Are you a divorced parent over the age of 40 and dating?  Welcome to the party– with the right attitude, you will have a blast because now (1) pressure is off to get married; (2) no need to have more kids; and (3) hopefully you are at a point in your career and with your finances, that you can enjoy a little bit more in life.  So here’s the deal, don’t play Russian Roulette out there and risk wrecking everything.

Thanks to modern medicine, there’s a lot we can do to minimize our risks while still having fun– however, unless you exchange STD test results with someone you cannot be sure that they are “clean.”  Some people may not even know they are carriers, and sadly not all viruses can be cured, such as HIV or HSV (herpes).

To prevent pregnancies, not only can guys have a quick laproscopic vasectomy, but now women can also have their tubes blocked in an out-patient procedure that takes less than 1 hour.  Many might have this covered through insurance, and if not, my understanding is that these options cost less than $3,000. Obviously you need to check with your own medical provider and insurance carrier for full details, but I see these sterilization options as a fantastic solution for both men and women out there dating, who don’t want to destabilize some key parts of their lives.

The truth is that as much as I love kids, I am astounded by how much they cost to raise, with some studies suggesting the national average is over $100,000 in the first 16 years– and I would easily double that figure for those in the DC Area.  This of course presumes you are not paying $25,000 or more for year for those private schools in town.  Seriously, just do the math and you’ll soon see that really it takes a fortune to raise a child, and the financial picture is even grimmer if you are maintaining 2 separate homes and perhaps paying as much as 1/3 of your income in child support.

Birth control is not fool-proof, and accidents can happen, so why take any chances?  If you are over 40 and 100% sure that you want to close that baby factory, talk to your doctor– and your friends.  An overwhelming number of people I know have been “fixed,” and they will very openly and honestly tell you about the process, including the quick recovery time.

As we start to talk to our own kids about safe sex, don’t you think we should really practice what we preach???  I think we can all agree that preventing STDS, as well as an unwanted pregnancy is far easier (and smarter) than dealing with the very difficult and controversial choice to terminate one.  No need to worry about a “Plan B” when you’ve got Plan A fully executed.

Just some food for thought based on my interview in December 2013 with the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.