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Is 47 too old to start a family?

Tagged as: Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 March 2015) 14 Answers - (Newest, 7 April 2015)
A male Canada age 41-50, *rian67 writes:

Im 47 yo male.

Just wondering what opinions are on starting a family when you are older?

Id like a male and female opinion.


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A female reader, Keeley345 United Kingdom +, writes (7 April 2015):

Emotionally it is! Men are lucky though that there is no time limit on having kids. You don't go through a menopause. However there are health risks associated with older dads having kids e.g autism and other illnesses. I'm not a doctor but have a look online or speak to your own doctor.

I take it you've met someone? I'm guessing she might be younger? Personally I like an older man generally your age. I'm 30. However the men I've dated have kids and their reaction is always negative about having more. But basically it's about the crying and nappy changing that they've already experienced and never want to again.

Have you NEVER had kids? If so this is different. Say for example you have a baby now, will you cope with the nappy changing, early morning, late night feeds, the crying?

When your child turns 5 and is running around playing soccer how old will you be? Will you be able to keep up? When your child turns 18 or even 30! How old will you be?

I know of kids who've got teased at school because their father was the oldest father they all had. Most dads will be years younger than you and you could get mistaken for a granddad. Sorry that sounded harsh but it's true!

Yes, you can become a father at 47 (start a family) and it does work out for a lot of dads at that age but there is a downside which you can't ignore. It would'nt be fair to you or your child/children. My suggestion is to talk this through with your partner. Also find sites for older dads that you can join online and talk to other dads in this position.

But if you really want kids and are madly in love with your partner, go for it!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

I had my children young and was made a grandma at the ripe old age of 36 ! Yep!

I'm now in my mid 40s and have five grandchildren. Would I ever want to have children of my own at this age ? Noooooo, but I am sure my feeling my be different if I had never experinced parenthood

That being said , it's completely different being a mother to being a father. I was the one up at night breastfeeding, it wasy body that went through the massive changes of pregnancy , I was the one doing the school runs and even when I had a full time job outside the home, it still seemed , that just like MOST other women I knew , the lions share of the work fell on my shoulders. So for a woman???!? Exhausting . What I'm saying is that having a child is a LOT more demanding on a woman

No matter the age so as a man you are probably ok

For a man , I have no idea . I guess you need to work out who will do

What and who has the energy for what

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (30 March 2015):

Tisha-1 agony auntIs this for general research? To get some guidance from people who became parents at a similar age?

I don't have children, so I suppose I'm not qualified to answer. But the OP didn't specify who could or could not reply and I do have a bit of an opinion on this.

Would this be your first child? Or are you already a parent and wondering about becoming a father again?

At 47, you would be 48 when child was born and then 66 when child was 18.

Assuming you reach 86 your child would be 38.

Is having a child something you want to do for yourself? Or is there a child on the way and you are just puzzling out the implications?

At age 47 I would have worried about my ability to care for and nourish a newborn.....

Obviously men can become fathers at an older age than most women can become mothers. Why would you have to ask a question like this?

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A female reader, chigirl Norway +, writes (30 March 2015):

chigirl agony auntReally? One should only listen to those who've already had kids, to decide if one should follow the dream of having kids one self or not?

Then I will say you can't take advice from anyone except those who have had/have kids when at the same age as the OP.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

I honestly think it's best to listen to people who've actually had kids when asking for advice about parenthood and/or potential parenthood; those who haven't been through it are basically not speaking from an informed position and pretty much having a fantasy about what parenting involves on a practical and psychological level.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (30 March 2015):

eyeswideopen agony auntI too became a grandma at age 48, 15 years ago. I have 11 grandkids now and I can tell you that whenever I am called upon for babysitting duty I make sure to schedule at least a day for recovery. Racing around corralling a two year old at 26 is a helluva lot easier than at 63 (or 50 for that matter...I've done it at both ages). Only you know your energy level. Also I hope you have no financial worries because you WILL want to retire and boy howdy college tuitions are through the roof these days. I know I wouldn't attempt this at 47.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (30 March 2015):

So_Very_Confused agony auntFolks like to say it's never too late but women for sure have a deadline to pro-create.

I will assume you mean having children.

What age female are you targeting for this miracle of birth?

Are you sure you are up for lack of uninterrupted sleep for the next 20 years?

I'm 55 and god help me I am so glad i had my kids in my early 20s...

if you start a family NOW... meaning you have met and married the young lady and she is ready to get pregnant and she gets pregnant in the next three months you will be 48 when this child is born.

Are you going to be ok being asked if you are grandpa? my mother was 48 when I made her a grandmother.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway +, writes (30 March 2015):

chigirl agony auntSorry, I need to comment on something another poster wrote:

"So, if you were to have a child at your age, you may have to cope with this kind of fear for pretty much the rest of your life - i.e that every year you are closer to death (sorry , but that's the reality) and your child stands to be left fatherless."

To the OP, do NOT worry about your age or being too old. Let me tell you why, because no one, not we, not you, not anyone knows WHEN we will die. You might die tomorrow. You might die at the age of 110.

I've had two boyfriends with no father, and one who had neither parent. Their parents were YOUNG when they had their children, but one died from being an alcoholic, another was shot by her new husband, and the third committed suicide.

