Life can be so unfair at times. When someone is struggling to conceive, it feels as if everyone around them is getting pregnant left and right, without even trying! People who don't have any desire for children end up becoming parents and it feels like some sort of cruel, sick joke being played. Unfortunately, it's just one of those things. What's that saying? "Life's a beach?"
As glamorous as the life of a celebrity may seem to us mere mortals, they suffer from the same issues as the rest of us, including infertility. On the flip side, there are plenty of celebs who have decided that for better or worse, they're not going to have children. It seems to be a fairly common thing in female actresses. They either get too caught up in their career to have the desire to slow down and start a family until it's "too late," or they're living it up and making far too much money to feel the need to fill a void in their lives. Whatever the case may be, it's each individual's choice to make.
Our hearts go out to those that struggle with infertility. Many people don't have the option of surrogacy given the extremely high cost, but this isn't an issue for celebrities. Many couples faced with issues getting pregnant have turned to surrogacy to make their dreams of expanding their family, a reality. Let's take a look at 10 celebs who have no interest in motherhood, and then 10 who want kids, but can't.
20 Chelsea Handler thinks she'd be a bad mom
It's no secret that Chelsea Handler isn't interested in marriage or children. Well, she's sort of changed her mind about marriage after exploring the topic on her Netflix series, but kids are 100% out of the question for her.
There are two main reasons the talk show host and comedian isn't into the idea. For one, she thinks she's too "messed up" to raise kids in a healthy manner. She also believes it's not fair for the kids who are born into celebrity families. She never explicitly calls any specific celeb couple out, but she's made it clear she thinks it's not normal for kids to grow up with famous parents. While appearing on The Conversation With Amanda De Cadenet in 2013, Handler said,
"I definitely don't want to have kids. I don't think I'd be a great mother. I don't want to have a kid and have it raised by a nanny. I don't have the time to raise a child myself."
On her show, she's also said, "I’d have to over-correct so much from my parents that I would be a nightmare mother. If my niece has a bad day at school, I worry about it for three days. I’d be such a helicopter parent. I’d drive my child crazy!” Fair enough, Chelsea. There's nothing wrong with knowing where you stand on parenthood. And to be fair, when you're single, you have to really want children to make it work. It's not easy to balance a career, especially as a celebrity, and take on all of the responsibilities of motherhood alone.
19 Renee Zellweger believes it transforms people
Renee Zellweger used to keep things short when asked about whether or not kids were in her life plan. During an interview with The London Times in 2008, she simply replied, "Motherhood has never been an ambition. I don't think like that."
In 2016, during an interview with Extra, she claimed that she didn't need kids "to be happy". She certainly doesn't! But it seems as time passes, Zellweger is changing her mind just a little bit. She doesn't outright say that she believes she misses out, but she speaks openly and candidly now about the differences she observes between herself and her friends with children. During a press event for her upcoming sequel, Bridget Jones's Baby, she told reporters,
“From what I’ve experienced with the people that I’m closest to, you evolve when you become a mom. You become a bigger version of yourself. You become a more powerful version of yourself, a fully realized version of yourself."
"I’m watching all of my friends and my family members evolve in this way [now]. And I’m a bit of a late bloomer, and so, it’s interesting to kind of be chronologically in that place, but not experience that same transformation at the same time as your friends and the people closest to you.” She goes on to say, "It’s very strange, and it’s a very unique kind of loneliness,” continues Zellweger. “It’s very unique because then it means defining your growth in a different way and insisting that it happen despite the absence of this thing that makes it happen naturally.” Well said! I would imagine it is difficult in its own right, just as motherhood is, and she couldn't have said it better.
18 Ellen Degeneres loves her life the way it is
Ellen Degeneres and her wife, Portia have made it clear time and time again that they have no interest in having children. Still, rumors are always flying around. Some of the wildest claims the media has made about it include claims that Portia is pregnant, and sometimes they even claim that she's leaving Ellen because she wants kids and Ellen doesn't. None of those things are true, and their marriage is as strong as ever! Ellen told Sunday Style,
"We talked about it for a minute, about four years into the relationship, but we just decided we like our conversations not being interrupted and our furniture without sticky grape juice on it."
Similar to Chelsea Handler, Ellen has also said that she thinks the entertainment industry is especially hard on young children, because they have to "share their parents with the world." Both she and her wife are animal lovers, and they choose to instead focus on that.
