When it comes to Hollywood’s baby boom, surrogacy has become a popular option when infertility is an issue.
We’re taking a look at 20 celebrities who have used a surrogate mother to expand their families.
From Kim Kardashian, to Amy Smart, to Fredrik Eklund, to Ellen Pompeo, to Jimmy Fallon, to Giuliana Rancic, to Jordana Brewster, let’s hear how gestational carriers have helped change the lives of some high-profile families.
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West:
The A-listers – who are also parents to daughter North, 4, and son Saint, 2 – turned to surrogacy for their third child since Kim suffered a potentially life-threatening condition called placenta accreta during both pregnancies.
“We are incredibly grateful to our surrogate who made our dreams come true with the greatest gift one could give and to our wonderful doctors and nurses for their special care,” Kardashian, 37, stated after their daughter’s birth.
A few days later, the new mom-of-three opened up about their decision to choose a gestational carrier this time around.
“I have always been really honest about my struggles with pregnancy,” she shared. “Preeclampsia and placenta accreta are high-risk conditions, so when I wanted to have a third baby, doctors said that it wasn’t safe for my — or the baby’s — health to carry on my own.”
“After exploring many options, Kanye and I decided to use a gestational carrier,” she continued, “Although I have used the term surrogate in the past, a gestational carrier is actually the technical term for a woman who carries a baby that she has no biological relationship to.”
She added: “A traditional surrogate donates her egg, is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm and then carries the baby to term. Since we implanted my fertilized egg in our gestational carrier, our baby is biologically mine and Kanye’s. You can either choose someone that you know or you can go through an agency, like Kanye and I did.”
“Having a gestational carrier is definitely different, but anyone who says or thinks it’s the easy way out is completely wrong,” she said. “People assume it’s better because you don’t have to deal with the physical changes, pain or complications with delivery, but for me it was so hard to not carry my own child, especially after I carried North and Saint.”
“I’m so grateful for modern technology and that this is even possible,” she shared. “It’s not for everyone, but I absolutely love my gestational carrier and this was the best experience I’ve ever had. Our gestational carrier gave us the greatest gift one could give.”
“The connection with our baby came instantly and it’s as if she was with us the whole time,” she concluded. “Having a gestational carrier was so special for us and she made our dreams of expanding our family come true. We are so excited to finally welcome home our baby girl.”
Fredrik Eklund & Derek Kaplan:
After their surrogate suffered multiple miscarriages, the real estate pro, 40, began feeling discouraged about in vitro fertilization.
“It felt like every time I went onto Facebook or Instagram, all that I could see were these smiling babies on my feed,” he said in August. “I was reminded constantly that there was this gap between me and where I wanted to be.”
Amy Smart and Carter Oosterhouse:
Just Friends actor Amy Smart and her husband, Trading Spaces star Carter Oosterhouse, welcomed their daughter Flora on Dec. 26, 2016.
One month after their firstborn’s arrival, the new mom, 41, took to Instagram to thank their surrogate.
“One month ago today, Dec. 26th our amazing beautiful daughter came into this world,” she wrote. “Feeling so grateful to have her in my arms… after years of fertility struggles I give thanks today to our kind, loving surrogate for carrying her.”
Charlie’s Angels star Lucy Liu welcomed her son – Rockwell Lloyd – in August 2015.
“I can confirm that Lucy Liu is the proud mother of Rockwell Lloyd Liu, brought into the world via gestational carrier,” a rep for the Ally McBeal star, 49, said at the time. “Mom and baby are healthy and happy.”
Jordana Brewster & Andrew Form:
Fast & Furious actor Jordana Brewster and husband Andrew Form welcomed both of their sons – Julian, 4, and Rowan, 19 months – via gestational carrier.
“I didn’t really have a choice about being open, since it was obvious I wasn’t pregnant. For me it wasn’t a choice; I needed to use a surrogate,” the Lethal Weapon star, 37, has said.
Tyra Banks & Erik Asla:
Supermodel Tyra Banks and her longtime love, photographer Erik Asla, welcomed their son York via surrogate mother in Jan. 2016.
The America’s Next Top Model star, 44, has been vocal about her struggle to conceive.
“As we thank the angel of a woman that carried our miracle baby boy for us, we pray for everyone who struggles to reach this joyous milestone,” she has said.
Ellen Pompeo & Chris Ivery:
Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo welcomed her youngest children – daughter Sienna, 3, and 1-year-old son Eli – via gestational carrier. The actor carried her now-8-year-old daughter Stella — her firstborn with husband Chris Ivery.
While she has not publicly discussed her son’s birth, the Old School actor, 48, took to Twitter to announce that Sienna was born by a surrogate mother.
“Sienna was born via surrogate & I would like to thank my whole @ShondalandTV family for helping us enjoy these first few weeks privately,” she tweeted.
A few months later, she went on to talk about the miracle of using a gestational carrier.
