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Donor conception

is 46 selfish?

45 replies

Karcheer · 22/11/2019 17:20

i did 2 rounds of IVF at the ARGC before my 40th birthday both failed, and i decided to stop at 40. The "pain" of being childless hasn't left me and id really like to go to Spain and use a donor egg. i know people do this at all ages, but is it really selfish? should i just except being an aunty is a close as im going to get?

OP posts:

Oldandsad · 02/12/2019 09:09

@Karcheer I am having similar thoughts. And on top of it I am not sure how the child will react to the fact they are not genetically related to their mother. Plus health issues, the child would not know what to expect regarding potential hereditary risks etc. Trying IVF now but at my age it is near 0 chance.


Oldandsad · 02/12/2019 09:21

@firstimemamma chance are very low with own eggs, but with donor eggs (that is what OP is considering) it is very much possible. If fact they are the same as those for the egg donor age group.


Karcheer · 02/12/2019 10:10

@Oldandsad exactly, this is how I feel. It feels like a lot to put on a person before they are even born.

OP posts:

Welltroddenpath · 02/12/2019 10:14

firsttimemama those stats are not true for donor eggs. Your stats are as good as the age of the donor.

OP all of life is a risk. If you can go for it then do. Better to try and fail than live with the regret of “what if?”


notnowmaybelater · 02/12/2019 10:26

How much information will your child have about the donor? I think it's a very significant issue not knowing who your genetic parents are. Obviously it's an issue millions of people live with and do just fine, but it is nevertheless a big deal to decide in advance to create a human who will have this issue hanging over them. This issue applies to sperm donation equally of course. I'm sure gametes are screened but that's not the same as having the genetic parents about to ask about family history of say psychiatric disorders, heart attacks or dementia earlier than average, breast cancer incidence etc. Additionally children are curious and as they approach teens identity issues can be huge.

Ethically using a donor egg is quite troubling IMO. Are Spanish donors paid for their eggs? Are there similar issues to in the USA where genetically desirable young women are egg-hunted on university campuses and persuaded to go through the risky and unpleasant process to pay off student debt even though they've typically not yet had a child of their own? Egg donation comes with serious risks, side effects and complications totally unlike sperm donation - are you comfortable with that.

I think the donor gametes issue is bigger than the age issue, though I understand the desire to carry your child and bring them up from birth onwards which makes a person consider this instead of going through the rigorous application process in the hope of adopting a probably 4 or 5 year old unrelated child who already exists.


Bluerussian · 02/12/2019 10:38

I don't know, Kercher. There surely has to be a cut off point. Friends went abroad for IVF several times long after having it here in the UK, when they were advised not to try any more. They spent a lot of money and it didn't work, they were getting a bit old for it frankly but the longing was still there. It was so sad. However they both came from large, extended families and found themselves in the position of caring for young relatives which they they embraced that once they'd fully accepted their infertility. Not everyone has that option though.

My parents were older and I always vowed I would not have a child when I got past a certain age. I'm glad of that but no way could I really judge someone else.

I knew people, my age, when I was young who had parents who had conceived them at well over forty but they were not only children, they were the youngest and their parents were more clued up about kids and young people, plus they had their teenage kids to give them ideas. They were happy kids, loved and sometimes spoiled as the 'babies'. My own mum was the youngest of ten by five years and never thought twice about it.

All I can is it wouldn't be my choice. Had I been infertile I hope I would have eventually channeled my needs into something else - however I don't know as was not in that position.

Good luck whatever you do. I think it is more likely that an attempt at IVF will not work at your age; that would be sad but maybe you would be able to accept childlessness better after that.

I sincerely hope I haven't been harsh in this post, it certainly isn't meant in any way, just being honest. I've known so many really good, kind and useful people who have never had a child - they wanted to - were able to accommodate their needs and were very happy.



misspiggy19 · 02/12/2019 10:44

Yes i believe that 46 is too old to have a baby.


Oldandsad · 02/12/2019 12:32

I would not be much concerned about the age. My grandmother gave birth to her last child at 41.5, and it was many decades ago. We live longer and are expected to work longer these days so you will not retire before your child grows up. I'd like to hear what people who went down the DE or double donor route have to say.


ClaireP20 · 05/12/2019 17:55

I'm naturally pregnant at 45, will be 46 when baby is born. I'm already madly in love with my little miracle. I have older children too. One of my friends had donor eggs - now has twins. They are 6 and she is 50. Why go abroad? My friend only waited 4 months (from enquiry to egg transplant) at her chelmsford clinic. Plus the donor can be traced later if necessary by the children. I'm worried about being an old fart parent, but I'm sure any child you have will be grateful for being born - better than the alternative. Go for it. You'll only regret it if you don't. Anyway you can always do what I do and knock 5 years off your age - who round the school gates is going to know?!


ClaireP20 · 05/12/2019 18:00

Ps one of the other posters on here mentions having an older mum and dad and vowing not to be an older mum herself, but I also have an older mum and she is a wonderful, patient and kind person. We are best friends and she is 88 now - alive and well! Being a wonderful parent isn't about age, you can die young too you know!!


