trash or are given up because the mother could not take care of that child!! I understand that most women in these situations has had fertility problems BUT i wouldn't get to the age of 50's or older and have a baby JUST because thats what ive ALWAYS wanted!

[deleted account]

Look, I think you'll find that in the vast majority of cases the women didn't just wake up and want a baby on a whim. The 70 year old Indian women had had fertility issues for years (though it looks like it was the husbands issues). If in the 1960s they had advanced fertility treatment in India, they would have tried then. The Spanish woman with the twins who recently died spent all her fertile years looking after her invalid mother. Yeah, what a selfish bitch she was.
NZ's oldest parents had fertility troubles and after years of agonising IVF had a daughter who was then tragically killed in a car accident at 10. They couldn't imagine not having children in their lives so they had 2 more children in their 50s. MOST cases have some tragic background. Its not just career hungry cougars deciding to delay motherhood until retirement age. And due to this, this phenomenon will probably end in a few decades or at least decrease as couples with fertility issues are able to get better help at a younger age.

And if you say that fertility treatment should be halted at the same age as menopause because that's 'natural', well then you should get rid of fertility treatment altogether because it is against nature. Maybe those people were not meant to have children? Maybe that's natures way of population control? or evolution? But no ones suggesting that now are they?

So again, I will say, I'm not advocating for the geriatric world population to start popping out babies. I'm just saying that its not black and white and no one should say what someone can or can not do with their own body.

Jessica - posted on 12/10/2010

986

20

64

Well, my jaw has been on the floor for the past 5 minutes because I had no idea having a child at 70 was even POSSIBLE!

Amber - posted on 12/10/2010

280

17

7

very, very weird. why would you WANT to have a kid at seventy? i just want to sleep and eat and play crib when i'm seventy, just saying.

Corinne - posted on 12/10/2010

1,288

14

121

This topic really gets my hackles up. Couldn't have put it better Erin H, the menopause happens for a reason and no-one who's been through 'the change' at a normal age should be given IVF. In fact, I think the doctors who treat these ladies should be struck off and heavily fined. A completely irresponsible and selfish practice.

Nikki - posted on 12/10/2010

401

37

35

There is a reason for menopause. It is not safe after a certain point in life to carry a pregnancy and give birth. Now, if you are still sexually active and haing periods and get pregnant naturally that is one thing, but in vitro and such at that age is jus irresponsible. I am all for having babies s long as you can, but it is not responsible practice or a doctor to do assise feilization on a person past their retirement age.

C. - posted on 12/10/2010

4,125

35

242

I honestly think it's a bit selfish to have children that late in life. Sure, if they live through giving birth at that age, that's wonderful.. But how long are they going to live after that? And if they pass a year or a few years after having a baby that late in life, what's going to happen to the child(ren)?? It's almost like saying 'I'm so lucky to experience this, but who cares what happens to you if I die soon b/c of old age..' The idea just makes me kind of sick, to be honest..

Barb - posted on 12/10/2010

3,372

15

201

After reading that article i can't say what that woman did was selfish. As a matter of fact, it was self-less. She is giving her life to give her husband children. Even though it's probably him shooting blanks (she couldn't have children so i married two other wives but they couldn't have children either) kinda sounds like he is the common denominator there but, i could be wrong.
They are poor farmers, it has taken their whole lives to save up this amount of money for this treatment.

I just can't judge another woman's reasoning, i haven't walked in her shoes. I had one Aunt who didn't start having children until she was in her 40's and she stopped at 55. (after 4)
Another aunt, at 72 years old had loaned out her stud horse to a ranch across Oregon, heard it was being abused, took a bus 200 miles one way, and rode the horse back.

She also fostered children up until she had her stroke at 85 years old. She was very capable of parenting at that age and caring for babies. But that doesn't mean that EVERY 85 year old could, would or should.. She was a very exceptional lady.

And that is what i mean.. everyone is different and it just isn't my place to say yay or nay on the issue.. so , that's my 2 cents anyway.

Meghan - posted on 12/10/2010

3,169

33

202

I have mixed emotions about this. I totally agree that it is selfish and irresponsible...not to mention I have a hard enough time keeping up with a toddler while being in my mid 20s. But I honestly didn't believe in love until I had my son. I think everyone should experience that. Some woman get so focused on themselves and their career, maybe they hadn't met the right man and didn't want to settle, and they maybe don't feel they are ready to have a baby during the "ideal" birthing years (which I kinda wish more woman would think about but that's a whole different can of worms.) Point of my post, I would never do it, and I wouldn't be overly impressed with an elderly family member who did chose to do it, but I can understand where these women come from.

Johnny - posted on 12/10/2010

8,686

26

322

I suppose if you totally value your own desires and wants over your potential child's, then having a baby at 70 just because you feel like it is a great choice. Should there be a law to prevent people like this from doing so? I'm not sure, I haven't really taken the time to sit down and hammer out the potential ramifications of this issue. I do think that sometime around the point where menopause naturally occurs in the majority of the population, that women should stop having babies. Obviously, issues such as early menopause should be recognized as the unfortunate situation that they are. I am not suggesting that menopause automatically means no more kids, but when you're pushing 55 or 60, it's just getting silly and selfish.

