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Mom Labeled 'Selfish' For Adopting A Baby At 49

Photo: Smolina Marianna / Shutterstock
older woman holding a baby

A woman has received many hateful comments on TikTok after posting a video about her decision to become a mother at an older age. The mother, Kris and her husband Clay go by the username @thevintageparents on TikTok. Their TikTok and YouTube pages document their family's experiences, including their adoption journey.

The mom was criticized for adopting a baby at 49 years old.

Kris uploaded a positive video explaining that she was unable to give birth to a child of her own.

“Being told at 41, after my latest miscarriage, that I would never be a mom and to ‘accept my fate’,” Kris wrote in on-screen text over a video of her looking sad and distressed. The video then transitions to show her happily holding her daughter alongside the text, “Me at 51 with my 2-year-old.”

   

   

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The video’s caption reads, “However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.” Despite the inspiring nature and purpose of the video, some commenters harshly and rudely criticized her decision, claiming that she was being unfair to the child because she is “too old” and her daughter would lose her early.

“That poor child who will sadly have a geriatric parent before she graduates,” one commenter said. 

“My father died at 60,” another commenter said. “I’m 26, and have to face the rest of my life without him. That’s just unfair to the kids getting them so late.”

In a follow-up video, Kris spoke out about the rude comments she had received.

   

   

“I’ve been called selfish, egotistical, told I’m gonna die,” she said. “I’m 51, I have a lot of life left."

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And it's true — as the median age of first-time mothers continues to climb, so does life expectancy.

While motherhood used to happen early in a woman's life, as more and more women defer marriage and childbirth for education, career, financial and other reasons, the average age of a first-time mother has hit a record high of 30 years old, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Advancements in fertility treatments have also allowed older women who may have struggled to conceive and give birth in the past have children of their own.

In fact, this delay in childrearing may actually be more beneficial for kids than it is hurtful. 

“Having children later mostly puts women in a better position,” sociologist Philip Cohen told CNBC. “They have more resources, more education. The things we demand of people to be good parents are easier to supply when you are older.”

For those who may have been born to parents who gave birth in their 20s, it can be jarring to think about losing your parents any earlier than you will or may have already. But death can happen at any time and at any age thanks to any number of tragic circumstances. In thinking about natural deaths of old age alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the life expectancy of a female in the U.S. is just over 79 years old — meaning that Kris' daughter could have a full 30 years to spend with her mother.

In truth, for those with a tight-knit family, death always comes too soon and is just as hurtful no matter the age. As one person noted in the comments on Kris' video, “No amount of time is promised between any parent and child. However, being the best parent you can be while on this earth is all that matters.”

Thankfully, some commenters praised the woman for sharing her inspiring story.

With over 113,000 kids waiting to be adopted in the United States, Kris' adoption story is a beautiful one as she gets to be the mother she's always wanted to be and her daughter gets the loving family she deserves.

“Motherhood at any age is BEAUTIFUL!” one commenter wrote. “Congrats mama she is beautiful!”

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Jonathan Alfano is a writer who focuses on news and entertainment topics.