Post # 1
I heard this news story on my way to work this morning. Using IVF, a lady from Tasmania, Australia has had her first child at the age of 63, with her partner, 78.
What are your thoughts? Personally I’ve seen the impact on the child. I’ve worked with a 17 year old girl who had a 75 year old dad and she was constantly worried about him dying. But then how do you say what is an appropriate age to have a baby / when you should stop? An interesting topic. Would love to hear bee’s opinions.
Post # 2
I always think in terms of how old will the parent be when the child is an adult. So, this poor kid is going to have an 81 year old mum on its 18th, and you can pretty much assume it will have a deceased father.
PLUS this child will never know siblings, grandparents, chances are its Aunts and Uncles will all be elderly already. It is really sad to me.
I look at this as an incredibly selfish act on behalf of the parents. I understand they may have been lamenting the absence of a child in their life, but why not foster a child? There is a huge lack of foster parents in AU.
Post # 3
I just told my DH about this and his response was “wtf, that shouldn’t be legal”…
I was an orphan by the time I was 16 and DH also lost his mom when he was 16. We understand that death can happen at a very early age…but being selfish enough to basically force your child to become an orphan that young is horrible.
Post # 4
There’s an evolutionary reason why women lose fertility after a certain age. While it seems like an amazing feat, it also feels like an abuse of the technology. It will be interesting to see how the kid’s childhood is in the future.
Post # 5
Funny, though, no one thinks about outlawing a man from fathering a child late in life. What about Tony Randall? Anthony Quinn? Even Pavarotti? Or is it somehow less awful when a child is guaranteed to lose a father early in life than a mother? I realize it is different when medical intervention is not involved, but who gets to make the decision about who qualifies for IVF? What sort of rules or guidelines should there be, and who gets to make that call? Should we base it on age? Financial status? Hereditary diseases? Criminal past? There are scores of people I think should never be parents, but I rarely think that age has much to do with it. At the very least, that child will be loved and was very, very wanted.
Post # 6
echomomm : Funny, though, no one thinks about outlawing a man from fathering a child late in life.
So not true. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that this is a ridiculous situation. All the money in the world doesn’t make up for dead parents at an early age. Although we can’t “outlaw” senior citizens from becoming parents, I think it is unethical for doctors to help them do so with technology.
ETA Admittedly judgemental.
Post # 7
Damn these responses are judgmental
Post # 8
Agree with Olivepepper . In general I feel that having a baby at an old age is selfish. 60s and 70s? Yeah, that’s ridiculous. So wrong. Both of my grandpas died at 72. This poor baby will barely have parents and yeah, no grandparents, etc. To me there’s no other way to look at it. Okay, maybe they do love the baby greatly while they’re alive. Won’t be even a third of the child’s life most likely. They love themselves more.
Post # 9
My friends dad is in his 90s (admittedly, friend is now in his 30s). It’s weird of course, to me, that his sister is old enough to be his mother and visiting his dad for him is like others visiting their grandparents… But he seems to be happy enough and probably pretty happy they decided to have him…..
Post # 10
I have a real problem with making judgements about what women do with their bodies. So many of the posts here comment that the kid won’t have sibling, grandparents, may be an early orphan etc. So should someone without familial support not be able to have a child? No grandparents, no kid? If they can only have 1 should they not be able to have a child? If a woman has the BRCA gene is she selfish to have a child? What about if the parents are differently abled? Policing reproductive rights, including access to IVF, is a moral minefield
Post # 11
I think it’s gross, selfish and unfair on the child. If they waited that long to have a family, there are plenty of foster kids in Australia who are I need of a loving home rather than bringing a child into the world who is likely going to spend their childhood caring for their geriatric parents.
Post # 12
Well considering that the father is mostly likely claiming an old age pension (given he is 78 and for most of that era the payment starts at 65ish) and the mother will more than likely start claimng in 2 years and therefore both will be claiming the child and recieving public assistance this is a public matter.
Also (not in this case since they went to India I believe) IVF is medicare funded here so again it becomes a public concern when tax payers money is used. So yes we the public have a right to question and insist on regulation in regards to public spending.
Not to mention the possible strain on public resources if these seniors, due to health issues related to aging, are unable to care for the child.
Now we don’t know the exact financial situation of the parents but running off for shoddy medical procedures in a developing country known for corruption and cheap on the fringes medical treatments doesn’t scream wealthy to me (most Australian couples with money choose countries like the USA for IVF whereas those without lots of cash go to India and formerly Thailand/Asia). So yes we have a right to question if this shoukd be allowed.
It has nothing to do with sex (though most of the men you mentioned had children with partners considerably <up to 30 yrs> younger which again brings different considerations to the equation than two elderly parents.
Post # 13
Trying not to judge but I can’t help but feel awful for the kid. I think at some point you need to accept the choices you have made in your life and realise that some of them are permanent. Choosing not to have kids is fine, but deciding to have one so late seems cruel to me 🙁
Post # 14
Agreed. I side eye the father too. And yep, this is being judgemental. I know this, and won’t pretend otherwise.
Post # 15
I know it isn’t like we’re determining this right here and now, you just wanted opinions. But here’s why I’m cringing so hard.
Policing people’s reproductive rights is a slippery slope. What if a court decided it was unethical for a parent to conceive at an advanced age? How long would it take before the leap from age to medical history is taken? Mental illness? Financial availability? Class even? One could simply swap out a few words and the argument that they “will become an orphan (heart breaking as it may be)” would quickly become, “there is a slight chance they’ll inherent a disability”.
“Despite completely turning your lives around, there was that petty crime from your youth in 2005.”
“I’m sorry, you don’t meet the minimum combined annual income.”
“We would like to remind you that having a transgender man as a parent might bring the child undue harassment in the future. It is for their sake that we issue this ‘cease-and-desist’.”
I know these are all super-hypothetical, but if it’s so simple for us to make a snap judgement, who’s to say lawmakers couldn’t be convinced in the future?
We all work towards giving future children the ‘normal’ circumstances we think will afford them their best chance. But I think determining a baseline for that is unethical in itself.
Just some food for those who would condemn faster than they can think.