Getting pregnant is hard. Yes, there are a lot of women who get pregnant in the blink of an eye. But, there are a lot more women who have struggled to get pregnant and feel shame that motherhood may not be for them. Thankfully, there have been medical advances and a more open-minded group of people because, without them, a lot of women who are unable to conceive would never have the opportunity to be mothers. There is this notion that a woman’s job is to be a mother and while some people have advanced past that way of thinking, there are still a lot of women who long to have a family and long to be able to do it on their own. But when they can't do it on their own and when IVF and other fertility treatments don't work for them, they bring in the big guns— a surrogate.There has been an influx of women using surrogates to achieve their dreams of having a family, including a lot of celebrities who have recently been very vocal about their struggles to become mothers the natural way.
There is a stigma around having someone else carry the child of another person but, let’s be honest, it is the most humbling and selfless thing that someone can do. It is the ultimate female power move. This move has brought some of the cutest celebrity kids into this world. One of the latest celebrities to admit that they had no other option but to use a surrogate was Kim Kardashian. She is an open book and relies heavily on social media to keep her celebrity status. This time around, she used her social media status as a way of shining a light on her struggles with having a third child and her decision to use a surrogate. While she may be one of the more vocal celebrities to talk about it, she isn’t alone. All the celebrities on this list have used surrogates and have finally opened up about it.
20 Alexis Stewart
Alexis Stewart may be known for being Martha Stewart’s daughter but she is so much more. She is an author, a journalist and a mother. Alexis announced in 2011 that is was using a surrogate to have the baby that she has always wanted. The author was very vocal about her struggles to get pregnant through in vitro fertility treatments. She revealed on her show, Whatever With Alexis and Jennifer, that for the past 2 years, she had been spending $27,000 a month on her fertility treatments. In addition to spending that amount of money, she was doing it all on her own because she had divorced her husband, John Cuti. She told People magazine, “I’m single now, but having my own kid is the most important thing in my life, so I am trying everything I can: fancy doctors, expensive [treatment] high-tech procedures . . . When I didn’t respond to the [treatment] after three months, they basically said, ‘Don’t bother,’ and kept asking, ‘Why don’t you use a donor egg?’ Finally, I said, ‘You’re fired.'" Finally, on March 8, 2011, she was introduced to her daughter, Jude. But the process was not without trouble, the surrogate had miscarried the first time around, which left Stewart in constant fear that she would never have Jude. She admitted that every time they went for a sonogram, she was paralyzed with fear.
19 Lucy Liu
In 2015, Lucy Liu had a baby and immediately announced how excited she was to be a parent. Then, she announced that he was brought into the world via a surrogate. The actress said that she has received a little bit of backlash from people we will address as haters. During an interview with CBS News, she said, "I didn't really think about it at all.” She went on to explain, "I just went ahead and did it ... I didn't realize there was criticism until after I sent out the information that I had my baby through a gestational carrier and my friends said, 'Don't listen to what some people are saying.' I didn't realize people were saying anything negative!" She got candid about her surrogacy through the #HowWeFamily campaign run by Tylenol. She said she wanted to show people that there isn’t one right way to have a family. She received the courage to go through with surrogacy when she saw other single moms being successful. She now devotes a lot of time to proving that being a single mother doesn’t mean you are alone. "How you love and parent a child is most important. That's the support system, really. Being a single mom does not have to mean having to raise a child alone."
18 Katey Sagal
Katey Sagal thought she was done having kids after the two she had while filming, Married With Children. But, when her marriage to their father ended and she got married to Kurt Sutter, the actress found herself contemplating if kids could still be a thing in her future. During a People interview in 2017, she said, “when Kurt and I first got together, he wasn’t interested in having any more children. He was happy being the stepparent to Sarah and Jackson. But 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.” That thought eventually turned into a reality but she knew she was limited by her age. “At this point I was too old to carry a child. So at first, we explored adoption, but that proved to be way more difficult than I expected." Then they tried in vitro but they were told the embryos weren’t strong enough but they still decided to try with what they had. "Let’s give it a shot and if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be," she says. “And if it wasn’t, we weren’t going to do it. But then our little Esme came through." Sagal documents their decision and execution of choosing a surrogate in her memoir, Grace Notes. And details why the call Esme their “little miracle."
