A Father’s Advanced Age Is a Risk Factor When Having Children

There have been studies that indicate that children of older men have an increased likelihood of developing mental disorders. In particular, it has been researched to see if older fathers are more likely to have children with autism as this problem is much in the news of late. There is a fairly comprehensive study that does show that such children are three times as likely to be diagnosed with autism and have 13 times the chance of getting an attention deficit disorder. These do seem like scary numbers, but some do point out that these are increases in what are initially very small numbers.

There is one U.K. bioethicist, however, who thinks men should not take any chances when it comes to the health of children they may have during their lifetime. This is why¬†he suggests that men put sperm in a sperm bank when they are young. In this way, if they decide to have kids in their thirties or forties, they will have their own sperm from their younger selves to increase the odds of a healthy baby. Some do not care for this recommendation and believe that there should instead be more support for young couples who decide to have kids. There is also debate about whether even young sperm that has been frozen will be any better than fresh older sperm because the freezing process may have a negative effect. That’s something Matt Landis and others will be paying attention to.

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