"We'd probably be great parents. But it's a human being and unless you think you have excellent skills and have a drive or yearning in you to do that, the amount of work that that is and responsibility—I wouldn't want to screw them up! We love our animals."
17 Margaret Cho already has a family
In 2012, Margaret Cho wrote on her blog, "I don’t have children, and I am not sure if I have wanted them or never wanted them... My fear of having children is that frankly, I just don’t want to love anyone that much. I don’t know if I could stand that kind of commitment, or if I am really honest, I don’t think that I could handle being that vulnerable to someone else. My child would have my heart completely, and having never truly given that over, in all my relationships in my life, starting with myself, I don’t even know where to begin."
Interestingly enough, Cho seems to have changed her mind in the last few years, though she still doesn't have any kids of her own. She's been married for fifteen years to Al Ridenour, and their lives are far from normal. They're in an open marriage, and Cho is upfront about her bisexuality. She suffered a miscarriage not too long ago, but told Maria Menounos that for the time being, she's content.
"My partner has children and grandchildren. He has daughters in their 30s and then grandchildren who are 4, 5 and 6, so it’s a little bit like I already have a family, too.
I have these grown daughters and I have these grandchildren in addition to this family we may start as well. So it’s all encouraging. There’s plenty of kids.”
16 Stevie Nicks lived the rockstar lifestyle
During an interview with In Style Magazine in 2012, Stevie Nicks addressed her take on having kids."It's like, 'Do you want to be an artist and a writer, or a wife and a lover?' With kids, your focus changes. I don't want to go to PTA meetings." In fact, in 2014, Don Henley claimed that Stevie was once pregnant with his child and that the song "Sara" by Fleetwood Mac was titled after the name they would have named their daughter, had they gone through with the pregnancy.
When Nicks was asked about her newer song, "Hard Advice," and it's similarities to "Sara," she said Henley's explanation of "Sara" was true, but that it's not "the entirety" of the song.
Nicks claimed, "Had I married Don and had that baby, and had she been a girl, I would have named her Sara," the Fleetwood Mac singer said. "But there was another woman in my life named Sara, who shortly after that became Mick's wife, Sara Fleetwood."
She was living a typical rockstar lifestyle. Having a baby wasn't in her life plan at all, not to mention she was battling demons in her life. Who knows what would have happened had they decided to keep the baby.
15 Kim Cattrall is already a parent
Similar to Cattrall's character Samantha on Sex And The City, Kim is all about freedom. She views children as something that holds you back from pursing everything else life has to offer. She also claims that her busy shooting schedule for the show kept her from having children. She told Piers Morgan,
"But I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I have 19 hour days on this series, I have weekends where I finish at Saturday morning. My Monday morning would start at 4:45 a.m. and go to one or two in the morning. How could I possible continue to do that, especially in my early 40s?
And then I realized what a commitment it was just to the [IVF] procedures. I thought I don’t think this is going to happen. It was the first moment, it was extraordinary, in my life where I thought maybe I’m just not going to do this."
When questioned about not being a mother on BBC Radio, she insisted that she is, in fact, a parent, just not to children."I am a parent. I have actors and actresses that I mentor. I have nieces and nephews that I am very close to," she explained. "There is a way to become a mother in this day and age that doesn't include your name on the child's birth certificate." I disagree wholeheartedly, but I respect her decision to not have kids. There's no life rule that says becoming a parent is something you have to do. But I do not agree with her claiming straight up that she is a parent. Mentoring and being an Aunt is about as far from being a parent as you can get. At the end of the day, if she's happy, that's all that really matters.
14 Rachael Ray thinks it would be unfair
Rachael Ray has decided that she simply doesn't have time for kids. No kidding! She is one busy bee! She's focused on her work, and having kids would definitely take away most of that time. She is perfectly content being a mom to her dog. Back in 2009, she told Salon,
"I think that I'm 40 years old, and I have an enormous amount of hours that have to be dedicated to work. For me personally, I would need more time to feel like I'd be a good mom to my own child. I feel like a borderline good mom to my dog. So I can't imagine if it was a human baby. I feel like it would be unfair, not only to the child but to the people I work with."
