The oldest dad in the world has just been blessed with his second child at the extremely ripe old age of 96. Ramjit Raghav won the title of world’s oldest father two years ago when he fathered his first child at 94 with his wife, Shakuntala, who is now 54.
If his fertility is surprising, then his sex drive is astounding. According to the Daily Mail, Raghav claims to have sex three to four times a night, and that his neighbours are jealous.
“They keep asking me for my secret but all I tell them is that it is God’s will,” Raghav tells the Daily Mail.
Raghav’s new arrival is a healthy little boy, and doctors at the government hospital in Haryana apparently laughed when he reported he was the father.
The older couple’s love story came later in life. Raghav had been a widower for 25 years when he met Shakuntala at a Muslim shrine.
“I took her under my wing and taught her some yoga and we fell in love,” says Raghav. “Many of my past girlfriends had died so I had never married and then I asked Shakuntala to be my wife.”
Raghav’s story clearly presents an extreme example of delayed fatherhood, but men having children in the 60s, 70s and even 80s is not unheard of. Biology allows some men to wait almost indefinitely to have children, but what happens to these kids when dad is an octogenarian by the time they hit high school?
“An older dad may not be able to be as physically active with his child as a younger one, but of course that has to do with his health,” says Canadian parenting expert Kathy Lynn.
She says that while an older father may not be as mobile or fit, chances are better that he’ll be economically sound and be more confident in himself as a person.
“He will not be working to start a career or balancing parenthood with school,” says Lynn.
Lynn is careful to caution that “old dad” can mean more than one thing.
“There is a big difference between an older dad who is 45 and one who is 86,” says Lynn. “The former is simply a bit older and will likely be around to see his child grow up.”
She says there is a limit to what can work, and that having a baby when you are 80 and may need some senior care is not fair to the child.
And of course, there is the health of the baby to consider.
Raghav and his wife were incredibly lucky to give birth to a healthy child. The effects of a mother delaying childbirth are well documented, but delaying fatherhood also increases the risks of a wide range of negative health outcomes, from down syndrome to dwarfism.