This doctoral thesis is devoted to the study of the effects of late fertility on health of the newborn and to the implications of late fertility in the fertility decision process. Late fertility is defined as the reproduction process after 30 years old. The interest lies as well from the maternal age point of view as from the paternal age point of view. The first part is devoted to the study of the determinants of infant morbidity and mortality with a particular attention to the parental age, without neglecting the other determinants. The originality of this part is located from the methodological point of view. We construct a structural model of infant morbidity/mortality in order to isolate the causal effect of late fertility. By a structural model we mean a model which represents a set of causal relationships represented mathematically by a multi-equation model and graphically by directed acyclic graphs. As a complementary approach, a chapter of the thesis is devoted to an exploratory model highlighting the role of the extreme values rather than average values traditionally of interest in most statistical analyses. Both methods are tested with Hungarian data: individual registration forms of livebirths and infant deaths (1984-1984 and 1994-1998), and the Hungarian casecontrol surveillance of congenital abnormalities (1997-2002). The second part analyses the effect of parental ageing in the fertility decision process. We try to determine whether the detrimental effect of late fertility on health of the child and on fecundity of the couples intervene in the preferences for a child. We assume that parental age influences the preferences for a child through effects on the desire for a child and on the beliefs in the capacity of reproduction of a healthy child. This hypothesis is tested using the data from the National Survey of Family Growth (United States, 2002) and from the Fertility and Family Survey (Hungary, Czech Republic and Belgium).