ClaireP20 · 05/12/2019 18:01

Blimey MissPiggy has made me feel well past it now! (Sorry for being pregnant and soo old!)


Foghead · 05/12/2019 18:08

My friend is 59 with a 14 yr old. Her and her Dd are really active together and go hiking, swimming, theatre trips and weekends away. They always opt for activity and sightseeing holidays.
My friend has always been active and has a great social life. All her dds friends love her and theirs is the house that all the friends seem to enjoy hanging out in the best.
Her dd is lovely and is doing really well at school.
I don’t think there’s ever been an issue of my friend not having enough energy to do things with her.


KristinaM · 05/12/2019 18:30

I had babies ( conceived in the traditional way ) at 41 and 43. I was in good health through both pregnancies and had healthy babies at term.

I’m a bit bemused by the suggestion that parents in their 40s or 50s can’t run at sports day ! I run marathons as do many people in that age group so I think I can just about manage the mums’ egg and spoon race Hmm.

Health and fitness isn’t the prerogative of 21 years olds and it’s ageist and rather offensive to suggest that it is. Same as it would be bigoted and offensive to say “ Don’t have a baby at 21 because you will be out clubbing and drunk / high so not able to care for your child and social services will remove them “.

Some 21 year olds are shit parents and some 50 year olds are unfit. Doesn’t mean they all are.

Same for whatever other lazy stereotype people come up with.

BTW While I was typing this my 15 year old came in so I asked him his opinion on the experience of having “older parents”. He looked utterly bemused and said

“ It’s stupid that anyone would even think that [ that’s its selfish to have a baby in your 40s] . Dad played football with us and you anyway you beat the other mums at sports day. If anything it’s better because you are smarter and have more money and can get away from work more to do stuff with us”.


Karcheer · 05/12/2019 20:54

Thank you all.
@KristinaM please thank your son, reading that actually bought a tear to my eye.

OP posts:

KristinaM · 05/12/2019 21:31

That’s so sweet, he’s not the most articulate of teenagers. I wish you could have seen his face, it was just “Huh”, because he didn’t really understand the question IYSWIM. Yes, we are probably 5-10 years older than most of his friends parents - we live in a fairly middle class area so very few young parents.

But most teenagers can’t really tell the difference between 47 and 57 anyway. We are all just boring parents to them Grin.


Helbelle17 · 05/12/2019 21:39

I had our DD at 41 and am pregnant with our second at 44, both conceived naturally. I love being mum at this age, as I'm confident in my decisions, have advanced far enough in my career to only have to work part time and have so much more patience.
I've always kept myself fit and healthy, and have no problem running around after my toddler.
It's the best thing I've ever done.


decisionsinsandouts · 21/12/2019 17:14

I had my child late 40s. I am now 60 and my child 11. I love my child with all my heart and we have a interesting and realistically fulfilling life. My desire for a child was powerful, but before going ahead with using donor egg/sperm I went through a long period of deciding how my child would cope. That was my number one priority. The donor conception issue in his words:"I'm ok with it". The age issue for me is important and it's good to think of the implications of being an older parent. Do I regret my decision .....absolutely no.


decisionsinsandouts · 22/12/2019 08:36

Just to add to the above, both donors are not known to me but are not anonymous and my child will be able to contact them if he so chooses. I would fully support him in this. When deciding on donors I was resolute in my desire to take steps to ensure my child would have access to his genetic heritage.


Leo19 · 22/12/2019 17:30

Being 46 can be so many things that no one can tell you if it's "too old" without knowing you, and even then only you can really decide. My DH and I have gotten to that stage of life where some of our high school friends look like old people and have health issues associated with age while others look like they're in their early 30s and are off mountaineering in the alps or training for marathons. We're all basically the same age but the effects of age are radically different for people based on the luck of their genetics and the way they have lived their lives. So I think more important than just age is to assess your health. If you're healthy and are willing to do the work to try and stay healthy (decent diet and moderate exercise go a long way) then this "too old" stuff is bs. This isn't to say you won't face health issues, no one can predict that - at any age! There are a lot of different 46s out there and only you know where you are in that. If you're healthy 46 sounds great!

Also I mentioned this thread to my DH who laughed about some of the dire predictions for the limitations of older parents. Again, it can vary and I feel very bad for parents who aren't physically able to keep up with their kids (whatever their age) but most of us will be just fine at piggy-back rides well into our 50s and teenagers will definitely turn them down Smile. He made a lovely point too about the benefits of being older and the freedom to join them on some of their adventures. Being retired with a child in their 20s opens up possibilities for travel with them that certainly my parents never had. Given that my dad is pushing 80 and regularly does international bike trips this seems very possible and really lovely.


thehorseandhisboy · 22/12/2019 17:39

It's no more 'selfish' than wanting to have a baby at any age.

The possibility of health problems is higher when you're older (not just pregnancy, but general health) but as you say parents of any age can become ill.

And you have the means to give a child a good parent and home, which counts for a lot.

I know a few people who have had babies in Spain through donor eggs. I haven't asked about how much they know about the donor in terms of hereditary health issues, or whether the child would have a legal right to know who she is when they're older (I think not as the law is different in Spain).

Good luck whatever you decide.

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