Is That Your Ma...Or Your Grandma?


Should women over 50 give birth?

There's an article in New York Magazine that is causing lots of discussion everywhere. On TV talk shows, the news, Twitter, all over the blogosphere. It's about women over 50 having babies. Not adopting. Giving birth.

My gut reaction was "Ewww. Gross!" But then, when I gave it another thought I realized even my reaction is more complicated than that. Because who has the "right" to be a parent can be a very complicated discussion.

Obviously, there's a lot of science and technology involved here. It's pretty tough...almost impossible...for a woman over 50 to give birth without some help. So while most of these women may actually give birth, it's not usually with their own eggs. Even then, they sometimes require a little boosting from other medical advances.

It's easy to go to the place of saying "if she's too old, she'll die while the kid is young". But sometimes even young parents die. So since we don't really know when a person will leave this earth, that's more of a statistical argument than one that applies to any specific situation.

I've always pretty much felt that I didn't want kids. But I do recall when I was in my early 30s, I was told by an older woman that she never wanted kids when she was young, but came to regret that decision when she got older. So, I always wondered if that would happen to me. And it almost did...for just a few minutes. There was a very brief period when I thought "I should have a baby before it's too late"; I didn't want to end up in the same situation this woman had. But that seemed like a really foolish reason to have a kid. Because I might want one later?? What if I didn't? Then what? Could I give it away, saying I had changed my mind? Well, I think people wouldn't look too kindly on that.

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.