Having children for other people to raise

@dawnald (84146)
Shingle Springs, California
April 16, 2009 11:02am CST
No, I'm not talking about surrogates or adoption... I was thinking about a radio show that I had been listening to some years ago. They had announced that James Doohan, who was 80 years old at the time, and his wife Wende were having (or had just had) a child. Now Wende was in her late 30's it is true, but still. How many people at age 80 have a reasonable expectation that they are going to see a newborn child grow up? The contention of the radio host was that Mr. Doohan had just created a child knowing that there was a huge likelihood that the child would be raised by somebody else (or at least in a one parent household). Do you think it's right to have children if there's no real likelihood that you will be in their lives? Should there be a cutoff? Is it nobody's business? Why?
10 people like this
23 responses
@shannon76 (1234)
• United States
16 Apr 09
It is nobodys business unless you want socialism (which here in the US, looks like we are headed that way). BUT it is just careless and complete selfishness that people do that. Even parents that work fulltime and pay someone fulltime to watch their children to me are selfish. Especially the ones that planned on having kids. I just don't understand it. I know this is weird and probably mean for me to say seeing as I am a nanny to a wonderful family, but still, I don't get it. The family that I nanny for had so many troubles getting pregnant. Took them almost 10 years to finally get pregnant. They are a very well off family so I know money isn't really an issue for them, so why pay someone else to raise your child??? I don't get it. I tried working very VERY part time for about 2 months while my son was looked after by his grandma's (my mom and my husbands mom took turns) and even then I just couldn't do it. I couldn't stand the fact that I wasn't raising my child (even though it was only 20 hours a week, still drove me nuts). I can understand when someone says they don't have money and need to work but even then, why not have one parent work mornings and one parent work evenings that way the PARENTS are raising the children not someone else....
3 people like this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
The only real issue I have with your statements in any way is your use of the term socialism. Socialism is an economic structure, has nothing to do with freedoms such as this. Despotism or totalitarianism would be more accurate. Socialism is often tossed out there as a bad word by so many people who do not truly understand what the word means. I am not accusing you of being stupid, just of ignorance of the true meaning of socialism, not the propagandist definition.
1 person likes this
@shannon76 (1234)
• United States
16 Apr 09
I guess if the only "problem" you have with "my" comment is my use of a word, then I am doing pretty good. While I thank you for not "accusing me of being stupid", perhaps you should have spoke of the discussion rather then pointing out my "ignorance"...
1 person likes this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
I believe my response was relevant to your comment. Perhaps it veered off the original topic, however you used a word that was completely out of context. If I said that "It's nobody's business in a capitalist state" would that make any sense? You use quotes around "ignorance" implying that you don't agree with my word choice. Perhaps you think I was being mean spirited, but I believe it to be accurate and I feel I was simply correcting your use of a term which is often misunderstood. Ignorance is not an insult unless it is willful ignorance.
1 person likes this
@riyasam (16578)
• India
16 Apr 09
iits ridicolous,they might not have plannedit. or maybe the mother of child wanted to have the child inspite of the father being too old,but anyways you look at it,it doesnt seem fair on the child.
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
One could argue that it is unfair to deny the option to have a child to the mother simply because her husband is a certain age.
1 person likes this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
I am not saying he did or didn't, I am merely pointing out that you don't know that he didn't yet you are talking as if since he is so old he couldn't have known... that's just silly. Sure financial assistance isn't the same as love, but if its all you can guarantee, it is something isn't it.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
Uh oh boxing gloves again. I'm going to assume that they did know what they were doing. Although Mr. Doohan did develop Alzheimers not too long after.
@katsmeow1213 (29044)
• United States
16 Apr 09
That's not nearly as bad as the 20 something year old girls or younger who don't have jobs and aren't married or any of that, but they get pregnant, the dad disappears, and the girl thinks the baby is going to be so much fun and so cool, but then once they see how tough it really is, they end up letting thier own parents raise the baby while they go out and have a life! To me, that's even worse. At least an older person can still be financially responsible for their child.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
At least in your scenario there are grandparents. But yeah, some young people can be so irresponsible about such things!
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
No they shouldn't be. All I'm saying is that they are there is something happens whereas with older parents that might not be the case.
