The Changing Face of Fatherhood
More men are opting for fatherhood later in life for a variety of reasons. Are the challenges different?
A seismic shift in hormones also helps tip the scale in favor of fatherhood. "As men age, they also have a higher ratio of estrogen as testosterone wanes, so men become more "esty" -- meaning that they become more sensual, more involved in family," Diamond says.
"As a whole, I would say that men's desire for kids is less palpable then a women's desire," says New York City psychoanalyst and father Leon Hoffman, MD, director of the Pacella Parent Child Center. "Even women who never have children will find a substitute -- whether a niece or nephew or someone else -- where their maternal feelings will be played out."
Cutting a New Father Figure
Real says "one advantage is that later-in-life fatherhood is a very purposeful fatherhood, and this is a wanted child as opposed to younger men who may feel trapped by fatherhood."
But "the main roadblock to later-in-life fatherhood is physical health," Hoffman says.
"It's very different to have a baby running around when you are in the 20s and 30s and early 40s than when you are older," Hoffman tells WebMD. "The other part is that it does keep you feeling young, so for people with midlife crisis, having a child is certainly a way of rejuvenating life."
Mostly Hoffman has seen men marrying younger second wives who want to have kids and those who insist on doing it right this time. "They say, 'This time I am going to do it right,'" he says. "The danger is that they may become too controlling, or he may have been distant and working with his first set of kids and with second set, he doesn't work as hard, so is there all the time."