Why Fake Pregnancy Announcements on April Fool's Day Will Never Be Funny

When millions of Americans are facing an uphill battle to conceive and are lacking reproductive rights, pregnancy is no laughing matter.

Couple looks at pregnancy test

Valentina Barreto / Stocksy

While April 1 might just be a regular old spring day to some people, others relish it as April Fool’s Day—an opportunity to prank coworkers, friends, or, in the case of some famous jokesters, thousands upon thousands of followers. It’s something Justin Bieber, Tori Spelling, and Keke Palmer all have in common. They've all opted to go with a faux pregnancy announcement as their gag. In every instance, the famous pranksters were met with more backlash than laughter. 

As someone who is currently spending a whole lot of time, energy, financial resources, etc. to become a parent, the loud and reliable backlash to faux pregnancy announcements is something I fully support. 

It’s not just because of, as Bieber wrote in his 2019 “apology,” “people who don’t take jokes very well” or that “there’s always gonna be people offended.” It’s the fact that, because far too many people face devastating challenges related to pregnancy, it’s just not a laughing matter. 

Trying to Conceive Is an Uphill Battle for Many Aspiring Parents-to-Be

From contending with endometriosis to hormone imbalances that stem from stress or even the extremely frustrating diagnosis of unexplained infertility, many people find it really difficult to get pregnant. According to the most recent data, about 10% of women (that’s 6.1 million) in the U.S. up to the age of 44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Pregnancy loss is also extremely common. According to March of Dimes, more than 30 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and many will end before a person even knows they’re pregnant.

Sure, people who contend with fertility struggles have options, but none of them is a walk in the park. Whether you’re pursuing in vitro fertilization—a single cycle of which can cost upwards of $30,000—or fostering to adopt, pursuing pretty much any route to parenthood that’s not the “natural” way is going to be physically, emotionally, mentally, and, quite likely, financially draining. 

Queer couples in particular face numerous challenges to starting a family, including pursuing expensive, cumbersome, stressful avenues like assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as IVF or adoption

Data from the Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics shows fertility rates of women ages 35-39 increased by 67% between 1990 to 2019. But trying to conceive in your late 30s and early 40s is still terribly stigmatized. Health care providers fearmonger, flippantly label those of us in this bracket “geriatric,” telling us that our chances of creating a genetically normal embryo that will lead to a live birth are dwindling rapidly (that is if we have a chance at all). It’s all a lot—and certainly adds to a case for being, at the very least, aggravated by faux pregnancies announced on April Fool’s Day. 

Many People Are Lacking Reproductive Rights

If that wasn’t enough, there’s the fact that since the landmark Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision was overturned, many Americans, such as teenagers, aren’t even granted the right to choose when, how, with whom, etc. they become pregnant. This has led to what Frank C. Worrell, Ph.D., president of the American Psychological Association (APA), has said is the brink of a "psychological crisis." 

In states that lack the right to choose, fertility patients are facing the potential threat of personhood statutes, which would give embryos constitutional rights and wreak havoc on reproductive medicine.

The Bottom Line on April Fool's Pregnancy Announcements

Pregnancy loss, fertility struggles, and the psychological effects of lacking the right to choose are discussed more these days than ever before. But you still never know what a coworker, a friend, a loved one, or, in the case of celebrities, thousands of followers might be facing related to pregnancy. Sure, celebs might think April Fool’s Day pregnancy announcements are funny because they’re known for their large family or it’s their way of biting back at persistent tabloid speculation that they’re expecting. 

But given just how common infertility, pregnancy loss, and challenges related to reproductive rights are right now, anyone looking for likes and a cheap laugh would do well to steer clear of faking a baby on the way. 

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Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Infertility.

  2. March of Dimes. Miscarriage.

  3. U.S. Census Bureau. Fertility Rates: Declined for Younger Women, Increased for Older Women.

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