17 Giuliana Rancic
When Giuliana Rancic decided that it was time for her and her husband, Bill, to start a family, they knew almost immediately that they wanted to go with a surrogate. The couple had endured a miscarriage and several failed IVF treatments but because of Giuliana having cancer in 2011, they knew it could be somewhat of an uphill battle. They were prepared with embryos that she had frozen prior to her treatments. They don’t feel robbed of anything, in fact, they were quite optimistic according to Bill, "everything happens for a reason, and we believe this is meant to be and the way it was supposed to work out." They found out that after she was cleared of cancer that she would likely have to wait three to five years before trying to conceive. This solidified their reason to use a surrogate. "As soon as we heard that, we moved forward with this plan," said Giuliana. They eventually had a boy in 2013 and since then have tried to have more children. Unfortunately, their surrogate miscarried two times and she revealed that she does not have any more embryos. The TV personality credits her astonishing weight loss to the two miscarriages and the idea of not being able to give her son a sibling.
16 Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett and her husband, Cortney B. Vance, went to Oprah to discuss their surrogacy experience. Like many people on this list, they went through years of failed IVF treatments and other fertility options. Bassett said, "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.'" She got the idea to use a surrogate from a friend. “Eventually, a friend, who didn’t look like she was expecting, announced to them that she and her husband were five months pregnant. Confused, Angela said, "You are?" This was when things changed for Bassett and Vance because they realized that they could conceive this way as well. Bassett said, “She began to tell me about the idea of surrogacy. The more we learned about it, the more we began to think that perhaps this was an answer for us." Their twins were born in January of 2006. For Bassett, this was literally a dream come true, “I had a dream about seven years ago that we were going to have twins. I didn’t know how it was going to happen.” She fondly remembers their birth as an “amazing experience" saying, “Just standing there together, holding each other with the realization that this is the moment that we’ve been working toward, praying for…[it’s a dream come true].”
15 Amy Smart
Amy Smart is a very private celebrity. She doesn’t do many interviews and, even at the height of her career, she insisted on keeping her private life private. But, who can keep quiet about a baby? The actress admits that she feels indebted to her surrogate for making a dream of hers come true. “After years of fertility struggles I give thanks today to our kind, loving surrogate for carrying her." She posted this caption with a picture of her newborn baby girl, Flora. Smart and her husband, Carter Oosterhouse, welcomed her to the world and they look overjoyed. Smart spent five years of her life going through the ups and downs of different fertility treatments. Can you imagine spending five years trying everything you can to conceive and nothing working? She admits that the struggle was heartbreaking but now, she is all smiles, as she shows off pictures on her social media page of her gorgeous little girl. She hasn’t said if they will have any more children but if they do decide to, at least they know that surrogacy is a viable and brave option. They can even use the same surrogate. On a quick side note, did anyone even know that Smart had gotten married to an HGTV star?
14 Jordana Brewster
Jordana Brewster is one of those celebrities that said, to hell with it, and was very vocal about her choice to use a surrogate for her children. Both of her children were born via surrogate and it wasn’t hard for the celeb to come to this decision. During an interview with Yahoo Parenting, Brewster said, "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. But I didn't feel judged. It's more like I felt awkward. She did admit that she sometimes felt left out of the mommy circle. "Sometimes I feel a little left out when other mums talk about what their birth experience was like, and I felt the loss of not having carried or having been able to carry." But, she doesn’t get too down on herself and at times she feel very lucky. “In many ways, I feel lucky I was able to be so open. There are so many women who are young and have to go through IVF and feel like they can't talk about it, and that's really unfortunate." The actress and her husband, the producer, Andrew Form, are normally very private about their personal life but in some ways, she felt the need to speak up about surrogacy. This is a start to breaking whatever stigma is still behind it.
