Thirty years ago, surrogacy was more of a science fiction plot than a reality. Now, it seems to be in entertainment news every week. Although celebrities certainly aren’t the only ones who opt to use traditional or gestational surrogates, they are more likely to have the financial resources to make it possible. Plus, they just get a little bit more publicity when they welcome babies with the help of natural or in vitro carriers!
The International Assisted Reproduction Center explains that traditional surrogacy involves artificially inseminating a woman who will biologically be the mother. If the insemination is successful, the woman carries the baby to term. Upon the baby’s birth, the mother relinquishes the baby and gives up her parental rights to the person or people she originally contracted. According to Adoption.com, the cost of traditional surrogacy ranges from $40,000 to $65,000.
Recent medical developments have created another option: gestational surrogacy. This method involves using in vitro fertilization (IVF) to create an embryo using a prospective mother’s egg and prospective father’s sperm. The embryo is then implanted in the surrogate. Although this woman is not genetically related to the baby, she carries it to term. As this process is a bit more involved, it is also a bit more expensive — typically $75,000 to $100,000.
The first gestational surrogate birth was in 1985. The use of gestational carriers has really been on the rise in recent years — both in Hollywood and beyond. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, 1,593 babies were born to gestational carriers in 2011. This was a big jump from the 738 gestational surrogate births reported in 2004.
When it comes to surrogacy, the “how” is only a small factor in comparison to the “why.” Here’s a look at some celebrity experiences…
Bill and Giuliana Rancic
Of all the celebrities who have used surrogates, the Rancics were probably the most transparent about the emotional process. They struggled with infertility for years. While they were trying for a natural birth, doctors discovered that Giuliana had breast cancer. She was successfully treated, but they decided that a gestational surrogate would be their best option for baby. Their son, Edward Duke, was born last summer.
Paul Nassif and Adrienne Maloof
When Brandi Glanville claimed Adrienne Maloof used a surrogate for her twin sons, Maloof was less than pleased… Mostly because Maloof’s sons weren’t yet aware of the circumstances of their birth. She later opened up about her decision to use a gestational surrogate, but was still resentful toward her Real Housewives co-star.
After Jackson divorced the mother of his first two children, he turned to surrogacy. According to The Mirror, his youngest son was born using both an egg donor and a gestational carrier. The detail-oriented Jackson was very involved in the selection of both women.
^Banks got a taste of pregnancy in What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
Banks and her husband welcomed two sons through a gestational surrogate. She wrote on her website last November, “This experience has exceeded all expectations, taught us a great deal about generosity and gratitude, and established a relationship that will last a lifetime.”
Camille and Kelsey Grammer
The former couple sought the services of the Center for Surrogate Parenting to find a gestational carrier. According to CSP, Camille suffers from a severe form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which could have complicated a natural pregnancy. Both of their children were born to the same gestational surrogate. The surrogate mother, who has four children of her own, said she has remained in contact with the children.
As we recently reported, Hilton decided to go it alone as a single father. He was ultra secretive about the process — only a small handful of people knew he was expecting before he announced his son’s birth last month! The L.A. Times said the secrecy went both ways, as Hilton didn’t know the identity of his son’s mother until she went into labor.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick
Parker gave birth to the couple’s first son, but said she was “disappointed” in subsequent pregnancy attempts. Parker and Broderick turned to a gestational surrogate to have another child… And really got their money’s worth when they learned the surrogate was pregnant with twins! However, all wasn’t smooth sailing. Parker said she was disgusted the paparazzi found the identity of the surrogate and began hounding her.
The Married… With Children star welcomed a child of her own at age 52 thanks to a gestational surrogate.
The legendary singer and David Furnish turned to a surrogate for the birth of their sons.
Similar to Hilton, Martin went the single-father route. He welcomed twin boys in 2008 with the help of a surrogate.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
After unsuccessful attempts at having children with Tom Cruise, Kidman was thrilled to learn she was expecting a baby with her new husband Keith Urban. She delivered a healthy baby girl, but was unable to get pregnant again. The couple used a gestational surrogate for their second daughter. (Fun fact: Kidman credited the “fertility waters” of Australia helped her finally conceive.)
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
Harris and Burtka welcomed twins in 2010 with the aid of a surrogate.