In 2017, People magazine asked once again if she and her husband were planning on having kids. Which is pretty interesting, considering she's 49 years old. But once again, her answer was a resounding, firm "no." She even admitted that at times she feels like a bad dog mom for the amount of time she spends away from home. It sounds like she and her husband have made the right decision considering their lifestyles. Good for them!
13 Betty White has no regrets
Can you believe Betty White isn't a mother? I couldn't! It's hard to imagine that she isn't a grandmother. She admitted during a CBS Sunday Morning interview,
"No, I've never regretted it. I'm so compulsive about stuff. I know that if I had ever gotten pregnant, of course, that would've been my whole focus. But I didn't choose to have children because I'm focused on my career and I don't think as compulsive as I am that I could manage both."
She is however, a step-mother to her late husband's three children from a previous marriage. He passed in 1981 from stomach cancer, and White never remarried. She had been married twice before marrying Ludden, but always considered him to be her true love. Her first two marriages were short-lived. So it's really no surprise that she never remarried after his passing. If there was one person she was likely to have kids with, it would have been Ludden. White is everyone's hilarious grandmother, despite her decision to never have biological children of her own. And her step-children are still close with her, so we'd say she's not missing out on anything!
12 Oprah Winfrey thinks about the sacrifices
Oprah actually did birth a son when she was fourteen years old. She lost him shortly after he was born, and it's something I just can't even begin to imagine. She didn't even get the chance to take him home. She told Good Housekeeping, "I didn't want babies. I wouldn't have been a good mom for babies." She explains that she simply doesn't have the patience for children.
"I have the patience for puppies, but that's a quick stage," she says. "When people were pressuring me to get married and have children, I knew I was not going to be a person that ever regretted not having them.
They would have ended up on the equivalent of the 'Oprah' show talking about me; because something (in my life) would have had to suffer and it would've probably been them." Oprah truly believes that if she had kids, they would have hated her for the dedication she has to her job.
Instead, she considers herself the mother of all children of the world, and she doesn't believe that it matters if a child came from your womb or not; love is love. She isn't wrong! When she opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in 2007, she took on hundreds of children.
11 Jennifer Aniston doesn't like the pressure
Jennifer Aniston has always be upfront about not wanting to fit into society's mold of an American woman. She believes women are seen as less than if they choose to not have kids. She went on The Today Show in 2014, and said,
"I don't have this sort of checklist of things that have to be done and if they're not checked then I've failed some part of my feminism or my being a woman or my worth or my value as a woman. You know, I've birthed a lot of things. I feel like I've mothered many things. And I don't think it's fair to put that pressure on people."
In 2017 she admitted that it was a sensitive subject for her, especially when the tabloids were constantly pushing out articles claiming that she was pregnant. It was a clear sign to her that sexism is alive and well, and the idea that she must get pregnant or fulfill some womanly duty of birthing children is prominent in today's culture. I can't say I agree with her, but I think she also forgets that the main objective of those articles is to grab readers' attention. Not to body shame her. But body shame her, it did! It put a ton of stress on the actress who was struggling in her marriage to Brad Pitt. Having people constantly point out that she looks bloated, or insinuate that she should be pregnant by now was rough on her soul, and I don't believe anyone on this earth deserves that.
10 Sarah Jessica Parker was in awe when meeting her kids
Okay, so here's the thing: Sarah Jessica Parker gave birth to a baby boy who is now 16 years old. So at one point she was able to have children. Unfortunately, things changed for the actress, and when it came time for her to try getting pregnant again, it was no longer an option. She and her husband struggled with infertility before deciding to use a surrogate mother to make their dreams come true. Sarah has seven siblings, and it meant a great deal to her that her son have siblings as well. She worried that he might resent her later in life if she didn't give him brothers or sisters to grow up with. “We tried and tried and tried and tried to get pregnant,” she told US Vogue magazine. “It just was not to be, I would give birth if I could.” In 2012, she opened up once again to Vogue, saying,
“Meeting your children rather than giving birth to them, it’s as if it’s suspended animation. The gestational experience is gone. It’s as if everything else disappears for a moment, and the world goes silent —I can’t explain it except to say that nothing else existed.
Time stands still. It’s so different, and equally extraordinary. I am very poor at describing it. But it’s amazing.”