Ez - posted on 12/10/2010

6,569

25

237

I was watching the news tonight and there was a story featuring a 4yo boy. It showed his parents, and I nearly died! They seriously looked as old as my mother (mid-50s). I was at my Nana's and she noticed too. My immediate reaction, after shock, was 'who the hell is doing fertility treatments on a woman that age?'. It would be very unlikely that a woman of 50ish could conceive naturally.

Jodi - posted on 12/09/2010

3,562

36

3907

Yes, Bonnie, it is sad when a woman starts menopause at 30, but because that is fairly unusual, I would say she has every right to go through IVF and have a baby, but honestly, there *should* be a cut off.

Becky - posted on 12/09/2010

2,892

44

93

No way would I consider it! I think it's wrong, and very selfish. Our bodies were designed to stop bearing children after a certain age. I don't think we should mess with that. Not only are there increased health risks for the mother, but for the child as well. And let's face it, no matter how fit and spry you are in your later years, you can't do the things a 30 or 40 year old mother could do with her child. Can you just picture an 80 year old woman out on the ski hill with her 10 year old?? The image makes me lol!

Amanda - posted on 12/09/2010

668

16

37

I think in a way it's selfish. I mean yes the woman may want a baby or 2 or even 3, but can she really offer that child(ren) everything they need in life? A stable home, a roof over their head, clothes on their backs, food to eat, someone to teach them new things, someone to hold them when they are upset, someone to show them unconditional love. I mean it's not all about financial responsibility but the fact that these children would end up with no mother after maybe a yr or even 10. Why would they consider having a child knowing that they may not live much longer? Not only that but the complications that will come along with it. I mean it's already hard for women who are in their 40's and wanting one 30 yrs after that is just crazy. Personally...I think it's selfish and unfair for the child or children.

Bonnie - posted on 12/09/2010

4,813

22

262

The only problem with that and it's sad, is that some women start menopause at 30.

Jodi - posted on 12/09/2010

3,562

36

3907

Thank you Erin, that's EXACTLY what I was thinking when I was rambling, and I just forgot to add it!!! I agree that menopause is nature's way of saying enough, and we should respect that. There are reasons.

Bonnie - posted on 12/09/2010

4,813

22

262

I can honestly say that if I didn't have kids, I wouldn't want to wake up one day at the age of 70 and say, "oh I feel like having a child or I want a child". I wouldn't even think that way at 50 or 60, but that's just me.

Jennifer - posted on 12/09/2010

1,501

37

231

posting before reading all the responses so hopefully i'm not repeating too much...



i completely understand the agonizing pull towards motherhood i just think this is a selfish decision.. at 70 years old you are a bit *cough* past your prime so how do you keep up with the demands of an infant that will only require more energy as he/she gets older? and what about factoring in the toll that pregnancy and childbirth would take on an elderly body? will she be able to teach this child how to ride a bike? will this child have a parent in the audience as he/she receives their diploma?

Jodi - posted on 12/09/2010

3,562

36

3907

"Could all of you honestly say that if you'd had fertility issues and hadn't managed to have children by 40 or 50 that you'd just say "Oh well. No children for me.":

But Anika, 40 or 50 is a LOT different to waking up one day and being 70 and realising you'd missed out. I'm sorry, but it honestly does not take a rocket scientist to know that your time DOES eventually run out. And 70 isn't even close. 50 is very different to 70.

The *hit by a bus* scenario doesn't wash because there is SUCH a small chance of that happening. The chances of a 70 year old dying before her child is raised is pretty much 50/50 (or even higher - 50/50 takes the child to age 15).

Giving consideration to cultural differences is valid, IMO, because in MANY of the cultures where life expectancy is quite low, they raise children in a different way. These are circumstances where the village raises your children, and the children are often raised in a culture where they are expected to be adults by the time they are 13 or 14. But in Western culture, because of the way in which we DO nurture our children and the way our society has evolved, our kids aren't *adults* until they are in their early twenties, and the village doesn't raise them, so they ARE often left alone.

Anyway, don't know where I'm going with it. Just rambling now......

Stifler's - posted on 12/09/2010

15,141

154

604

Anika makes a good point, we can't decide for people what they can and can't do. There ARE people out there who think poor people shouldn't be allowed to have kids. People used to die during childbirth back in the day in their 20s and 30s and no one told them to stop having children just in case they died!! On the other hand... is it really viable to want kids at 70 when you know... they have already been through menopause?

Sal - posted on 12/09/2010

1,816

16

34

i do feel they are selfish, my hubby's dad was well in his 60's when he was born, and died when he was 23, as a very old man who had been sick for a long time, my hubby missed out on so much with him, he never got to met his children, he never saw him married, graduate from police acadamy, he was old and sick from the time my hubby was a young teen (11-12) he has trouble having fun with our kids some time as he really missed it with his dad, no fun in their chidhood as it was like living with a old grand parent (he was 20 yrs older than his father inlaw) i just think if you haven't had kids by at least 40 there was a very good reason, if you were too busy too career minded didnt find the right partner then maybe kids weren't in gods plan for you...