“This is an incredible thing to do with your life, to give the gift of carrying someone’s child, so I am forever grateful and feel very blessed and grateful to her—she who will remain anonymous,” Pompeo said. “I was there with her when they inseminated her and we held hands. I looked into the microscope and I saw the embryo, I saw the baby, and they put it in a thingy and they inseminated her. And then we held hands and we prayed, we talked to God, and if she was meant to be. He said he was going to try to help us out and now we have a gorgeous baby girl.”
Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent:
Celebrity designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent welcomed their daughter Poppy, 2, via gestational carrier.
“Wanted to share some exciting news….We have had the most special year and its JUST become even more beautiful,” Berkus shared when their surrogate was expecting.
“We are happy to announce that we are expecting our first child! While we can’t share much, we can say that thanks to a surrogate and the support of those we love we will officially be a family in the spring of 2015!”
Ryan Murphy & David Miller:
Glee and American Horror Story creator, Ryan Murphy, and his photographer husband, David Miller, welcomed both sons – Logan, 5, and Ford, 3 – via gestational carrier.
“It’s so emotional,” Murphy has shared. “I’m always so stunned how emotional it is. As a gay guy, growing up I never thought I’d have a family. So the fact that I have two children … that I’m married … it’s very overwhelming for me.”
Jimmy Fallon & Nancy Juvonen:
After a 5-year fertility struggle, The Tonight Show star Jimmy Fallon and wife Nancy Juvonen welcomed both daughters – Winnie, 4, and Frances, 3 – via gestational carrier.
“My wife and I had been trying a while to have a baby,” Fallon revealed. “We tried a bunch of things — so we had a surrogate.”
He added: “We said, ‘We’re not going to tell anybody.’ It’d be just more fun if it’s just private between me and my wife. And then we get to introduce her to everybody. When it happened we were in shock. We were like, ‘Alright, who do we tell? Who’s going to be mad at us if this gets out.’ We had to call everybody and it’s so emotional!”
Elton John & David Furnish:
Sir Elton John and David Furnish welcomed their second son Elijah on January 11, 2013. The couple used the same surrogate mother for their 7-year-old son Zachary.
“She is a wonderful, kind and loving woman,” Elton said of their surrogate, who thinks of her as “part of our family.”
The couple used the same egg donor for both boys and have chosen not to find out either of their son’s paternity.
Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban:
A-listers Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban welcomed daughter Sunday on July 8, 2008. But after a “roller-coaster ride with fertility,” the couple used a gestational carrier for their second child, now 7-year-old daughter Faith.
“Having given birth and then being there to see my child born in that way, I felt so much love for our surrogate, gestational carrier,” Kidman has said.
The Academy Award-winner went on to discuss why she uses the term “gestational carrier” as opposed to “surrogate” – something she was criticized for in the days following the announcement of Faith’s birth.
“We were trying to be accurate,” she shared. “The term ‘gestational carrier’ is used if it’s your biological child and if it isn’t, then you use ‘surrogate.’ I mean, who knows what it is. But she’s the most wonderful woman to do this for us.”
Elizabeth Banks & Max Handelman:
Pitch Perfect star Elizabeth Banks and husband Max Handelman have welcomed both sons – Felix, 6, and Magnus, 5 – via surrogate mother.
“Like Felix, Magnus was born via gestational surrogate,” The Hunger Games actor, 43, has shared. “This experience has exceeded all expectations, taught us a great deal about generosity and gratitude, and established a relationship that will last a lifetime. I am also so very thankful to our family and friends for their support throughout this process, as well as the Center for Surrogate Parenting for helping make all this possible.”
“It was a womb issue for me. Embryos wouldn’t implant,” she shared of her fertility issues. “It’s a big leap, inviting this person into your life to do this amazing, important thing for you. And it’s hard losing that kind of control. But our surrogate is so extraordinary, and she’s still in our lives. She’s like an auntie.”
Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka:
How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka are dads to 7-year-old twins Harper and Gideon. The Doogie Houser, M.D. alum, 44, has opened up about welcoming the twins via surrogate mother.
“We really, really wanted kids,” NPH has said. “We really had thought it through financially, emotionally, relationship-wise. We didn’t just accidentally get pregnant and decide that now we need to make this work. These kids come into our world with nothing but love.”
The couple talked the science behind the birth of the fraternal twins, revealing each father fertilized one egg and the twins were carried and born via one surrogate.
Burtka explained that the twins were conceived by “two eggs, two embryos, one of mine, one of his.”
The couple knew the surrogate, whom Burtka described as “more like the oven.” And they found an anonymous egg donor through a donation bank where they were able to research her personal and medical history.
Pop superstar Ricky Martin welcomed his twin sons, Valentino and Matteo, via surrogate in August 2008.
The Livin’ La Vida Loca singer – who now raises the twins with newlywed husband Jwan Yosef – recalled his path to fatherhood, saying that he first felt the urge to start a family many years ago.