9 Jordana Brewster feels left out sometimes
Jordana Brewster and her husband struggled with infertility for a long time before choosing to use a gestational carrier. Brewster told Yahoo Parenting, “I didn’t really have a choice about being open [about using a surrogate], since it was obvious I wasn’t pregnant. And for me it wasn’t a choice, I needed to use a surrogate."
"I didn’t feel judged, it’s more like I felt awkward. Even recently, we were at this baby group and the teacher made the assumption, ‘Well, you all birthed your children’ and I couldn’t be like, ‘Well, actually…’
So sometimes I feel a little left out when other moms talk about what their birth experience was like, and I feel the loss of not having carried or having been able to carry. But luckily I keep my circle tight and close, so I never feel judged.”
Jordana feels that speaking openly about her struggle with infertility is helpful to other women around the world who struggle with the same issues. It seems to be a touchy subject, understandably so. But even still, she answers questions directly and doesn't try to hide the tough aspects of using a gestational carrier.
8 Kate Walsh had herself checked out
Kate Walsh's story is unique. Unlike many celebs who can't have children, she doesn't necessarily have something physical that makes it harder for her to get pregnant. She went through early menopause! On Maria Menounos' SiriusXM radio show, the former Grey's Anatomy star said, "I don’t have children. I’m not going to have kids. I went through early menopause." She explained that she waited too long to start trying, and was informed by her sister that early menopause may be a reality for her.
"My older sister called and was like, 'By the way, you should go and get yourself checked because I’m going through menopause early,'" Walsh recalled. "And I’m like, 'You’re just scaring me.' And then yeah, sure enough, I went and they were like 'You have one egg and there’s a hairline fracture. So enjoy it.'"
She says she had an "untraditional" upbringing that has possibly made her stray a bit from the "norm." She doesn't sound too brokenhearted over the discovery that she'll never bear children, but it's certainly a bummer that she had to go through menopause so early, and now doesn't have the option anymore. She did admit during the radio show that she felt "like a loser" after her divorce, and the reality that she can't have kids was definitely something she had to work through.
7 Amy Smart waited a long time
Like many celebs who struggle with infertility, Amy Smart and her husband hired a gestational carrier to bring their sweet baby into the world. She uploaded a selfie with her new daughter, along with the caption,
“One month ago today, December 26, our amazing beautiful daughter came into this world. 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.”
From what I can tell, it surprised fans everywhere. It seems no one had any idea she had sought a surrogate to carry her baby at all, much less that her daughter was due any day. It was a wonderful surprise during the holidays, and it brought women together everywhere.
It truly is beautiful, isn't it? Women who are willing to give their bodies to help other women who desperately wish to start a family, but can't. Nothing wars my heart more. Amy Smart and her husband, Carter Oosterhouse have proven to be wonderful, involved parents so far. And it's no wonder! Anyone who seeks out surrogacy really wants to become a parent, and they certainly don't take it for granted.
6 Angela Bassett prayed for it
Angela Basset hired a gestational carrier as well after she and her husband struggled with infertility for seven years. They tried everything. Fertility treatments, IVF, the whole nine yards. After their twins were finally born via surrogate, Basset spoke on the Oprah show about the feelings they shared after the birth, as well as their disappointment over the constant negative pregnancy tests.
"I was devastated when it didn’t happen [again and again]. I had to remain hopeful and resilient and, 'Okay, let’s do it again." They remained hopeful, but one can only stay hopeful for so many years before going down different avenues. On the day the twins were born, Bassett said it was a dream come true.
"Just standing there together, holding each other with the realization that this is the moment that we’ve been working toward."
How beautiful! I'm happy for them! The couple has proven time and time again that they're competent, loving parents who deserve the children they were blessed with. The twins are now fourteen-years-old and have encountered racism, which just about breaks their mama's heart. She told People Magazine, "“It is [eye-opening] and it just squeezes your heart, because you never want your kids to go through this pain and issues. You thought it’d be much later, once they get a firm footing of who they are.”
5 Tyra Banks says it was worth the wait
Tyra Banks used a surrogate to bring a child into this world, and unfortunately cannot have any more kids. She spoke with ET about her feelings on her infertility, and the realization that she can't have kids.
"Yeah, I don't remember if it was, 'Am I less than a woman?' But I remember just thinking, 'Oh my God, I waited too long, like, why did I do this?,'" she reflects.
