When Should I Commit My Kids: Older Mom Debate

Too Old to Be a Mom?

Dr. Phil takes comments from his audience about older mothers.

Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis stands up. "As a mother and as a psychologist, I think it's very important for us to celebrate the rights of older women," she says. "I think it's a slippery slope when we start saying which women are capable of being mothers. If we throw older women under the bus this week, next week it will be poor women, the week after that it'll be immigrants, the week after that it'll be if you have an obese mother or a women who smokes or curses. So, all women ought to have the right not to have us judging their wombs."

[AD]"What about the kids' rights?" Dr. Phil asks. "Here you've got a mother who was 66, and now these children will grow up motherless."

"Those children have a right to live. Those children are going to grow up surrounded by their family and their community," Dr. Bryant-Davis says. "If we believe women who are older should not have children, then we need to say that men over 50 need to have vasectomies."

Cathy says she doesn't think it's a good idea for older women to have children. "I don't know that this lady, had she survived, would've had the energy to raise these kids, and when they get into high schools, all the challenges that parents face, whether oar not your children are perfect little angels, there are high school and middle school challenges, and there is such a huge age difference that, I don't know," she says.

Angela agrees. "I have a 1-½-year-old, and it's hard enough for us to take care of her, and I'm 28. I couldn't imagine trying to do it at 66, and I think it's just very selfish," she says.

Sandy says, "I think that older mothers do a great job. They're more stable in their relationships a lot of times. They have a lot of extended family that's older and able to help them. I work with a lot of older mothers because I'm in higher [education], and I think they're great parents."

Dr. Phil gives his thoughts. "Number one, I absolutely, definitely do not think we should pass laws about when people should have babies or when they shouldn't have babies. I am so concerned about that slippery slope. If we start passing laws about what we can do with our bodies, that is really scary. But I'm also concerned that sometimes, technology can outstrip morality." Dr. Phil says there used to be a time when doctors couldn't save burn victims, but now we have the technology to keep these victims alive, although he's not sure it's really being alive. He says technology can sometimes give us the ability to do things that just don't make sense. "I just think we have to think about that. I will never be comfortable with telling somebody what they can and can't do with their body. I would just hope that people would really stop and think not just about what they want, but about the impact on the child."

[AD]Leave your comments on the message boards, or Dr. Phil's blog, Turning Point.