Nikkole - posted on 12/09/2010

1,505

31

49

Yes kids are not always born into the ideal situation but most people who have kids in non ideal situations do not get help form doctors to get them pregnant! I just think if someone wanted kids and they KNEW they could have a lot of trouble having one instead of paying doctors thousands and trying to get pregnant adopt a child who NEEDS someone

[deleted account]

Yeah, you might have better odds but that's still not going to help when that bus smacks ya!

But why stop at 70? What about 40? Some places the life expectancy is only around 60 so that's a bunch of kids whose parents are dead by the time they're 20. Is that fair?

What about the younger parents that can't afford their kids? Is that fair? Should we put a salary limit on being parents? "Oh, you only make $30K and the threshold is $35K. No kids for you".

What about little people? They have a 1 in 4 chance of passing on their condition. Is that fair to their children?

My point is, I'd bet good money that most children are not born into the ideal situation. And I'd bet even more money that what I consider ideal is a lot different to what you consider ideal. So who gets to decide who is allowed to have children and who isn't? I'm just saying I don't want to be responsible for that choice and I don't think others should be either.

Nikkole - posted on 12/09/2010

1,505

31

49

yea but at 20yr old or a little older you have a better chance of being around longer than a 70yr old women

[deleted account]

But as already stated, you might be young and you could be hit by a bus tomorrow. No one is promised a long life.

Nikkole - posted on 12/09/2010

1,505

31

49

When me and my husband started tring for kids i told him i wanted to have all of them before i was 30 because of the higher risks of birth defects and miscarriage's! I just didn't want to wait till i was late 30's 40's and having kids but thats just me! And a 70 year old (even if she had problems conceiving or not)having a child would be unfair to that child sure she would have a village to raise her but when her mother dies she wont have her mom to be there

[deleted account]

#1 you can't put an age limit on what a person does with their own body. Where could you even draw the line? Why should a 59 year old be considered ok but not a 60 year old (just for example)?

#2- you're all looking at it from your own ethnocentric standpoint (which is understandable). Take that 70 year old Indian woman. In India, you aren't a real woman if you don't have a child. They'd rather die trying to have a child than die with no child at all. And they have a stronger sense of family and community. When she had her daughter the whole village celebrated and that child will be surrounded by love and family.

#3 I don't think a bunch of mothers who have all been blessed with children should judge those that haven't been so lucky. Could all of you honestly say that if you'd had fertility issues and hadn't managed to have children by 40 or 50 that you'd just say "Oh well. No children for me." I don't think that would have been the path I would have chosen but who really knows and if others want to, more power to them I say.

I'm not saying that I think every 70 year old out there should have a baby or that people with no fertility issues should put off children until retirement age, I'm just saying that until you look at each individual case you shouldn't judge.

LaCi - posted on 12/09/2010

3,361

3

171

that's how my boyfriends grandmother is, she's about that age. Although... I think if given the option he'd sleep that way too, and I think his whole family is big on naps. Maybe its a hereditary thing?

I honestly don't know how old my grandmother is lol. I never really thought about it. 70's I think. That's terrible, I should find that out.

Lisamarie - posted on 12/09/2010

715

26

112

I think it's wrong and so unfair on the babies! They are not going to have their mother there when they graduate or get married!
One of the stories I read about a 60+ year old woman had a baby and at two years old the poor lad got left on the bus because the mother forgot about him!
At that age I'd just want to relax!

Bonnie - posted on 12/09/2010

4,813

22

262

Well maybe it depends on the person then or how old you really are because my grandmother goes to bed at around 10 or 11pm and sleeps til 7am. Then she has a nap late morning and another nap late afternoon. She is 86.

LaCi - posted on 12/09/2010

3,361

3

171

Actually old people need less sleep. Old people sleep an average of 5.5 hours per day. Which explains why my grandmother seems to always be awake..

Bonnie - posted on 12/09/2010

4,813

22

262

I would like to know how a 70 year old can care for a newborn. Elderly people need more sleep than younger people, so I wonder how they are able to get up for feedings every 2 hours and survive the day on 3-4 hours of sleep. I wonder if there is any fear they will drop the baby.

Bonnie - posted on 12/09/2010

4,813

22

262

I know of one case where I saw a 57 year old on one of those shows with a 3 year, 1 year old, and now considering a third child. Okay she is quite a bit younger than 70, but she is doing well since having those children.

Tracey - posted on 12/09/2010

1,094

2

58

There was a case like this on the news a little while ago where a mother had given birth in her 60s and then died when the child was about 5.
If you are that desperate to have a child at that age then sponsor a child or volunteer at a children's home / playgroup then she could have all the playtime and be adored by many children.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms