How old is too old to still have children?

My friends sister is 45 and she is pregnant again. i think this would be tiring to have a new little one at this age, but i don’t think there should be an age where you should stop ( unless you’re physically or mental unable to care for children) what do you think? how old do you think is too old to still have kids?

I don’t believe there’s such a thing as “too old to have children.” My ggg grandfather was 83 when he had his youngest son and used to take him into town and parade him around on his shoulders. I know that’s kind of an extreme example, but it just goes to show that it all depends on the parents. I could name quite a few older relatives of mine who had kids into their 40s and 50s. My great-grandparents were 53 and 41 when my grandmother was born and she turned out just fine. I know of a wonderful couple in their late 50s who just adopted an eleven-month-old girl from Uganda. They also have quite a few other little ones in their home.

Some parents hit a certain age and say “There’s NO [name]WAY[/name] I could handle another a baby!” Other parents never reach that point. Would I be able to handle small children as an older adult? Maybe, maybe not. I say kudos to the parents that embrace the challenge.

Well as an ‘over the hill’ gal myself I do worry (a little bit) that people will judge me if my IVF baby dream comes true.
But, in the end I know we have alot of love, skills and stability to offer a child.
If life could have been different, perhaps we would have tried this all 10 years ago. But it is what it is, and I think love is the glue that sticks a family together not an age.
I am curious to see how it will be as an older mum, I had #1 at 20. So I will be a young mum and an old mum depending on which child you meet!

I think people who think it is wrong to have children older haven’t walked in the shoes to understand it.


I think there is a different answer for everyone. Any parent choosing to have a baby is making a lifelong decision, but I think older parents need to ask themselves an additional series of questions about their preparedness. What kind of emotional toll will it take on the child? Are they at a point, physically and medically, where they feel they can care for a child the way s/he deserves? Or rather will the child potentially have to take on the roll of caregiver before they reach adulthood? A man or woman of any age who feels they can provide the stability and security necessary (and survive the craziness of children!) is fit to be a parent in my mind.

I think biology is a good guide.

As an aside my dad had two sets of kids. [name]One[/name] in his 20’s (inc myself) and one in his late 40’s. He is by far a better father second time around.

My mum on the other hand is far too cranky with my kids, has a lot of health problems and would be in real financial and emotional trouble if she was currently dealing with pre-teens and early teens as my dad is.

Who knows what the answer is? I don’t think that the above example has anything to do with gender btw but personality and general health.

I agree, when your body tells you to stop having children, (ie menopause), I think then is a good time. Having children when older can be selfish.

For me, it’s 50 or menopause - whichever comes first. Anything over that seems too old to be a new mom.
Recently I was watching a video on YouTube and it mentioned a woman who had twins when she was in her mid-sixties. Shortly after the babies were born, she discovered she had cancer, and died a few years later. If I’m not mistaken, she was a single mom as well, so not only will those boys grow up with neither of their biological parents, they also will have little to no memories of the only parent they DID have.
It seems kind of ridiculous to me, the idea that women wait until their forties or fifties or even sixties to be a mom, when their chances of conceiving a child without medical intervention are almost nonexistent. If I’m nearing thirty-five and childless nowhere near close to conceiving a child with my partner, I plan to look into either adopting or conceiving a child on my own.

Older than 45 seems too old to me. I would rather see someone in their 40s having a baby over a teen-aged girl that is still in high school though. However, my niece was born to my brother and his girlfriend when they were 17…so I don’t judge.
I am reaching an age where I think I am too old, but I am not going to stop trying. The reason I probably feel too old is because of everyone saying that it is harder to conceive past 35. It all depends on the person and their health and whether or not they can care for the child in their “advanced” age.

If you marry in your younger years it makes sense to have children before you reach the age where there is an increased risk of having a child with genetic problems like Down’s Syndrome.

And because I have raised children and have gchildren I shudder at the thought of having teenagers at home in my sixties.

I agree with @annie85
You’re too old if you have gone through the menopause. It’s the body’s way of telling you you’re too old.
I think that once you’re 45 and over, you also need to consider how fair it is on the child. Less so if you already have children, but if the child is going to be your only one, you have to give some thought to how your more advanced age will impact on the child growing up.

There is a real/scientific risk of Down’s Syndrome and other genetic mutations after 35. I believe children are a gift and a blessing. A child with one of these conditions is no less a gift or blessing. It’s something you and your partner must consider, discuss, and decide if the risks are acceptable to you. [name]Say[/name] we have a group of 30 women aged 45. They all would love to be blessed with a child (either their first or they have a few at home already). At age 45, the risk (1 in 30?) is quite high… but does that mean that all 30 women should chose not to have a child? If you truly believe a child is a blessing and you are ready, willing, able to have a baby… I think you’d welcome any of the 30 babies into your life, even the one with Down’s syndrome.

I generally agree. Menopause is our body’s way of saying it’s reached a new phase of life. It’s a natural time when women become grandma and have a little “rest” (lol!)

However, only one slight disagreement with your comment. While it is extremely sad and unimaginable to think of these young twins to grow up without knowing their biological parents … I can’t help but think of the miracle of their LIFE in general. They are here against many odds and without getting too political or religious - I don’t believe it’s a mistake that she was able to conceive. There is no reason for us to think that the twins were not adopted into a loving family (either relatives or strangers). Sometimes we only think of the birth parents in adoption – how it is so strong of them to give up their child and how they may have regrets, etc. … but for the adoptive family has a new baby or child. That is a gift to them. A gift that comes with challenges just like parenting any other child, but still…the child is very much loved and wanted. I hope the new parents of the twins are honoring their birth mother’s memory while helping them move forward and live an honorable, happy life.

I think it is a totally different ball game for a man versus a woman. In our family grandfather’s last child was born when he was 59 and he lived to 89 so I think having children gave him lots of zest and interest in life.


Crunchymama, I love your answer to this question! :o

@rollo I agree with you there. Men don’t have the same biological restrictions as women so it seems more natural to see much older fathers. I have a friend whose dad was in his 60’s when she was born,but her mum was 30ish years younger than him.

[name]Humph[/name]. Lots of women go through premature menopause in their twenties and thirties. Is nature/“god”/their body telling them they are “too old” to have children? Should they listen and unthinkingly ‘obey’?
I tend to think that the very fact that older parents go through more stress and intervention to have kids means it is usually a more considered decision than many young couples make to have children. Nobody wants their kids left with sick or no parents, but that could happen to any of our children, at any time. I’m not sure about women having children into their sixties, but also don’t see why there should be different social rules for men and women. It’s not my job to judge.
As a woman about to have her first baby at ge 35, it sh*ts me to hear people being judgemental and applying double standards about (women’s) ages.
Unless we want to try to restrict who can have children for a whole range of reasons like emotional maturity, parenting ability or financial resources (and who amongst us would be certain of passing all those tests?) then maybe we should leave these decisions where they belong - between potential parents and their doctors.