I bet you didn’t think you were going to find an article about new motherhood on an indulgent aging site, but how could I not write about this after reading about Brigette Nielsen becoming a mom at 54 after ten years of trying? https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Culture/baby-54-brigitte-nielsen-shes-happier-life/story?id=57713068
First of all, she looks fabulous and her husband is fifteen years younger than her. She’s my hero! Secondly, where did she get the patience for motherhood at 54? Now granted, she has money (and that younger husband) which means she can afford help if he is not so inclined. She is obviously in great shape but I still think it takes a special kind of person to want to have a baby at this age.
Desire and Relevance
Does that mean that you shouldn’t do it if you don’t have the advantages that she has? I don’t know. I do know that desire doesn’t end at 50 or 80, desire for many things including sex, love, family and being relevant.
I was talking to one of my tenants the other day. He is a good-looking, charming man who has obviously had a good time in his life. His conversation with me though was about how he felt like he had missed the boat. His voice was filled with wistfulness and humor and he said that he watched others in the building visiting with their children and grandchildren and he wondered why he had never had any of his own.
I told him that there were still women out there who would be interested in providing him with children and he said, “Good God, no!” but the wistfulness was still there.
Lawful Parenting Age
There is no law that I know of that limits the age of when you can start (or re-start) a family. As a matter of fact, even if you are too old or physically incapable of carrying a baby you can participate in parenting through adoption and foster parenting. https://www.adoptuskids.org/adoption-and-foster-care/overview/who-can-adopt-foster
When I started doing some research for this article, I found this fascinating. You can foster a child in most places as long as you are at least 21 years of age. Some states allow it as young as 18. But there is no upper age range. One article I read said that people in their 80’s sometimes make the best foster parents, nor do you have to be part of a couple to foster kids. You can even foster kids from the US while living in other countries. Wow! Who knew?
You also do not need to be wealthy or a stay-at-home Mom/Dad. There are options for help with childcare costs if you need to work. There is a particular need for foster parents for special needs children.
Passion and Needs
Being older does not mean being less passionate or less relevant. If you have a passion for family, if you have a passion to help others, don’t be afraid to explore your options. You may find that there is a new life just waiting for you to discover it!