• United States
17 Apr 09
I hear you and totally understand. My foster mom was 40 when I was born, and she did the majority of raising me. When I was in my teens she lived the life of an old lady already. She was asleep by 8pm most nights, awake at 4am, napped on weekends... and she was a light sleeper so I had rules about phone calls after 8pm etc etc. That was no life for a teenager! She did live to see me grow up of course (she passed 2 years ago now), but a child being born to an older couple is certainly not fair to the child in any way.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24994)
• Australia
21 Apr 09
A man that age probably has children already and probably had little to do with the rearing of them. Most men don't. The majority of the raising, responsibility, training and nurturing of a child usually falls to the woman. Having children and the raising of them I reckon is rarely planned. I daresay most fathers don't give their children a seconds thought while the father is at work...unless there are problems or other matters which have been brought to his attention that he has to deal with. I think men are more than happy to take a back seat here and women are more than happy to step up and assume most of the burden and responsibility. I know times are changing and there are some sensitive new age men around somewhere but they are not the norm. Generally speaking, men don't bother about those things and I daresay a lot of them only participate at all in the first part of conception. To answer your question...I don't think this is right at all. Parenthood is two people, not one. Too much is left to the mother (and she assumes to do too much and doesn't include the father)and fathers don't participate enough (even if they are willing they are not included in things). I guess I'm generalising and talking about stay at home Mums...my own parents worked and we were left to look after ourselves. My parents never knew what was going on in my life, they didn't know me as I grew up...they worried continually about "the business" (Dad was self employed). I'm not saying all families are this way but my experiences have led me to believe that this sort of thing in varying degrees is the norm Is it anybody's business? I don't think anyone cares. Everybody is so busy these days...wealthy families buy their kids off and poor families kids are neglected.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
22 Apr 09
Hm, my parents didn't much know what was going on with me either. In fact, I could say that there are single parents out there who had more of an idea what was going on with their kids. In this particular case, if she is really a good mother and financially stable with a good support system, it's no different than if she had chosen to be a single mother.
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
24 Apr 09
MsTickle I am sorry, but I find your comments to be rather sexist and terribly out of date. I am a father, I am a single father, and for the most part I have been the primary caregiver to my child. And even during the time right after my daughters birth when my exwife did stay home with my daughter I definitely took on my share of the rearing. Now you may call me an exception, however I look around at my friends who have children, and I can tell you that it I am not an exception at all. Men often have as much to do with their children as the mothers. Historically you might be correct, however times have changed. I am not a "sensitive new age man" I am a man, I am a father. This is a tangent and way off topic, sorry for that. As for it being wrong or right, and parenting being about two people, I think this is just silly, there are several cases where single parenthood is thrust upon someone, why is this all that different?
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
25 Apr 09
Wow. I am not sure what to say about this response, other than THIS is why people still believe men and women are inequal. I believe parenting IS about two people, and that means BOTH the man and the woman. Yes, sometimes a woman takes on too much and shoos the man away, sometimes a man doesn't want to be involved, but for the most part if a couple is on the same page about things, they aim to make it a partnership. Many many people do plan kids and have specifics in place for raising them, I am one of them. I don't exactly mean that I outright planned my daughter but we were definitely hoping and along she came. While I was still pregnant, we discussed how we were going to handle the kids and the finances, and I am home with the kids. This was a joint decision, made based on how we both feel and what we are both good at. Honestly if I were a career diva and I could and did make more than my hubby and he was mr domestic and wanted to raise the kids, heck, we could swap. In my humble opinion, the majority of the raising, responsibility, training, and nurturing of a child falls to whichever person spends more time with the child in the long run. Whether that is the mom or the dad or whether it ends up close to equal doesn't really matter and these days I do not think it is gender based as much as it is related to who has a more flexible job schedule or who foregoes the employer-based job to take on the caretaker job. My husband certainly does think about the kids while he's at work - he and I actually talked about this. While it is MUCH easier for him to be apart from us at a job (I would be miserable and bawling and my work would suffer as a result), he still does miss some things he wished he didn't. It is pretty easy for parents to know what is going on when kids are young. When kids get older, you have to learn how to listen well. I don't always know what is going on with the older ones. In fact, sometimes I am downright stumped. Adolescence is the strangest time in life when not only do you feel misunderstood, you don't understand YOURSELF either. My mom was pretty good figuring me out, but I could confide in her when I was a teen without feeling attacked. My dad never knew anything, I stopped talking to him after he flipped out too often over irrelevant things that I was never going to bend on.
