posted at 5/11/2010 2:04 PM EDT
I'm a 30-year-old woman seriously dating a 52-year-old man and wondering whether he's someone with whom I want to have children. I've recently read studies that show children of men over 40 are 6 times more likely to have autism and other mental illnesses, including schizophrenia. Apparently sperm banks won't even take sperm from men over 40. I'm curious to know whether it's generally discouraged to have a child with a man over the age of 50. (And putting aside all the "he may not live to see the child graduate" thoughts.)
Re: Older dads
posted at 5/11/2010 3:40 PM EDT
I'm 36 and have been married to my DH, 12 years older than me, for almost three years now. We are expecting our first (probably our only) child late this summer. My husband is now 48.
We did have some trouble conceiving (3 years of trying to be exact), and when we went to a fertility clinic they did test his sperm. My husband has award winning sperm, the talk of the fertility clinic, it was the best quality sperm that had seen in a man over forty, ever. He has since bragged about it to just about everyone...;)We did opt for an amnio, test results are fine (although they of course can't test for things like autism). We even get discounts on our life insurance because we are both in very good health (knock on wood).
If this guy is someone you want to date at age 30, when he is 52, he's got to be healthy and young and engaged with the world, that probably won't change too much in the next twenty years, but a 30 year old boyfriend could just as easily be hit by a bus.
It's really about you and your comfort level, how serious you are about the relationship. I had to have a really frank talk with my then boyfriend about my expectations for marriage and children. You just don't have time to waste, your boyfriend especially does not have time to waste.