The famous baby bump and birth announcement are given a lot of attention in the media. In fabulous maternity photos, like Beyoncé evoking a fertility goddess in a flower shop, it’s easy to forget that many celebrities face the challenges of pregnancy just like the rest of us. Age, health conditions and other factors can make conceiving or carrying a child difficult, if not impossible – prompting many celebrities to turn to surrogacy.
It’s understandable that people in the public eye would want to keep their personal lives as private as possible, especially when it comes to starting or adding to their families. Still, some stars have been very open about their decision to expand their family with the help of gestational surrogates. Insider lists 25 famous people who used surrogates, including Neil Patrick Harris, Anderson Cooper, Ellen Pompeo and Gabrielle Union.
What is Gestational Surrogacy, Exactly?
Gestational surrogacy is when a woman gives birth to a child for someone who cannot, and is considered by many to be the greatest gift that one human being can give to another. Couples who choose this route often eliminate every other option. A surrogate pregnancy can be achieved with in-vitro fertilization followed by a simple conception procedure or the more delicate and costly embryo transfer, during which an egg is fertilized and the embryo is cultured in a laboratory. Embryos can also be screened for genetic conditions and frozen for future use.
In case you were thinking that surrogacy is very expensive. The website IVF Authority allows you to calculate your estimated cost based on your individual needs. IVF Concepts, which compares costs internationally, says that the average cost of using a surrogate in the United States is $95,000 to $150,000. The surrogate is also compensated for medical and other pregnancy-related expenses. Legal and agency fees are also expected.
Surrogates pay at least $35,000 for a single pregnancy, more for multiples, which some doctors discourage. Multiple pregnancies such as twins are medically risky for the surrogate and the children.
See what many celebrities have to say about their experiences with surrogacy.
Kim Kardashian West is among celebrities who have turned to surrogacy for medical reasons
One of the most prominent celebrities to adopt surrogacy is Kim Kardashian West. In 2017 People reported on West’s decision to have a third child with her husband, Kanye West, via surrogate. Her first two pregnancies with daughter North and son Saint were risky because of a condition called placenta accreta, as well as preeclampsia, both of which can be life-threatening. After a failed surgery, West had to come to terms with the fact that it would not be safe for her to have another child.
On keeping up with the KardashiansKhloe Kardashian, who was considering surrogacy for medical reasons of her own, asked her sister about the procedure. “It was so scary the first time,” West told him. “I did FaceTime first, and then I invited them to dinner with my two kids, and Kanye and her husband, and I wanted to meet them all face-to-face. I didn’t know what you expected And I wanted to feel and see if this energy was going to work for us, and that was amazing.”
According to IMDb, their daughter Chicago was born in January 2018. Since then, they have welcomed a fourth child from a different surrogate; Their son Bhajan, was born in May 2019. West told ET Online that his second experience with surrogacy was different. “I don’t know if this is the fourth child or, we’ve gone through surrogacy before, you calm down a little bit more as they go.”
Sarah Jessica Parker turns to surrogacy after battling secondary infertility
Among other celebrities who have used surrogacy to add to their families is Sarah Jessica Parker. The actress and her husband Matthew Broderick welcomed their first child, James, in 2002, when Parker was 37 years old. Unfortunately, their attempts to have a second child were unsuccessful. Infertility Aid reported that Parker, one of eight children, did not want her son to be an only child. “We tried and tried and tried and tried to get pregnant; It just didn’t have to happen,” she said.
Parker isn’t forthcoming about what procedures she might be going through in her efforts to conceive, saying only that she’s explored all her options and was excited to find out that her surrogate would be able to have twins. was taking What they weren’t excited about was a shocking twist that ended with their surrogate being publicly named and an Ohio police chief facing jail time.
According to The New York Times, the tabloid paper The Star, which had previously published a photo of the surrogate, eventually revealed her identity as Michelle Ross of Martins Ferry, Ohio. Police Chief Barry Carpenter allegedly entered his home on the grounds that he saw a door open while he was driving. Carpenter then tried to sell photos and documents related to Ross’s pregnancy to the paparazzi.
Despite all the drama, Parker and Broderick’s twin girls were born healthy and well in June 2009. Parker called the experience wonderful, saying, “Meeting your kids instead of giving birth to them is like, um, it’s suspended animation.”
Amber Heard embraces surrogacy to have a baby on her own terms
Amber Heard is yet another celebrity who has made surrogacy a part of her motherhood journey. In July 2021, Heard announced the birth of their first child. In Instagram and Twitter posts, she introduced her daughter, Onagh Paige, to the world, saying, “I’m so excited to share this news with you all. Four years ago, I decided I wanted to have a baby. I wanted to do it on my own terms. I now appreciate how revolutionary it is for us as women to think about one of the most fundamental parts of our destiny. Page Six revealed that Heard’s friends said the baby was born via surrogacy because Heard was “told she would never be able to have her own child.”
Heard, who is 35, has taken a lot of heat for her alleged abusive relationship with Johnny Depp and their acrimonious divorce. She said the baby was born on April 8, 2021, and gave no further details about the process as to who the father might be.
A source close to Heard is quoted as saying, “The most important thing for Amber is that she speaks openly about Onagh’s birth. There are a lot of women who feel that they can’t do anything about their fertility. Can’t talk and is worried and embarrassed; Amber wants them to feel supported and realize that there are many ways to have children, even if you have fertility issues.”
Alec and Hilaria Baldwin surprise fans with their ‘mystery baby’ born via surrogacy
Although she previously fathered and delivered five children, Hilaria Baldwin’s sixth child was born via surrogacy. She posted a photo of the newborn with her family on Instagram in March 2021, just six months after giving birth to a son, Eduardo. “We love our daughter Lucia so much. Like your brothers and sisters, you are a dream come true,” she said.
Fans were quite confused, and the couple’s publicist did not comment. Alec Baldwin added to the drama by dropping an f-bomb in response to comments on the post and asking one user to “focus on your own business.” This was later confirmed by E! According to an unnamed source, online and people that his daughter Lucia was a product of surrogacy. Neither Hilaria nor Alec have publicly discussed the circumstances of Lucia’s birth.
A yoga instructor and Instagram influencer, Hilaria went public with her fifth child in 2019 about a miscarriage four months into her pregnancy. Perhaps the couple had started the surrogacy screening process even before they learned of the sixth pregnancy. In any case, the two are now parents to three daughters and four sons, including 25-year-old Ireland Baldwin, whose mother is actress Kim Basinger.
Kim Kardashian says she keeps in touch with both of her surrogates