While many baby boomers have retired or are looking forward to retirement and the leisure time that comes with it, certain subsets of age fifty-plus singles and couples are buying cribs and waking up for midnight feedings. They are often first-time parents who are eagerly embracing the next two decades of raising children. Some women in these subsets have made the choice to delay childbearing in order to achieve career or financial goals or to travel or because they haven’t found an acceptable partner. Older couples in second marriages may wish to have children together. In other cases, some women or couples have experienced the devastating loss of a child and would like to have another child.
With the prolonged life expectancy of today, a woman may not feel it’s unreasonable to become pregnant and raise a child, even if she is in menopause. In the United States, a woman who has reached the age of fifty in good health has at least another twenty-five to thirty years of life expectancy—enough time to raise a child to adulthood. Advances in reproductive technology and expanding definitions of family are permitting them to do so.