Remember when Tony Randall became a father when he was in his seventies? Remember when Strom Thurmond became one when he was past ninety?
As I recall, there were congratulations all around. It was a great thing, or so everyone said, that such an old man could be a father.
So what about a sixty-six year old first time mother? Congrats all around like when these old guys became fathers? No, many people are claiming to be outraged by it. They are treating the story of British mom-to-be Elizabeth Adeney, a healthy sixty-six year old who became pregnant by in vitro fertilization, as some big scandal.
Do I detect a hint of sexism here? Yes, and it's none too subtle. When a ninety year old man can still make his organ work, he is lauded for his manhood. No one says a word about the fact that he probably won't be around to watch junior graduate from high school. Oh, granted there is some 'sweet young thang' involved, who it is assumed will look after the child after the old guy has departed.
But when a divorced woman, even a successful career woman who can certainly afford (and presumably will afford) to make sure that the child will be cared for in the event of her death, becomes pregnant all of a sudden she is called selfish and foolish.
Granted there are some health risks associated with a pregnancy later in life but as a doctor is quoted in the story I linked to, they are 'very treatable' health conditions.
As to raising the child, when he or she graduates from high school Ms. Adeney will be 84. It is certainly reasonable for a healthy sixty-six year old woman to expect to reach 84 (remember that women live seven years longer than men on the average to begin with.) And heck, look at how many kids now are being raised by grandparents or even great grandparents because their parents are either unable or unwilling to take care of them. Far from being called selfish, those grandparents are lauded for their selflessness. Now granted, Ms. Adeney recently became divorced. But there are many successful single parents out there so any argument that her lack of a partner will make child raising more difficult, while undoubtedly true, clearly does not count for much in the face of the factual evidence that single parents are raising children every day and the overwhelming majority of them are doing a good job of it.
I think it is great that technology has advanced to the point where a woman her age can become pregnant.
Now if we could just advance as a society at the same rate, we'd be telling her "you go, girl" instead of reserving those kinds of adulations for the Strom Thurmonds of the world.