I must respectfully challenge your comment about considering the child of an "older" parent. First of all, at what age would you consider a woman to be "too old?" It is extaordinarily rare for a woman to have a child past the early 40s. Are you are suggesting that a mother of that age is going to be too "elderly" to bring up a happy, healthy child?
First of all, my mother is 70, and I would put her up against my mid-40s friends in overall energy and health. She exercises daily, eats well, is slim and looks terrific. She has made the choice to take care of her health.
However, many of her friends are seriously overweight, as of course is a large percentage of the American population. Their eating habits are atrocious and they can't walk around the mall let alone start a fitness program. And that situation, I believe, is totally within their control. They have simply chosen not to care for themselves to live life to the fullest.
So I come back to a woman who wants to have a child in her 40s and compare her to someone who gives birth in her 20s or 30s. Is the 40-year-old really giving her child a less fulfilling life because she is older? That's a tremendous blanket statement you're making.
I have many friends who have gone through extreme depression after starting families in their 20s, and trust me, their kids know that mommy is depressed, mommy is snippy, mommy and daddy don't seem to like each other very much. They've been married for 10, 15 years at this point, and I have heard every sad, cliched story about their marriages, how they gave up this or that, how they don't know who they are, they have no life outside their kids, how they wish they had made the choices I made, how they did it all because that's what they were supposed to do. They didn't ACTIVELY participate in their own lives. They just let everything happen and went along with it.
The American family is such a cliche. How could you possibly think that a set of mature parents who choose later in life to make such a tremendous commitment -- and because they *want* to, not because they think they have to or have no other option -- could give their family less happiness, joy and caring just because they do it later in life? Because they're going to be "elderly" when the kids go to college? "Elderly" is a state of mind and of general health. And I hardly think 60s or 70s is elderly, unless you can't tie your shoes or walk up the stairs without falling over. And that is something that I believe we can all avoid.
I won't even get into the economic argument for having children later.