Dr Anjali Chhabria, child psychiatrist and counsellor, told Hindustan Times that counselling for older couples opting to become parents through IVF would help them make a more informed decision.
How different is it to become a parent at a later age, say post-45, as opposed to when you are younger?
First of all, there is a big age difference between the parents and children; sometimes they can even be more than two generations apart. This could create a wider generation gap between, especially when the child enters teenage.
What are the advantages?
Becoming a parent when you are older could be an advantage as many older people could be more mature and patient parents than their younger counterparts. And, unlike younger couples chasing financial security and a career, older parents could have more time for their children, because they are financially and professionally secure. But it also helps if older parents have a support system comprising younger relatives who are willing to take care of their children sometimes.
What are the disadvantages to having a child when you are older?
The generation gap, which is an issue that most parents and children face, could become wider. But some parents also report that they feel younger, thanks to their children. Health is another big concern as the parents are going to be very old by the time the children become young adults.
What should older couples consider before having a child?
If an older couple is opting for IVF treatment, they should go through counselling with their IVF specialist detailing all the pros and cons that having a child at that age might entail. It will help them make an informed decision about whether or not they are suited to have children. It’s not just about wanting strongly to become a parent. They should be physically, emotionally and financially sound to be able to take on this commitment.