“OK, what are my options? Am I going to adopt? I just sat in front of the computer, doing research, until I found surrogacy, and I was like: ‘Woah! This looks really interesting,’” Martin has shared. “I interviewed so many people that were part of this beautiful world, and I decided this was going to be my way.”
Would he like to add to the family? Martin admitted he’d love to have “a daddy’s girl” one day soon.
Giuliana Rancic & Bill Rancic:
After a long road to parenthood, Bill Rancic and Giuliana Rancic welcomed son Duke in August 2012 via gestational carrier.
“We had an amazing gestational carrier that we cannot thank enough for all that she has done for our family,” Giuliana has shared.
After Giuliana’s battle with breast cancer and subsequent double mastectomy, her chances of carrying a child was delayed.
“We’d have to go down the surrogacy path again,” she said at the time. “Thankfully, before I went on my medication, we did another round of [in vitro fertilization], so we have embryos ready to go.”
After such a positive experience with their son‘s gestational carrier, Delphine, they chose her again, but the pregnancy did not last.
“Unfortunately our surrogate Delphine, who we love very much, had a miscarriage,” Giuliana has shared. “It’s something that we didn’t see coming. We were devastated. She was about nine weeks pregnant. We were pretty close to getting into the safe zone.”
Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick:
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick welcomed son James Wilkie in October 2002. After their son’s birth, the couple struggled to conceive again.
“[We] tried and tried and tried and tried and tried to get pregnant, but it just was not to be, the conventional way—I would give birth as often as I could, if I could. I cherished all the milestones, the good and the bad,” SJP has shared.
The Sex and the City star has praised their gestational carrier, calling her “strong, bright, independent, thoughtful, caring, gracious and generous.”
She also talked about meeting her daughters – 8-year-old twins Tabitha and Loretta – for the first time in the delivery room.
“Meeting your children rather than giving birth to them, it’s as if, um, it’s—suspended animation. The gestational experience is gone,” she shared. “It’s as if everything else disappears for a moment, and the world goes silent and—I can’t explain it except to say that nothing else existed. I don’t remember anything but the blanket on the bed that they were lying on and my husband’s face and their faces and my son’s. It’s literally as if sound is sucked from the room. Time stands still. It’s so different, and equally extraordinary. I am very poor at describing it. But it’s amazing.”
Katey Sagal & Kurt Sutter:
Married…with Children actor Katey Segal had two children – daughter Sarah, 23, and son Jackson, 21 – with ex-husband Jack White.
When she married Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, she wanted to have another child.
“He’d never had his own biological children, so about five years into the relationship we started toying with the idea of maybe we should raise a child together,” Segal has shared.
“We went through the whole in vitro fertilization process and our embryos were not really strong, but we thought, ‘Let’s give it a shot and if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be,’” she said. “And if it wasn’t, we weren’t going to do it. But then our little Esme came through,” Sagal said of welcoming their daughter Esme in 2007, at age 52, with the help of a surrogate.
She added: “That’s why we call her our little miracle, our beautiful miracle.”
Chris & Deanna Daughtry:
American Idol star Chris Daughtry and wife Deanna welcomed fraternal twins Noah and Adalynn via gestational carrier in November 2010. The couple used a surrogate to carry their twins due to Deanna’s partial hysterectomy.
“Our family is overwhelmed with joy by these two precious gifts from God,” the Grammy nominated singer said at the time of their birth. “The babies are both healthy and resting. Thanks to everyone for their love and prayers.”
The twins joined the couple’s teen children, Hannah and Griffin.
Marissa Jaret Winokur & Judah Miller:
Broadway actress of the famed musical Hairspray, Marissa Jaret Winokur, underwent a hysterectomy at the age of 27 after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. Surrogacy was her “last chance” to become a mother and she has spoken on the decision to use a gestational carrier.
“For people out there who don’t understand surrogacy, it’s very important that they understand it’s not about someone in Hollywood who doesn’t want to gain weight. It’s not like Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t want to have her own baby,” the actor has said.
“For everybody that has a surrogate, that was their last chance,” she said. “That was their last option – that was their only option. It’s the most amazing, wonderful thing, but it’s also a really hard decision to make because you’re trusting the most important thing to somebody. For me, that was the only way I was going to have a baby, so I was like ‘I’m in, let’s go.’ There was no looking back. But for a lot of women, there are lots of different options, so it’s important to figure out what’s the best option for them.”
Mom to 9-year-old son Zev with husband Judah Miller, The Talk star, 44, said they hoped for another baby.
“We keep trying! We’ve tried a few times now but it’s not working as easily as we thought it was going to,” she shared in October 2011.
“We’ve been working with another surrogate and it just hasn’t been going easy,” she added. “But we’re not giving up yet. It’s a weird thing — now I’m even more grateful for Zev! I always knew it was such a miracle to have a child through surrogacy. It’s such a complex, mad-science thing. But when you have a child, you’re like, ‘See, it works and it’s all meant to be,’ and you forget about all the trauma and all the problems that led up to it. But now we’re going through it again and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, we were really lucky!’