1 person likes this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
I think I'll play the part of an optimist here. Lets assume that Jimmy and Wende are truly in love, now James must be aware that he is in his twilight years and is not long for this world, while Wende isn't even at a midlife point. Perhaps what they are both thinking is that a small part of James will be passed on into the child to stand for their love once James has passed to the next world. Who are we to stand in their way on this?
1 person likes this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
What biological effects?
1 person likes this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
Low sperm count only reduces the chance of getting the woman pregnant, and since she is already pregnant (or had the child) this is obviously not the case. Although, after a brief internet search I found that you are partially correct. There is a slightly increased chance of passing on genetic abnormalities to the child due to DNA fragmentation that occurs in sperm of older men. However from what I can tell this is far from conclusive, just that there is evidence that there MIGHT be a CHANCE that DNA fragmentation MAY occur and this MIGHT cause an INCREASE in the risk of passing on certain genetic abnormalities. Depending on James' family medical history this may or may not be relevant.
1 person likes this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
But the risk is ALREADY there, age or not. At the age of 20 its possible to pass on genetic abnormalities. The the unproven theory that it might increase with age changes nothing. I have a history of severe and life threatening allergies, there was a good chance I could have passed that on to my daughter, was it a selfish act for me to have children? A person I know has a history of crones disease yet has three children, was it a selfish act for him to have children?
1 person likes this
@sanuanu (11238)
• India
17 Apr 09
Are you saying that an 80 year old guy has married to a 30 years old girl? That is pathetic. Even the marriage wasn't a good event and to make the matter worse they are having child but why is it necessary to raise that child into another family. The mother can take care of the baby, doesn't she? Then what is the need to separate that child from his/her mother?
1 person likes this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
17 Apr 09
Wow judgemental much? You know nothing of the couple but you call their marriage a bad thing. And the original poster didn't say the baby would be separated from the mother, just that the father wouldn't be around.
2 people like this
@sanuanu (11238)
• India
17 Apr 09
If mother can look after the boy then why is it that a dad is not willing to take care of the baby?
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
He was 80, she was late 30's. And he was willing to look after the baby... As long as he was still there...
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
16 Apr 09
Hi, dawnald! This is something here! It shouldn't be anyones else's business. But, I would not want to have a child at this age. But if God says differently then.. Let it be. I would be very concerned about my overall health and strength. And I would be afraid of not living but so long to see them grow up. I hope and pray that God can sustain their lives so that they can raise their child. But for me personally, I could not bear to think that I will be so old to raise a child. When I am 80, I am mostly a great grandmother. And a grandmother at that. All my kids should be grown past 40 and 50 now.. All the best to the elderly couple, I just know that I could not bear it.
1 person likes this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
The mother of the child is only 30, it's the father that is 80. 30 is a far cry from elderly.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
Late 30's actually, and while the docs do call that a "geriatric pregnancy", yep it's far from elderly.
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
17 Apr 09
My bad... I made a mistake.. The mom is quite capable of having a baby at 30. But as for the father, I am too unsure if he will hold up. He has to be one strong man to take care of this child. I also thought that at this age that it is a slow chance of him producing sperm. I guess his hormones is not as slow as one would think.
1 person likes this
@nadooa247 (1096)
• United States
17 Apr 09
So if a couple involves a old man as a father than the younger spouse should be sterilized then? Her right to have kids despite her husband's age. It isn't anyone's business. Yeah, sure... go tell the man "don't have kids cause you are due any day for a meeting with the grim reaper" =P
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
Well it goes back to the point I made a couple times earlier in this discussion, which is "how is this any different than a single woman choosing to have children?"
@nadooa247 (1096)
• United States
19 Apr 09
well if you are refering to Nadia it is way different... it isnt that she had just the 8... she has 14 kids altogether... but that is an all together different issue.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
20 Apr 09
Nope, not talking about Nadia. A single mother deciding to have one or even several children is totally OK by me as long as she is capable of handling them. But 14? Somewhere, somehow it has to be too much...
