' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Travolta's Redux

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Travolta's Redux

Several readers have asked why I have it "in" for John Travolta. Actually I like him as an actor; I particularly enjoyed him in Primary Colors.

I have it "in" for anyone who risks another woman's life in order to have a baby. I put John Travolta and Kelly Preston in that category.

I'm not ageist. I don’t make the rules; Mother Nature does. And for good reason. The younger the mother, the better the odds that she will be around to raise the children to adulthood.

(This was brought home with the news yesterday that Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, is dying from breast cancer. The Edwards’ had two children via donated eggs when Elizabeth was 48 and 50 respectively. According to NYDailyNews.com, she is determined not to let John and his mistress, Rielle Hunter, whom she blames for breaking up her marriage, raise the children, now 12 and 10. She wants her 28 year old daughter, Cate, to have custody of the children when she passes away.)

Back to the Travolta’s, it’s reported that Kelly Preston is carrying twins. This makes it more likely that her conception did not occur in the usual way. I don't know whose eggs (or whose sperm for that matter) created these embryos but at 47, it's unlikely they were Preston's unless she had had her eggs frozen. This is according to a CNN doctor/commentator.

Readers have pointed out that women in their 40's do conceive. Early 40's, no question. My mother was 41 when she had my brother (yes, that brother -- the pot-smoking, war protesting hippie I've written about before.) And Rielle Hunter was 43 when she gave birth to John Edwards' daughter, likely not as a result of fertility treatments, at least none that Edwards knew about.

Speaking of John Edwards, it's worth noting that none of our readers objected to my statements about him or Elizabeth. Is it because of his affair de coeur that the he and Elizabeth have no defenders here? Or is John Travolta's publicist trolling blogs, pouncing on any suggestion that the in utero Travolta's are anything but natural, using our natural sympathy for John and Kelly over the loss of their son to deflect questions about the embyros' DNA?


  1. I didn't know the Edwards used donor eggs; what a mess that situation has become.

    And I have to say that Preston, at age 47, is WAAAY to old to be having babies. And Daddy Travolta is bit long in the tooth to be called "daddy;" - "granddaddy" would be more fitting.

    These stars have gone bat-shit crazy with their desire to become geriatric parents. Although my time spent at the dentist this morning helped me understand it a bit more. The celebrity tabloids in the office were filled with page after page of celebrity mommas. Seems that a baby is a guaranteed path to glowing press coverage.

    Just heard that Celine Dion (age 42with a 68-year-old hubby) is expecting twins after six rounds of in-vitro. Now I'm crossing my fingers that Jack Nicholson will hook up with Merill Streep so they can start producing their own grandchildren.

  2. Way too old to be called Mommy? I am 48 and have a three year old that came to our family via foster care adoption. I am three years older than my daughter's biological grandmother. Was it wrong for me to want a third child after my first two? Am I too old to be a mother? Boy, I didn't think so.

    I don't like the idea of the Travoltas having another baby, not because of their age, but because it is a big burden to put on a baby to fill the loss that they feel after the death of their son. Frankly, I think it is a big burden to put on any adopted child, when parents turn to adoption to fill a loss. Hopefully they work through their loss before they adopt. But filling the shoes of a dead sibling and owing your life to that tragic fact? Doesn't seem like a good way to come into the world.

  3. Your one up on me about Travolta being a good actor Jane-he never did much for me, and then one night I saw him on a talk show where he bluntly (and arrogantly)put himself in the same league as Al Pacino and I almost choked on my beer. Richard Thomas, Sean Penn, the late John Ritter, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Donald Sutherland yes, but Mr. Bababarino? No...I don't think so. I was turned off to him from that moment on. I am turned off too, that he and his wife are not sensative enough too as I said in my last comment, to think of the babies of surrogacy, egg and sperm donorship and how they feel about being created in such a strange and unatural way and what painful idenity issuses they will have as they grow up. I also agree with you that it is wrong to support the health problems that women who donate this part of their body could encounter. One of my favorite linked blogs is Confessions Of A Cryokid and everyone should go read this young womans blog. She is the child of a sperm donor and has many important things to say. Any woman considering having a child this way should read her blog first. Ignoring the feelings of children conceived this way is not only beyond selfish, it always makes one a bad parent.

  4. Hmmm.

    Well, I'm not a scientololgist and I'm not a Travolta fan...but I think it a bit unfair to judge anyone without knowing all the circumstances. Perhaps they had been trying for years and had been unable...frozen embryos and eggs can keep for years. I do think it is entirely medically possible for a woman her age to become pregnant (artificially) with her own eggs and her husband's sperm.

    While *I* would not want to have a baby at age 47...I do not think that I have a right to judge her for wanting to be a new mother at that age. If there are potential health risks, then hopefully she was informed of them and then made her decision. It's her body, afterall.

    And FWIW, the Travolta camp has denied that there are twins.

  5. As usual no-one thinks of the child and whether s/he will have a parent to see him/her to adulthood.

  6. I am not sure how to feel about this myself. My mother adopted me when she was in her 60's and she died when I was 5 years old.
    So, I understand that parents who are older will not be around for the children who will still need them even into their adult years.
    But, at the same time, I sometimes feel that none of us can know for sure if we will be there for our children regardless of age.
    Unfortunately, we will never know their true intentions and what will become of the child as the parents get older.

  7. I am uncomfortable with this situation for many reasons. I dislike the idea of anonymous egg or sperm donors because you get all the difficulties of adoption with even more limited resources for the child/person who results to find their biological roots, obtian medical history, genetic mirroring, etc.

