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Pattaya Daily News

17 February 2010 :: 16:02:13 pm 13498

Analysis: Fathers Over 50 Increasing

Do mens biological clocks 'tick' as it does with women and are there any risks in becoming an older father?
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Around the world, we are seeing more and more older men with young wives, and more so here in Thailand.  Some of these very mature men go on to have children with these young wives/ladies. As I look around, I have to wonder, what makes them decide to start a family at such an age.  I am talking about men over the age of 50 who are just reaching retirement age, or even having been retired for some time. Why do they suddenly find the urge to be a father at such an age.  I know some are already fathers to grown up kids, so why do they want to start again?  Do these guys start getting broody once they reach 50, or is it because their young wives/ladies want a family.


Do they wonder what will happen to their children when the time comes for them to shuffle off this mortal coil and the children are left without a father.  Once the fathers have departed this world, how will these children be brought up?  Will they follow in their Father’s footsteps, learning about his country and nationality, or will they brought up as a Thai, learning all about the Thai culture, (maybe both?) Will the children continue their education or once the fathers have departed, will they be taken out of school to work.

Maybe some of these children won’t be old enough to get to know their father before he pops his clogs.  Do these guys ever wonder if they are being selfish having children at such an age knowing they won’t be around for the length of their childhood to be the child’s role model? Do these guys have the patience to cope with a child at their age? According to recent surveys and research, the Uk’s Office for National Statistics show that in 2004 more than 75.000 babies were born to fathers aged 40 and over with a further 6.489 children a year born to fathers aged 50 and over, while according to the US based National Center for Health Statistics about 24 in every 1000 men aged 40-44 fathered a child in 2004. Meanwhile, only 3 of every 1000 men aged 55 and older are fathers to live births. Whilst the topic of “older fathers” is increasingly making headlines, what is perhaps less well-known is that there can be risks – both physical and mental – associated with fathering offspring later in life.

In July 2008, French scientists reported on a study of over 12,200 couples having fertility treatment and said they had found more evidence that men as well as women have biological clocks, and that they start to tick in their mid-30s. Their evidence suggested that the chance of a successful pregnancy falls when the man is aged over 35, and the chance is significantly lower if he is over 40, though this does not seem the case here in Thailand. Couples who had sought treatment for infertility at the Eylau Centre for Assisted Reproduction in Paris between January 2002 and December 2006 were the basis for this study. Another study recently published in the Archives of General Psychiatry concludes that the offspring of older fathers have a significantly increased risk of autism. The team of UK and US researchers said that children born to men over 40 had a six times higher risk than those born to men under 30. They also said the study was further proof men also had “biological clocks” Having spoken to a few of these older Fathers, I had some interesting feed back.

RON, 89, originally from Llanelli in South Wales has a 10 month old daughter to a Thai lady of 19. Young enough for a woman to have a child, but for Ron, he is getting on a bit. Ron’s reason for having a child is that his lady wanted a family although they are not married. He feels he has more patience now than when his children were young. He doesn’t have the stress that he had when he was trying to earn enough to keep his first family with a roof over their heads. As for not being around till his daughter is grown, the answer to this was the same as the others….. “Who knows what is around the corner. A man or woman with a family of any age, be they young or old, may not live to see their family grow up”. Ron is currently out of touch with his daughters and, aged 58 and 60 as they do not see eye to eye with his situation, having children in their late 20’s and early 30’s makes his lady far younger than his Grand children, and a child younger than his Great Granddaughter. When asked about the health issues, he declined to answer.

GEORGE, from Ohio, is 72, with a son in the UK of 50 years and a 7 year old daughter over here to 26 year old Thai wife. George said his daughter was an accident but is happy enough to be a Father again. He is not in touch with his family back home as his son finds him irresponsible having a child at his age and to a lady the same age as his Grandson. When asked about the survey on health issues, his reply was, “I do not believe it will prove to be a problem in my case and any way, how many people believe in surveys”

BRIAN, from Oldham, Manchester, is 69.  He also does not have contact with his family of one daughter, 44 years and two sons of 42 and 37 years of age, though he is in contact with his six Grandchildren. Brian has two children to his Thai lady, aged 3 years and 6 months. He does not have the patience now as he had when he was younger and is happy enough to let his lady and her family, have the responsibility of bringing up the kids. When asked about the survey on health issues, his thoughts on the matter… “What utter rubbish!”

So, here we have statistics and results on surveys, the thoughts of three older dads and the problems they have encountered with their older chidren.

Patty Brown

Photo : Internet   Category : Lifestyle

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