13 Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman was married and ready to start a family with her husband Keith Urban. After they had their first daughter, they tried for a second child, but the couple ran into a few snags. She revealed to Who magazine that she had struggled with IVF and a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy saying, "I had tried and failed and failed and failed. Not to be too detailed, but I’ve had an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriages, and I’ve had fertility treatments." She was almost baffled at how hard it had become, "I’ve done all the stuff you can possibly do to try to get pregnant. Every woman who has been through all those ups and downs knows the depression that comes with it. So the way it just happened with Sunday was like, 'What?' The percentages were so low. It is the miracle in my life." She ultimately made the decision to use a surrogate. However, Kidman longs for a big family and, even as recently as 2017, was trying to figure out when they should have another baby. She also includes her daughter, Faith’s, surrogate in their lives. She allowed the little girl to meet the woman who brought her into this world. They refer to her as “Aunty Sheila."
12 Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker has three kids with her husband, Matthew Broderick. Her twins were born via surrogate in 2010 and Parker has never kept this a secret. While she was promoting her film, Did You Hear About The Morgans? she gushed to Access Hollywood about expecting her twins via a surrogate. “I’m excited,” Parker said. “I’m in disbelief. I’m really grateful. I feel really fortunate. My son is so excited, my husband is so excited.” So why use a surrogate? “Well, you know, we’ve been trying to expand our family for a number of years and we actually have explored a variety of ways of doing so. This was one of the things we discussed with seriousness that had real possibilities for us.” She revealed that she knows she isn’t alone in her endeavours to expand her family and struggle to do so. “A lot of people face disappointment in that area.” She was most excited for her son to become a big brother, especially to twins. “I feel very excited about the fact that my son is of an age now where he really will be helpful. He’s really excited. He’s very much ready to be an older brother. I think it gives him a great sense of pride. It’s wonderful and I just hope for their safe arrival.”
11 Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo and her husband have three children, one was born naturally but her second and third kids, a daughter and son, were born via surrogacy. She spoke candidly about her surrogacy on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "This is an incredible thing to do with your life, to give the gift of carrying someone's child. I am forever grateful and feel very blessed and grateful to her — she who will remain anonymous." Pompeo also revealed that she was there while the whole thing went down. "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." The same thing happened with their baby boy, Eli, but we aren’t sure if the used the same surrogate, and to be honest, that doesn’t really matter. All that matters is she was able to have two healthy kids with a little bit of help.
10 Tyra Banks
Everyone was surprised when Tyra Banks popped up on Instagram with a baby. Who, what, and when were the questions being asked. She never talks about her relationships or anything else personal. However, she chose to get candid about her life and talk about where this cute baby came from. Banks even shared a picture of her little man eventually. She had talked a little bit before about her trouble with conceiving but she has never been so candid as she has been lately. She told People magazine that her journey has been an uphill battle saying, "We are so excited for our new baby boy bundle of joy. The journey to now has not been an easy process, as I've shared before. But there was a beautiful bright light at the end of the tunnel for me and his father, Erik." She is so in love with her son that she and her long-term partner, Erik Asla, are already working on baby number two. In an exclusive interview with Life & Style, the model and TV personality said that they are actively working on a baby number two and already have a surrogate on board. Word on the street is Banks is itching for a mini-me, a little baby girl.
9 Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks took a very long time to marry the man who she was in a very committed relationship with. She was focused on her career and so was he. But, once they did get married, the producer and actress were ready to bring life into the world. All of a sudden, one day in March of 2012, she had a baby. Being the honest, open book that she is, she blogged about her new baby, and more personally, her “womb issues" saying, "The one true hurdle I've faced in life is that I have a broken belly. After years of trying to get pregnant, exploring the range of fertility treatments, all unsuccessful, our journey led us to gestational surrogacy: We make a 'baby cake' and bake it in another woman's 'oven.'" She literally called her problem a womb issue because “embryos wouldn’t implant." She talked about her experience as being 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." She now has two kids, with the second one being born via surrogacy as well.
