Mike Kueber's Blog

April 12, 2013

Too old to be a Dad?

Filed under: Culture,Science — Mike Kueber @ 9:46 pm

An article in Time magazine this week had a title that was bound to catch my eye – “Too Old to be a Dad?”  As a 59-year-old single guy who loves large families, I have always thought, “Never say never,” but the article succinctly suggests, “The biological clock, science has found, ticks for both sexes.”

The science reported in the article has three sources:

  1. An April 2012 study in Nature found older fathers are more likely to sire autistic kids.
  2. A May 2012 study in American Journal of Men’s Health linked a father’s age to preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.
  3. An August 2012 study in Nature found old fathers have a significantly increased risk of producing kids with autism or schizophrenia. 

This information is becoming more relevant because, as the article points out, men in America and around the world are, for a variety of reason, becoming older when they have their kids.

The article makes two major points, one of which I agree with and the other I don’t.  I agree that both sexes, not just the women, should be cognizant of the fact that increased age results in increased health risks for the child. 

I disagree, however, with the following thinking, as expressed by a medical clinician:

  • Even if you’re Paul McCartney’s child, you get ripped off if your father dies when you’re in your early 20s.” 

That reminds me of the self-absorbed, liberal do-gooder who declares that today’s world is so evil that he doesn’t want to bring a child into it.  What do you think the to-be child would say about that?  What do you think Paul McCartney’s actual child would say about that?

Incidentally, the article, which does an excellent job in describing some practical pros and cons to being an older parent, listed the following older parents in addition to McCartney, who was 61 when his youngest was born – Clint Eastwood (66), Steve Martin (67), Rod Stewart (68), Tony Randall (78), and Rupert Murdoch (72).



  1. I wasn’t in by 60 when my kids were born but I was 32 at the time of my daughter’s birth and 40 when my son was born. By the time my son reached the age of 4 i was divorced and had custody of both my children. I am certainly glad I was older, in that my thinking was far more mature, than it was in my late twenties.

    As a result of this fact, I truly understood, through life experiences what is really needed to raise a child correctly. As a result, I ended up with two kids with a good set of values and standards, poised, articulate, and exceptionally well educated. My daughter is a college grad with an MBA from Rutgers Univ. and my son is a graduate from the number one undergraduate college in America, with a computer science degree. He went on to Grad school and now has a Masters in Computer Engineering and an MBA as well. They have both gone on to extremely successful and very well paying careers.

    Comment by Robert Hayes Halfpenny — April 17, 2013 @ 6:39 am | Reply

    • Robert, I wasn’t aware there was a #1 undergraduate college in America. Isn’t that like saying there is a best athlete or most beautiful woman?

      Comment by Mike Kueber — April 19, 2013 @ 1:15 am | Reply

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