New Dad Robert De Niro Should Have Considered Age

Robert De Niro is a daddy again for the sixth time. The 68-year-old actor and his wife Grace Hightower, 56, had a daughter via surrogate on Friday and while a new baby is always cause for celebration, the span between De Niro's oldest and his youngest is 40 years.

Helen Grace was a healthy 7 pounds, 2 ounces and certainly the De Niro's have the right to conduct their childbearing however they would like. Certainly their 13-year-old son Eliot will be happy to have a sibling in his house.

The problem is De Niro is the same age as many grandfathers. When a woman has a baby at an older age, she is often taken to task as "too old" or "bad for the baby" or any number of other things, so why don't men get the same scrutiny?

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De Niro's five other children are almost all grown. His daughter Drena, 40, and son Raphael, 35, are with former wife Diahnne Abbott and then he has 16-year-old twin sons Julian and Aaron, born via surrogate with ex-girlfriend Toukie Smith. Finally there is Eliot.

The fact is, De Niro could live to be 90 and his daughter could know him for only 23 years. Personally, that is my biggest problem with older people becoming parents. When you lose a parent young, you never get to know them as well as you might have otherwise.

With De Niro the energy factor is likely not as big a deal given his wife is younger and she has many older siblings to help care for her. And since money is also not an object, they can certainly afford round-the-clock care if they need it.

Really, it is a factor of time. New babies take enormous energy and time and they also want to know their parents as long as they can. At 68, De Niro could easily have grandchildren the same ages as his youngest four children. Certainly if he were a woman, there would be some judgement.

It is not that his decision should be judged, really. It should just be questioned. Is 68 really the ideal age to become a new dad for the sixth time?

Do you think a new baby at 68 makes sense?

 

Image via david_shankbone/Flickr

 

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