For many celebrities, using a gestational surrogate is the method of choice for bringing a baby into their family. Read what these A-listers have shared about their own experiences with surrogacy.
While Katey Sagal was starring as Peggy Bundy on the hit TV show “Married…with Children” back in the 90s, the actress really was married with children. She even had a little nursery next to her dressing room for the two little ones she was raising with then-husband Jack White. After she and White split in 2000, Sagal tied the knot with “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter. “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,” she recently told People. But since Sagal was too old to carry a child at that point, the couple decided to go the surrogacy route. “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 explained. “And if it wasn’t, we weren’t going to do it. But then our little Esme came through,” Sagal says of welcoming her third daughter in 2007, at age 52, with the help of a surrogate. “That’s why we call her our little miracle, our beautiful miracle.”
Amy Smart's new daughter Flora was welcomed to the family via surrogate in December. The new mama posted a sweet photo on Instagram, cuddling her baby to celebrate her arrival. "One month ago today, Dec. 26th our amazing beautiful daughter came into this world. Feeling so grateful to have her in my arms," the "Just Friends" actress wrote in the caption. Smart and her husband, Carter Oosterhouse, revealed they'd opted for surrogacy to start their family with a message of deep gratitude to their surrogate. "After years of fertility struggles I give thanks today to our kind, loving surrogate for carrying her."
The Internet watched as YouTube personality GloZell Green and her husband Kevin Simon documented their personal fertility issues and their difficult journey toward parenthood on the Awestruck and go90 web series “Glo All In.” The couple introduced the world to their surrogate, Shawna Johnson, and let viewers into their world as they went to doctor’s appointments, hosted a baby gender reveal, and openly discussed infertility.
Previously, GloZell told Parents.com, “I didn’t know that I was supposed to be embarrassed about infertility, but so many women have come forward since I went public and shared their own issues with me even though they were scared or embarrassed.”
After enduring an endometriosis diagnosis, IVF, and dozens of visits to fertility clinics, GloZell and Kevin officially welcomed a baby girl via surrogate on August 7, 2016. Baby O’Zell Gloriana De Green Simon weighed 8 lbs., 10 oz. and is named after GloZell’s father (O’Zell), mother (Gloria), and sister (DeOnzell).
“I'm excited to learn what message my daughter has for me because she really wants to be here,” GloZell told Parents.com. “We went through a course of three [IVF] shots a day for two weeks for five months to finally get enough embryos to implant into Shawna. This is a soul who really wants to be here.”
Congrats to the happy family!
In September 2015, entrepreneur and supermodel Tyra Banks revealed to People she had fertility issues and had undergone IVF treatments to start a family with her boyfriend of two years, Erik Asla, whom she met on the Norway version of the Top Model franchise. Just a few months later, in January 2016, the couple announced their "miracle little boy," York Banks Asla, was born via surrogate. On Instagram Banks wrote: "He's got my fingers and big eyes and his daddy Erik's mouth and chin. 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. York Banks Asla, welcome to the world." Congrats to the new family!
Actress Elizabeth Banks always wanted to carry a child of her own, so the decision to use a gestational surrogate was difficult. But talking to other moms eased her mind: "It helps that other moms have said that once they had their babies, they forgot they were ever pregnant," she said in the March 2012 issue of Women's Health. "So once my focus became the baby and not the pregnancy, it was a very easy decision."
Thanks to surrogacy, she and her husband Max Handelman now have two children, Felix and Magnus. When Magnus was born in 2012, Banks shared this positive message about the experience: "Like Felix, Magnus was born via gestational surrogate. 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."
After discovering she had early-stage breast cancer, E! News host Giuliana Rancic famously underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction and then struggled to get pregnant. However, that didn't stop her and husband Bill from building their family: A surrogate named Delphine carried their son, Duke, born in 2012. Sadly, the couple and Delphine's efforts to give Duke a sibling resulted in miscarriages. While Giuliana told People she was devastated at the loss, she also said she's open to other routes of having more children. "I think adoption is a beautiful gift you're giving each other" she said. "And it's funny, I'm even more open to [adoption] than I was before. Because I think to myself, 'I love Duke so much, if I couldn't take care of him, I hope there would be someone else who would love him.'"