@Jenniferp (210)
• United States
17 Apr 09
It is very sad that so many kids are abandoned, but the gov. certainly cannot tell people to not have kids. I do wish that more could be done, I think that edu. and more adoptions for everyone would help. My niece was abandoned at 6 months old, of course she was the kind of mom that stuck coke in the bottle, so she didn't miss much. It has of course, affected her emotionally and always will. As far as older parents, they should definitely we warned of the risk and hopefully will take in to consideration that they may not live to see grandchildren.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
They tell you how many kids you can have in China. But I would hope that population control would stay more voluntary here.
• United States
17 Apr 09
lol, China is a communist country!
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
For sure. But I do wonder, as the world's population grows, how other governments are going to deal with overpopulation. Or IF they are...
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
17 Apr 09
I actually think it is kind of selfish to have a child knowing that odds are you won't be around to be a part of that child's life. I get it that perhaps in the case of the 80 yr. old man that maybe the woman wanted a child with him and maybe he was able to leave her financially stable to raise the child on her own. Still, that does not take away the fact that the child benefits greatly from both parents in ways other than monetary. No matter how old the parent is, the child will feel a deep sense of loss when that parent passes. I don't know. I guess so much would depend on the parents and the situation.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
17 Apr 09
now that is sad.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
Sad but not totally unexpected!
@TLChimes (4842)
• United States
16 Apr 09
I think my answer may upset some... sorry ahead of time. Hopefully I will word it correctly. I think there is such a thing as too old and too young. I don't think a 14 year old has enough life behind them to do the job of raising a kid. I think that an 80 year old doesn't have enough ahead of them. A child needs guidance and strength from their parents. They need to be played with and danced with. There is so much plain old work involved with being a parent.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Apr 09
I pretty much agree with you, but where do you draw the line? Is 70 too old? 60? 50?
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
25 Apr 09
The line - if there is one to be drawn, probably depends on health and functionality. 50 isn't old, not for a father. For a mother - that seems old. If we're talking 60 or 70, somewhere in there you gain 'senior citizen' status. I don't know about you but I don't want to become a senior citizen who has a toddler. That just feels wrong, no matter what. What if I fell and broke my hip? What if my daughter was only 2 years old and couldn't do anything, call 911, alert a neighbor, and what if she freaked out because mommy was lying on the floor screaming in pain and nobody else was there? Yes, that is a distinct possibility for a senior citizen who is a parent of a young child.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
27 Apr 09
Yeah it's scary enough being in my 50's and still having children at home. But then grandparents find themselves in the situation all the time when their grandchildren have parents who can't take care of them or who die young. Of course, that isn't a situation that they sought out.
• United States
17 Apr 09
Dawn- Most of us who are Trekki's were sadden by the loss of "Scotty", and the other memorable cast members who have passed away, such as DeForest Kelley. I always liked James Doohan, but I know there was a great deal of tension on the set between him and Shatner. That aside, why should this man not have happiness? Why should he not give his wife children? I'm sure they were quite well off, and she is very capable of raising her children. She would have been 43 when she had Sarah, as James and her met in 1974 when she was 17. I'm sure by then at age 43 she was more than capable, and many women have children after they've settled careers and have a stable income. I feel bad that she lost a man she loved very much. I don't think there needs to be a cutoff other than the own person's personal view and feelings on having a child. I'm turning 37 this year, which means my youngest will be 10 when I'm 47, 20 when I'm 57, and so forth. Does it matter? Nope. I may even decide to have more by adoption at a later date. I think that honestly, people need to decide to live their own lives, and let other people live their own lives. I mean, even in ideal situations one could end up leaving their children for another to raise. The number of people that die in drunk driving accidents each year, etc alone would leave many children without parents, who if they had lived may have provided a solid life for that child until the child was an adult. Namaste-Anora
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
Alas, we are all getting older and passing away is a fact of life. On the other hand, no more movies with the original cast. :-( But as far as he and his wife having children when he is so old, I really don't think it's any different than a single woman in her late 30's, early 40's choosing to have children. Her own business. I'm going to be a lot older than you are when mine grow up, by the way. I'm 51 and my children are 12 and 8. Part of me wishes I had been younger and part of me wouldn't have it any other way. I DO very much hope that I will still be around to be part of the grandchildrens' lives.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
*was so old...
