DEAR ABBY: Four years ago, I met a man who fulfilled all my hopes and needs for a lifetime companion. We married a year later and have been happy in a new home and community. He's 48 and I am 40.
We've discussed starting a family. I have no children, but he has a 24-year-old son. We are both in excellent health and have discussed it with my ob-gyn, who sees us as capable of having a normal child. We are financially sound and would make loving parents.
My dilemma lies with the negative comments we are getting from our families. My mother says we'd be selfish to have children at such an advanced age. His mother says there would be only heartache for our children because we will be "elderly" by the time they reach 20.
My husband says the decision is ours, and we should be influenced only by what's in our hearts -- not what others say.
I have read about older couples who started families and had no regrets. I would like to hear from the children of older couples, children who were in high school when their parents were 60 and 70 years old. Do the children have any regrets? I don't want our children to feel cheated because we are older, or because we might not be able to do things with them that younger parents could do. If you would print this, it would help us make our decision to have a family or remain childless. -- TO BE OR NOT TO BE PARENTS IN TEXAS
DEAR "TO BE OR NOT TO BE": You have posed an interesting question, which can best be answered by children who have grown up in families with older parents. It's something that's becoming more commonplace with advances in the field of infertility medicine.
Although I'd be surprised if many of the offspring of older parents would bite the hands of the parents who birthed them, I'd be very interested in what they have to say. Readers?