"Like, why did I do it? And I can remember, I was, you know, doing the rounds and stuff and then I create the embryo and I get the phone call, 'The embryo is not healthy.' You know, 'We can't move forward,' and just, like, just crazy for me -- just really, really difficult."
She went on to say that she's happy with her son, York, and she's thankful he came along when he did. Banks claims that if she had waited another six months, he probably wouldn't be here. It's safe to assume that she was emotionally and physically drained from all of the treatments and procedures. She doesn't have any embryo's frozen, even though she could have kept going. Her reasoning for this was that she just didn't think it was healthy for her body to keep taking more and more eggs out.
4 Gabrielle Union loves being a stepmom
Gabrielle Union never thought she'd want to have kids until she became a stepmother. In her memoir, We're Going To Need More Wine, she wrote, "I have had eight or nine miscarriages,” she writes.
“For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant. I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle. I never wanted kids,” Union admitted to People. “Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I’d rather be than with them.”
Her memoir covers everything about her infertility struggles and the lengths she and her husband went to in an attempt to become pregnant.
She's opened up about her experiences during interviews as well. Union claims that some of her friends have struggled with infertility as well, and that she believes there's a little bit of shame placed on women who are unable to conceive. It really pulls on your heartstrings, hearing her talk about her feelings on pregnancy and her inability to have biological children. She's content being a stepmom, but there will always be a part of her that wishes she had her own children.
3 Deborra-Lee Furness knew it was right to adopt
Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness have struggled with infertility as well. They actually ended up adopting two children, both of whom they loev dearly, but it was a long and difficult journey. Hugh opened up to The Today Show, saying,
"To be clear, Deb and I always wanted to adopt. So that was always in our plan.We didn't know where in the process that would happen but biologically obviously we tried and it was not happening for us and it is a difficult time.
We did IVF and Deb had a couple of miscarriages. I'll never forget it the miscarriage thing; it happens to one in three pregnancies, but it's very, very rarely talked about."
"From the moment we started the adoption process, all the anxiety went away. I don't think of them as adopted; they're our children. Deb and I are believers in I suppose you could call it destiny. We feel things happened the way they are meant to. Obviously, biologically wasn't the way we were meant to have children." He goes on to talk about how common miscarriages are, and that it's interesting how little the subject is talked about. They're thankful for the children they have, and Hugh even said "if parenthood has taught [him] one thing, it's humanity." Well said, Jackman!
2 Elizabeth Banks wanted her child to be part her
Like many celebrity moms, Elizabeth Banks turned to surrogacy after battling infertility. While promoting her new film, Man on a Ledge, she said,
"There are lots of ways to being a mother. [Surrogacy] was frankly the only way for my husband and I, who have been together for nearly 20 years, could have a child that was half him and half me. So, for us, it was absolutely the way to go."
Many women with infertility issues look up to Banks as a role model, though she's still a little on the reserved side of things. She talks about their journey, but it has a hint of sadness and you can almost tell she's a little uncomfortable. "Surrogacy is a very private thing," she says, and when asked if she has any advice for couples looking to go that route, her advice was to "listen to your heart in this situation." She now has two sons, Felix and Magnus, ages 5 and 7. And yes, they are absolutely adorable and handsome. We're happy for Banks and her husband, Max Handelman. They deserve to have children, and we're glad it all worked out for them in the end, as hard as it was along the way.
1 Nancy Juvonen never gave up hope
Jimmy Fallon and his wife, Nancy Juvonen used a surrogate as well, as they were unable to have kids the good old fashioned way. They're just over the moon about it, though, and they couldn't be more grateful of their surrogate.
Their daughter, Winnie, came as a shock to fans everywhere, as no one had any idea she was in the works. The announcement had social media buzzing.
“My wife and I had been trying a while to have a baby. We tried a bunch of things — so we had a surrogate. 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.”
Jimmy insists that no matter how bad things seem when you're struggling with getting pregnant, you can't lose hope. He told The Today Show, "I know people have tried much longer than we have, but if there's anyone out there who is trying and they're just losing hope, just hang in there," he insisted. "Try every avenue; try anything you can do, because you'll get there. You'll end up with a family, and it's so worth it. It is the most 'worth it' thing."
Leave it to Jimmy Fallon to put such a positive spin on a difficult issue and focus on the good that came from their experience!