@smartjack (521)
• India
17 Apr 09
well if you bare a child then why not raise on your own. if you have other people to raise your child then they will be others and not yours.people who sponsor orphans where they adopt and sponsor the child everything is ok.
1 person likes this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
17 Apr 09
And another person posts a response without reading the original post. Please people at least make some effort to read more then just the heading.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
The point was that because of the age of the father, he knowingly had a child that he was almost certainly not going to live to raise. The mother, on the other hand, was young enough.
• United States
16 Apr 09
well..i guess as long as one parent will be there to raise it.. and if they have the money to do it without the child being a burden.. but it kind of cheats the child in a way..he most likely will pass away before he or she really knows them. me personally,i can't imagine having a newborn that late in life. i'd probably be diapering 2 people every morning,if you know what i mean.
• United States
16 Apr 09
i agree 100%.
2 people like this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Apr 09
They had money of course, and she will most likely (barring something unforseen) be there long enough to see the child grow up. If I had been in a relationship with somebody that much older, I don't think I would have chosen to have a child, knowing that I would most likely end up being a single mother. Money or no money!
@KrauseHome (35514)
• United States
18 Apr 09
Well, personally I think this is a matter to be decided by each individual person. Because in a case like this, maybe Financially there is something set up for the Child in the future for it to not really be a Big deal. This is the same way with surrogates, etc. Many people out there have children they give away, etc. to have someone else to raise, and I feel that is a personal matter indeed.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
20 Apr 09
In this case, they had the child knowing that the wife would probably end up raising it alone. And I also consider that a personal decision...
@bamakelly (5194)
• United States
17 Apr 09
This is something that I don't hear come up too often. That is a very wide age gap between these two people. I can see where the eighty year old man would not be able to see his child grow up however being in a one parent home isn't all that bad. The woman is in her thirties. She wanted to have a child and it so happened to be with a man much older. This woman could be a good parent. As long as there is love and acceptance for the child in his life then I don't see a big problem. This is the kind of issue that could raise some controversy but every one is going to have their own opinions. I am kind of surprised that someone in their eighties was able to produce the ability to procreate with someone though. I would actually have my questions about this whole story in retrospect. I am sure that you did hear the story I am just questioning things about the events.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Apr 09
I think that it is a really selfish act. Just because you are capable of producing a child doesn't always mean that you should. I feel the same about women who are having babies at 60. there was one not too long ago. My dad is almost 80 and I can't imagine him being a new dad.LOL!!! it is funny to me. I think by the time you reach a certain age you are just done with it. I am in my forties and had my babies young. I am still an active mom but my role has changed. some of my children are adults and only one is not, she is 13. I would love another baby but I would be in my 60's when it would be a teen and I don't want to be an older parent. His child definitely will not know him growing up and that is robbing the child of a father. Maybe he thinks because he was on Star Trek that he is going to live forever??
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
Or he was just in denial about his age...
• United States
17 Apr 09
Wait a minute, we all have children not knowing if we will live long enough to see them raised? How many parents lose their life early and leave children behind? More than a few I guarantee. I think that if the wife wanted a child with her husband then that is fine. We can not regulate when people decide to have children. Who knows maybe this little person will discover the cure to some dreaded disease, and besides, father or not you wont find many who wish they were not born so... sorry to ramble a bit there.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
Yes we all do but it is much more likely that I will be around when my children grow up...
@elmiko (6640)
• United States
17 Apr 09
i don't think its anybodies business.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
I would tend to agree with you...
@kaci25 (18)
• Canada
16 Apr 09
I think you have to be a very strong person to be able to do this. I think it is a wonderful idea for someone who cannot havve children theirselves. I don't think it should be able to happen if the person is 80 due to the fact that the child will not havea mother soon enough. I think surrogates if done right can be beautiful ... but it can go terribly wrong too .. its a touchy subject and has to have its boundries
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
17 Apr 09
The child would be without a father. The mother isn't all that old.