8 Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian’s life is literally an open book. She has been very vocal from the beginning about what a struggle both of her pregnancies were. She truly had a tough time and this played out on her E! Show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians. But two kids weren't enough for her, she wanted more so she opted for a surrogate, even considering her sister, Kourtney, who loves being pregnant. She opted for someone else. After talking to two fertility specialist she was told, “Using a surrogate is not an unreasonable option. If our goal is to grow your family like you want to, then a surrogate makes sense.” She took the idea and ran with it. She did feel a bit bad about the decision at first, “I’m more worried because I gave birth to two [children] — there’s a sense in me that because I went through all that pain for these two babies and that I know we did this together … There’s no one that would feel your love [like that],” she said. “They are literally near your heart and inside of you.” She was worried her bond with the third baby would be different if she used a surrogate. She ultimately proved herself wrong. Chicago West fits right in and is loved just as much as her siblings.
7 Adrienne Maloof
The former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member was unfortunately outed about her surrogacy journey by her loudmouth costar, Brandi Glanville. She is the mother of three boys, including twin boys, with her ex-husband, Paul Nassif. After being exposed on the show, Maloof spoke out about why she was so upset about her surrogacy story. Her boys didn’t know that their mother was unable to carry them. She said that she was so secretive because "A child psychologist recommended she wait until they are 10 years old. She doesn’t want them teased at school or asked about it." Months after the show's finale, Maloof finally commented on Glanville’s inappropriate “confession" saying, “I would think Brandi, being a single mother, would have a heart and understand my feelings, where I’m coming from ... Brandi took away something so precious from our family ... Brandi did destroy our family”. This outing ultimately led to a lawsuit against Glanville because her contract for the show specifically stated that her surrogacy was something that could not be talked about. It ended up being a lot of drama for such a common topic but we get it. When a professional tells you that you should wait to tell your children, it can feel like a knife in your back when someone deliberately tries to turn it into something negative.
6 Michelle Stafford
Michelle Stafford is a two-time Emmy winner and a veteran in the soap opera world, managing to play the same character for 15 years straight. This is an accomplishment in a world where at least 6 different actors have been known to play the same character. But at some point, Stafford hadn’t found the right man and she was no longer willing to wait to have a child. In a blog about her decision to choose surrogacy, she talks about all the steps she had to go through to get the children she has. It started with adoption but according to her, “it didn’t go well." She moved on to IVF because she figured “how hard can it be to get pregnant” but after “three IVF attempts and three surgeries later, my body was spent. I was exhausted. And by that point, my personality sucked. Finally, after what I call a “three and a half year journey through hell, I welcomed my amazing, healthy, biological daughter into the world via surrogate!" She was 40 at the time and still single, she had always wanted to be a parent so she stopped waiting and did it. In 2016, she did it all over again. Welcoming her son, Jameson, vis surrogate. She did an exclusive interview with Soap Opera Digest to introduce her son to the world. She admitted that having another baby was not something she planned on. “But I did know that if I at least didn’t try again with the frozen embryos I had, I would regret it later down the road and that was more powerful to me than anything else because I knew myself. So, I tried and it worked.”
5 Cheryl Tiegs
Cheryl Tiegs already had one son from a previous marriage that she delivered naturally, but when she got married again to Rod Stryker, they decided they wanted to have kids of their own. This would be damn near impossible without a surrogate because Tiegs was 53-years old at the time. They hired a surrogate after trying for over a year to get pregnant naturally and through IVF but it just wasn’t working. They then found out that friend was having a child via surrogate, “My whole world turned around at that point because I knew then there was a real possibility that we would have a baby.” She never imagined that she would end up with twin boys or that two days after the boys came home, her nanny would quit. However, she went with the flow and she and her husband at the time, Stryker, handled it like old pros. The model never once questioned if she was too old to start over again with brand new babies especially with Stryker being 10 years younger than her. The twins were born in 2000 but soon after they were born, she and Stryker separated. The divorce was nasty and Tiegs lost custody of the kids to Stryker. It was reported that she is quite bitter about how everything turned out.
