Am I too old to become a father?

Finally I am approaching the level of maturity where I feel I might have a chance to be a decent father. (There is still more work to do, of course.) Fatherhood is something I’ve felt very strongly about: I’d rather be no father at all than be a bad father, and so it has been.

But I’m 43. If I had kids now, I’d be in my sixties by the time they were old enough to move out on their own. I go to the gym, but I can tell I don’t have the base physical energy and endurance reserves that I had when I was 23. I read of Pierre Trudeau fathering a child when he was in his sixties, but, that was Trudeau. Rich, smart, and charismatic as hell.

Has anyone on the boards fathered children in their late thirties or forties (or even beyond)? Is it doable well? Are there special hazards?

My dad was 41 when I was born. We fished and played badminton when I was littler and he was alive and vital through all the years I would have needed him most.

I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world to have an older father, but I would urge you to have more than just one kid. When the parents are gone, it kinda makes for a lonelier life. People much older than me still have their parents plus siblings and extended family. Me - none of the above.

The actual age doesn’t matter as much as your physical health and stamina. What you need to ask yourself is whether you feel capable of chasing after a toddler, playing baseball or soccer with your kid in the backyard and all of those other high-energy tasks.

Can it be done? Sure. My grandmother is 70 and she’s currently raising my two-year-old neice. (The child’s mother died and the father is unable to acre for her.) But it comes at a price, of course. My grandmother is healthier than most people thirty years younger, but it is exhausting for her.

As yourself if you want to commit to at least fifteen years of non-stop action, never having any peace and quiet and having all of the turmoil which comes with kids. Only you can answer that. Do you need much sleep? What’s your schedule like? Do you like your freedom (the ability to travel, stay out late, etc.)? What’s your financial situation like?

Also consider that it might be better for you to adopt an older child. You’d be doing a very good deed, and the activity demands would be somewhat less.

My dad was 49 when I was born (I was a surprise - he had just married my mother, his second wife, but believed himself to be infertile. I’d never fall for that line, personally.) It’s a mixed bag. We were able to do a lot of things other kids my age didn’t, like travel a lot, because when you’re older you have more money. Additionally, he retired around when I was starting college, so we’ve had a lot of time together in my early adulthood. However, he had his first heart attack when I was three and his second when I was 11. He’s not in great health right now, and there’s a lot we can’t do together (we just got back from a Mediterranean cruise as a family and I’m sure he won’t travel like that again.) So, there’s pros and cons, but it’s not like we were both in diapers at the same time or anything.

My mom is ten years younger than he is, which still makes her older than a good many of my friends’ grandparents. I guess it does depend on who you plan on having kids with, and what kind of shape they’re in. I never felt like my parents didn’t have enough energy or anything when I was little, though, and my mom says she wouldn’t have wanted to have a kid when she was young and stupid, either. She also says I probably saved my dad’s life when I was born, and gave him a lot of extra years, because having a kid made him slow down a lot, take a longer lunch, come home from work before midnight, etc.

So, I think there’s pluses and minuses to the whole business, but I wouldn’t tell you not to have kids because you think you’re too old. I certainly never felt like I missed out on anything because I had older parents. Also, that 23 year old young father can get hit by a bus too, you know.

Are you me? No, you’re not, I’m 49.

I don’t expect the issue to arise. Most women in my age cohort aren’t wanting to have kids.

Well, finding a wife at my age is another issue entirely, one that I didn’t quite want to bring into this discussion. Let’s just assume that I will have one when the occasion for fatherhood arises.

Yes, that I think is the biggest question.

Just in the past four months, I’ve been working out, and the difference in internal energy has been significant. But it’s work.

Also, I’m one of those people who needs time alone to recharge… I’m not sure that I could make the change from living alone to always needing to be ‘on’ at this date. It’s the kind of thing one must do with one’s eyes open.

Financial? No debt, no reserves. (I’m working on that.)

Also consider that it might be better for you to adopt an older child. You’d be doing a very good deed, and the activity demands would be somewhat less.
I’ve actually thought that it would be best for me to find a wife who already had children, perhaps in the 3-7ish range (after infancy, can speak, but not yet teens). And there’s another thought. Dealing with teens…

And Quiddity Glomfuster, half of my family is already gone–my mother, my sister, my aunt, my stepmother… I know about loneliness.

Married for the first time at 42; had daughter # 1 at 43; had daughter # 2 at 45;… Volunteered for long stint in the French Foreign Legion at 46…

What’s that? Do I have pictures of my progeny? Well, if you insist, here are a few I’ve thrown together:
Little Poops (mostly baby, Chloe; more of big sis, Jana to follow)

Kids change you life in ways unimaginable. If I had it to do all over again, would I still have my precious girls? Uh…hmm…nope…I’m way too old for this daddy crap. Oh, all right, I would. They’re kinda fun to have around…and they’re kinda sweet and lovable…and they’re gonna take care of me when I get senile dementia.