Having young parents is NOT a guarantee that they will be alive for so many years, or be alive to see any grand children. My step-dad passed away when he was 56. I was always looking forward to how he'd be as a grand dad to my future children, and I always took for granted that he'd be there. But he passed away much sooner than anyone would have guessed.

Then on the other hand, my ex boyfriend's parents were in their 40's when they got him. They are both retired now, closing in on 70. And they have lived long enough to have two grand children, and they're still alive and well, and my ex boyfriends grand mother is still kicking it at 90-something years old.

I'm just saying, no one knows who will live and who will die. Not having children because you might die from them is a fear ALL people have REGARDLESS of their age, and age is really NOT something you should factor into this. You might live until you are 110 and have great grand children. Or you might die in 5 years. Same goes for all of us.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway +, writes (30 March 2015):

chigirl agony auntIt's never too late. Don't give yourself reasons or excuses not to pursue your goals and live your life the way you want it. There will always be negative people who will tell you no, because there are so many people who just love to make themselves feel better by making others feel bad about themselves. But honestly, give me a reason why you shouldn't start a family now.

You're not dead, you're alive, and that's all you need really, in order to do anything you want. Granted, of course, you have someone to start/be a family with.

If it's not possible to conceive at your age, or for any other number of reasons, then there are so many children in need of a loving home who can be adopted, or need foster homes. It's also fully possible to have a family without children of your own, but nieces and nephews and animals and aunts and uncles etc.

Even military personnel have families, yet they travel all over the world all the time and are barely available and have risky jobs that might cause death. They're the ones who actually have good reasons to NOT have families, yet they manage to have them anyway. So if they can, I really do not see why you shouldn't.

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A female reader, malvern United Kingdom + , writes (30 March 2015):

malvern agony auntMy partners third son was born when he was 50. His wife then died when the child was 5yrs old. The boy is now 12 and my partner and I are in our early 60's. It's hard work. You don't have the same energy, You're not the same age as their friends parents so you don't get included in on all the things going on because effectively we're grandparents age. My partner hasn't got the energy to play football with him, run him around the place, etc. etc. We also want to move on with our lives, retirement and all that, but we can't because we've got to consider his son. Not recommended.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

biologically YOU probably can start a family (with a younger woman), but something to consider is how long you will be around in your child's life. My mum is your age and I'm in my late twenties I know if she was gone I would be lost, I hope she will be around many more years yet.

My friend is the same age as me and his dad had him when he was older, so his dad was in his 60s. My friends mum wasn't around and his dad was his whole family. He was older, he got ill and died. My friend was left with no one, he was devastated to loose his dad and he was still only in his twenties, with basically no parent support/advice or anything for the rest of his life.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

It depends if you want to start from scratch and have a baby or whether you'd be willing to do something like adopt an older child.

I am a Mum who had my daughter at 20 and I'm now the same age as you. I know that the first thing that happens when you become a parent is you HAVE to put your child's needs first ever after that. When you get to our age and if your child is grown up, if you are lucky (as I am) you can be great friends, but still you have to think as a parent, in terms of what your grown up child needs BEFORE you think of you.

So, what strikes me about your question is that my first thought was for whatever child you would have.

Even if you had a baby by the time you were 48, you'd be 68 by the time the child was twenty and maybe would be 80 (presuming you live that long) by the time the child was 32. It would be around that age that your now grown up child would probably start to think about family and would be looking to grandparents for all kinds of support. Personally, I would find it VERY hard to have a child late in the day, knowing I might die.

I brought up my daughter alone (husband abandoned us) and have NO family.

My constant fear as she was growing up was that I would somehow be involved in an accident or die young and she would have no-one. Believe me, it was a very real fear and fears like this do kick in when you have a child.

So, if you were to have a child at your age, you may have to cope with this kind of fear for pretty much the rest of your life - i.e that every year you are closer to death (sorry , but that's the reality) and your child stands to be left fatherless.

The other option would be to adopt an older child or teenager.

There are PLENTY of them looking for a Mum and Dad. And it would be a lovely, lovely thing to realise "okay, I left it pretty late in the day and it might actually be cruel to have a kid at my age" but to also think "nevertheless, I have love to give and there are kids out there who need love from a Dad, so I will settle for that".

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A male reader, Sageoldguy1465 United States +, writes (30 March 2015):

Sageoldguy1465 agony auntI will defer to former Senator Strom Thurmond to give you a "guy's" point of view.... Look it up....

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 March 2015):

Honeypie agony auntI'm 45. I'm DEFINITELY done having kids. So if you want to "start" a family you would have to look to a younger woman, 25-35.

But IF I was in that age-group myself (25-35) I wouldn't be dating someone in they late 40's myself. However, there are plenty of women who DO prefer "older" guys.

And then on to kids. Well, I'd presume you would date the woman for about 2 years before marriage and kids, so you would hit 50... before a child is produced. You would be 60, when your kid is 10. I have a 10 year old (I have 3 kids 10,12,14) are VERY active.

Can you handle that?

MANY men have a "second" family in their 40's-50's. It's something MEN can do. Women CAN'T.

If you think you can handle being a new dad at 50, and a good husband then WHY not?

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