4 Marissa Jaret Winokur
Marissa Jaret Winokur refers to her son as a “miracle." She had wanted a child for so long and it wasn’t happening for her, so she ultimately gave up. She told People magazine "my friends don’t want to come over anymore because all I do is cry." She had unfortunately lost the opportunity to have a child after battling cancer. She lost her uterus and part of her cervix so no matter how hard she tried, a baby would never be conceived naturally for the actress. Thankfully, she preserved some eggs before her cancer treatments so, in November 2007, they decided to hire a surrogate and try to start a family. She described her experience to People magazine, "I was as involved as I could be with the baby. I went to all the doctor’s appointments and I talked to my surrogate every day. [We were in the delivery room] breathing together during the 12-hour labor. It was a real family event. We will be friends forever." She named him Zev which means wolf in Hebrew. She always manages to look at her son as the bright side of having to go through cancer. "If I didn’t have cancer, I might have been able to carry a baby myself. But then, I wouldn’t have this baby. So how can I ever feel bad about having cancer? Because of that, I now have Zev." This woman is so positive, how can you not cry hearing that?
3 Cindy Margolis
Gossip sites have long accused the model, actress, and Playmate, Cindy Margolis of using a surrogate to conceive all three of her children because she did not want to ruin her figure. Margolis has never been very candid about her decision to use a surrogate but we have to call her bluff on the idea that is was all to keep her shape. When the rumors finally got out of hand Margolis wrote a book about her venture into using a surrogate. The book is titled Having a Baby...When the Old-Fashioned Way Isn't Working: Hope and Help for Everyone Facing Infertility. She sat down with beliefnet.com to talk about what led her to this decision. “Infertility is this huge emotional roller coaster. If you want in your heart more than anything to have a baby, it's the hardest thing you will ever go through physically, emotionally, and financially." She was able to conceive her first child a boy through several “grueling" rounds of IVF but when it came to her twins, she chose to use a surrogate. “With my surrogate, it was a wonderful, amazing experience. Most surrogate stories are just so heartwarming. Could you imagine any more precious gift than giving someone the gift of life? A virtual stranger, who, in their heart, is a true angel and all they want to do is to help other families who couldn't conceive on their own.” The full-time mom put a lot of thought into writing her book because she wanted to expel the stigma that surrounds surrogacy.
2 Camille Grammer
Camille Grammer made headlines when she signed up to be on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills but we are sure she didn’t expect amongst all that drama that her lackluster marriage would be exposed. She was once married to Kelsey Grammer, and as a result, has two children. She has never hidden the fact that she had trouble conceiving and, therefore, opted for a surrogate. She writes in her Bravo blog, “speaking of childbirth, I had my children through surrogacy. If you can’t get pregnant for whatever reason, it’s great to know that there are options available for people that want to have a family. I wish I could have had that experience. I’m just so grateful I had a wonderful surrogate who carried our two children. I have two amazing angels in my life that I love so much. They are such a gift and a blessing from God.” She has since left the show but not before filing for divorce from Grammer, who told her he wanted out of the marriage. After years of deliberately taking out-of-state jobs and not coming home, the couple separated and he quickly moved on and married Kayte Walsh, who he now has three kids with.
1 Shayne Lamas
In 2013, after suffering a horrible miscarriage, Shayne Lamas decided to give pregnancy another try. Only this time she opted for a surrogate. Lamas asked her stepmother, Shawna Craig, to carry her baby for her. Lamas and her husband, Nik Richie, spoke to Closer magazine about their not-so-common choice of a surrogate. "Shawna's not just my stepmother. She's like a soul sister. She's an angel that blessed my whole family, including my father." Their son was born in a natural water birth surrounded by friends and family— this is what you call a tight-knit, loving family. It must have been hard for Lamas to experience a miscarriage, especially being in the public eye. She was so far into her pregnancy that they had even picked out a name for their son. Her miscarriage was a huge blow to her womanhood, she discussed her sadness in a post to her social media follows back in 2014. "Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. I've cried reading the expression of generosity and warmth from everyone. To everyone out there, please donate blood. You can save a life like mine. In loving memory of my son, Rex Jagger Lamas-Richie."
References: people.com, ibtimes.com, lifeandstylemag.com, usmagazine.com, today.com, dailymail.co.uk, ca.hellomagazine.com, nyfertility.org, celebritybabies.people.com, beliefnet.com, cbsnews.com
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