In about 10 or 12 years, you’re going to have to buy yourself a big, big stick my friend. Like a HUGE one.

I’m already looking into a sturdy walking stick, dad gum rheumatism…

Your daughter has a serious case of the adorables. :slight_smile:

My husband and I are trying for our second. His 40th birthday was in June. He was 36 when our first child was born. He certainly doesn’t feel this is a problem. Personally I’d rather have an older and more mentally and emotionally secure father rather than someone younger and less stable.

Freeze your sperm now, before you get any older. The children of men over 40 may have health problems.

“Daughters of Older Fathers Die Younger”:

“Older Fathers Substantially Raise The Risk Of Having Children With Schizophrenia”:

“Older Fathers More Likely To Have Autistic Children”:

“Older fathers put their child’s health at risk”:

Yanno, Alice, I am SO glad you said that first. As is frequently the case, I believe that my kids are the most beautiful kids to have graced the planet.

Having said that? Dude. Ya’ll got good genes. Were it me, I’d keep a stick in the house, and another in the car. Just in case.

Beautiful happy kids. Of course, in my brain, a happy kid IS a beautiful kid. :slight_smile:

I had my kids in my late 20’s, so I cannot tell you what I’d think. I am 44. Now, feeling like I do? It’d be really rough to be doing the middle of the night walking around screaming baby night after night, feedings, rolling around on the floor ( I looooooved playing on the floor with the kids ), and so on. Tough on the body, great for the soul. YMMV.


I was 38 when my kid came along. He is now 25 and we play racketball together. So when people say you should have them young so you can be active tigether it is rediculous. Generally you will be mentally and financially more settled. That is good for a kid. A 20 year old ahas a lot of changes to go through and taking a child along on that ride is not always pleasant. Hopefully your marriage will be settled. Divorce rate are huge and are traumatic for them. I reccommend no kids til at least 35.

My recommendation for all soon-to-be-parents, particularly old ones like me: Don’t be afraid to be a firm, but fair disciplinarian. I’m a strong believer that appropriately disciplined, well-behaved children, on the whole, lead happier, more fulfilled lives—and it most certainly leads to less stress on the parents. I can’t imagine loving my children more than I do, but it’s important for me to be their dad, not their best friend. The trick is to find the proper balance between firm and lenient. If you have trouble finding that balance, I suppose you should err on the side of leniency, but don’t go too far in that direction. That being said, I do, on occasion, fall off the firmness wagon and indulge my little cherubs in hedonistic delights. (It’s just so gosh darn hard to always be tough dad when your heart’s melting—besides, mom’s got to step up to the plate and be the meanie once in a while.)

Kind words, thank you. All is not always as it seems, however.
They do enjoy making cookies .
Big sister always has a happy face in the kitchen
But, Chloe can look downright scary , when her chocolate chips melt too soon.

And, don’t get me started on her botched visit with the ophthalmologist

“Children of Frozen Sperm Get Cold Easily”


I’m a mother, and I wasn’t that old when I had my son (I’m 50 now and he’s 17), but now that he’s approaching adulthood, I must say I really do relish the concept of having a couple of decades of relative peace left in my life after he leaves home. Not a dealbreaker, just something to think about.

My dad was a 43 year old widower when he married my mom, and they proceeded to have four children over the next ten years. We’re a mixed up bunch, with kids and grandkids all the same ages, but it’s been interesting.

Dad wasn’t always the healthiest guy on the planet, in fact he had surgery for a bladder tumor shortly before I was born, and I remember him lying on the living room floor because his back “went out”, but I also remember him racing me to the end of the yard when I was four, and I’m still pretty convinced he let me win. He always said he didn’t know if we kept him young or made him old. Oh, shoot, now I’m crying.

In short, it’s probably different when you’re older, but still doable if you want to. I think my younger brother and I probably had more of Dad, because he was retired by the time I got to high school, so he had time to do some of the things he hadn’t with the older kids.

Where does one have this done?

Uh oh, especially #3. I am convinced that difficulties in social relationship and tendencies toward social withdrawl run in my father’s side of the family.

Maybe adoption is the better way to go: a way to get better genes than mine. Just growing up without my myopia would be a good thing.

Dr. PoopiePants, your children are jewels.

I was 37 when the Rykid was born, and I can still beat him at racquetball today. 'Course, I’ve been playing for 30+ years and he just started in August. It’ll probably get tougher before long since he’ll be 16 soon and the rest of his body will catch up with his foot growth.

Dr. PoopiePants,

They are adorable. What did you do to deserve, not one, but two, such beautiful kidlets?

My dad was 64 when he sired me (and I wasn’t the last). He was smart and charismatic (rich, not so much) but those things don’t matter as much as a commitment to giving your child a good life and an enormous capacity for love. He had both of those things, and if you do too, than any kids you have would be lucky, “generation gap” issues notwithstanding.