    I also think you need to weigh the physical, emotional, and health-related realities of being an over-45-mom-of-a-newborn with your personal desire for a baby. She will be 65 years old when her youngest graduates. Regardless of their financial resources, there are stresses to being a young adult with elderly parents.
    The Travolta-Prestons have certainly had their share of sorrow, but as others have commented, what a heavy burden for the new baby to fill, being a "miracle" pregnancy on the heels of their tragic loss of Jett.

    I hope for the best for their unborn baby.

  8. Quoting Von: "As usual no-one thinks of the child and whether s/he will have a parent to see him/her to adulthood."

    Exactly. It's all about the adult's desire to have a baby at any cost and with little consideration of the actual child.

    Another question I have about these over-the-hill mommies: why don't we ever hear about the genetic testing that doctors now rountinely perform on older mothers-to-be? How about the vastly increased chances of Downs and other genetic conditions that are more prevalent in babies born to older mothers? What about suggestions of abortion if the tests come back with a positive flag for genetic defects? No one ever touches on these issues.

  9. Maybe, I think the answer to the question of genetic testing and abortion is that most elderly mommies do not use their own eggs but donated eggs from much younger women. So the genetic problems of aging eggs do not apply.

    Of course they do not have to tell anyone that, nor do they have to disclose the fact that they are pregnant until after testing, if required, is done and they are cleared. There probably are some quiet celebrity older mom abortions that we never hear about.

  10. It is not impossible to become pregnant naturally in your 50's.

    There was a case in Canada where a woman in her 50's (I think she was 56) who had been sterilised got back together with her ex and much to everyone's surprise (especially her own) she became pregnant. She sure wasn't expecting it but it happened. As far as I know, she and the child are still doing well.

    I'm 53 and I am still having regular periods. If my husband's sterilisation op fails, I could become pregnant just as easily.

    I guess it's genetic. We live a very long time in our family and tend to stay very fit - average age 100.

    I think the last funeral I went to was for a great-great grand aunt who died in her own home age 99.

  11. I am the child of a 46-year-old and a 49-year old. My father died when I was 24; mom lost her marbles by the time I was 29 and died a few years later.

    Still, I had my parents long enough. Losing them young left its mark on me but it wasn't all bad. Everything to its season. Those were the parents, and that was the hand life dealt me.

    Just a comment on older parents generally.

  12. My grandmother had the last three of her seven children well into her forties. She died in her mid nineties. So they had their Mom with them well into their fifties.

    I don't think any of the three children born in her forties regretted her decision to have them later in life.

  13. I always thought my parents were old because they were older than my friend's parents, Dad was 38 and Mom was 33 when I was born. Most of my friends had parents in their early 20s when they were born.

    But my Mom lived to be 88, Dad 92, mostly in good health, so I was in my 50s when they died. Some of my friends with younger parents lost them much earlier.

    I do not see anything wrong with older parents giving birth naturally, or adopting,within reason, but the assisted reproduction stuff is dangerous and nuts. Anyhow I can't fault older parents as my kids get older with no kids yet:-)

    Times have changed, but there are still limits on the human body that cannot be ignored.

  14. My son had a 43 year old adoptive "dad" more granddad than dad. As soon as my son was acquired for his female much young adoptive "mother" they split up and my son was then raised with with a "single mom which was what I was but that wasn't good enough, so with wedding ring on finger his pap was able to get two boys with that ring before her divorce from "granddaddy"

    Travolta, Preston, and all the other older moms who think they can have babies as old as eighty..with no problem as far as purchasing an egg, or living long enough to raise a child. Guess money talks as usual but that is not putting the baby first and foremost, its putting the adults first just like in adoption.


  15. Obviously, those who think that having a baby late in life doesn't present any problems. It does and to say my so and so got pregnant at 55 whatever could be a fluke of nature, but doesn't generally happen.

    As one ages so do eggs and chances of becoming pregnant get diminished by mid twenties. Fertility is something young women have, older women crave, especiallly if she wants another baby and can't conceive one.

    Terrible that young women are selling eggs, and babies to strangers. One day they will regret it but can't tell a younger women that when she is paying for college with her egg money or getting paid for carrying a baby for a deserving couple.

    Its all about money...times, and needs, along with entitlement having something you can't produce so one buys it. The American way!!

  16. My neighbor was adopted when she was three in the Seventies from a poor farming family in Poland by a woman in her forties. Then the adoptive mother married a man here. Four years later she died of breast cancer, and my neighbor and friend was raised with a sullen, unhappy father who was not happy to be raising a lively girl and teen-ager. Before she settled down--married right out of high school because she was pregnant--she went through a lot of drugs and alcohol. I helped her find her original family back in Poland, and she went to see them as soon as she could, soon after her daughter was born.

    She came back with hundreds of photographs, and relief that she found out who she was. She was thrilled to find both of her natural parents alive, and many siblings. Did money change hands? No one knows, certainly not my friend.

    Of course no one can predict how long any one will live, but I know my neighbor has very mixed feelings about the life she ended up living. And it was directed by an older woman who took her from a poor family that had many other children.

  17. There are two separate issues--older parents and adopting or manipulating reproduction beyond the boundary of common sense. My comment is simply about the reality of having older parents. They will probably die when you're fairly young. That in and of itself is not such a terrible thing and everybody knows it as you move forward. The task of parenthood, after all, is to raise people to adulthood.

    Those who adopt or chose IVF have an extra duty of care, though. ITA. After 45, responsible people would consider their health, odds for longevity, the stability of their marriage if married, etc. As always, the needs of the child should come first.

    On a side note, I know lots of active 71 year olds. I mean, really active. With great muscle tone. So why do so many people go around proclaiming 65 and 70 old? Having older parents also showed me that old is what you make of it. My 70-year-old aunt was a size 4 and could outwalk me on one of her special marathons around the neighbourhood. Hope to be like that too.



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