After struggling for five years to get pregnant—an experience he called 'awful'—late night host Jimmy Fallon and his wife, Nancy Juvonen, were able to welcome two daughters, Winnie and Frances, via surrogate. In an interview with Today after Winnie's birth in 2013, Fallon revealed more details on their process to create a family and why they kept it between the two of them: "We tried before, we told people and then it didn't happen. And it's just really depressing. It's really hard on everybody," he explained. "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."
Though the actress is typically private about her personal life, Lucy Liu revealed via Instagram in August 2015 that there was a new man in her life: a son she named Rockwell Lloyd Liu. The single mom's rep confirmed to US Weekly that the child was carried via a gestational surrogate. While on the Today show, Liu beamed about being a new mom: "Every day is just a miracle and a dream because everything is so different every day. You're not even thinking about 'Is it Monday or Tuesday' or 'What time is it?' anymore, you're just thinking about how he's changed from minute to minute and his reactions—also, how you are and how you grow as a human being, being around another human being like that," she said.
For actress Ellen Pompeo, who gave birth to daughter Stella in 2009, having a second child via surrogate was something she wanted to keep very private. Pompeo did reveal her second child's arrival two months after she was born, however, via an October 2014 Instagram post of a photo of hubby Chris Ivery holding the infant, writing: "Sienna May Ivery, welcome to the world. We love you more than words can say." While on Jimmy Kimmel hours after the announcement, she gushed about the surrogacy experience: "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. 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."
TV personality Nate Berkus and his husband, interior designer Jeremiah Brent, couldn't wait to share the news that they were expecting a baby via surrogate. In September 2014 the couple posted on their Facebook pages, "Wanted to share some exciting news...We have had the most special year and its JUST become even more beautiful. 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." Their daughter Poppy was born in March 2015, and when she was 10 weeks old Berkus told US Weekly: "She loves monkey sounds. Pooping and eating - that's all she's doing. We're so completely in love with her."
Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker
After actress and shoe designer Sarah Jessica Parker and actor hubby Matthew Broderick had their first child, James Wilkie, in 2002 they struggled to expand their family. But when James was 6 years old, Parker confirmed to Access Hollywood that she and Broderick were expecting twins via surrogate. After having been disappointed by their inability to get pregnant again, the impending arrival of twins was glee-inducing: "We didn't expect it. I think after a certain amount of time, you tend to hold your hopes at bay a bit so as not to be disappointed," she said. "One really would have been thrilling and we would've felt incredibly lucky. And two was a comedy." The twin girls, Marion and Tabitha, were born in 2009.
Already a mom to Connor and Isabella, the two kids she adopted with ex-husband Tom Cruise, actress Nicole Kidman expanded her family with second husband Keith Urban, giving birth to daughter Sunday in 2008. Then, Kidman and Urban surprised their family, friends and the world by announcing the December 2010 birth of daughter Faith via surrogacy, a process they had kept secret to preserve some privacy during Faith's first few weeks. Of using a surrogate, the couple released a statement, saying, "No words can adequately convey the incredible gratitude that we feel for everyone who was so supportive throughout this process, in particular our gestational carrier."
For both of their sons' births, husbands Elton John and David Furnish were in the delivery room. "We tried to create a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere," the singer told People. "We were as excited at the prospect of Elijah's birth as we were at the prospect of Zachary's—but much less nervous." John and Furnish used the same surrogate for both of their children, and John couldn't say enough happy things about her: "She is a wonderful, kind and loving woman."
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris
When husbands Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka used a surrogate to have their fraternal twins, Harper and Gideon, they decided not to determine which child was biologically theirs. But now that the twins, born in October 2010, are growing up and developing their own personalities, Burtka revealed on The Wendy Williams Show he thinks Harper is his biological daughter. "She's like, 'Hey everybody, I'm here!'" he said. He also added that explaining how a surrogacy works is a little complicated for their family: "It's a lot harder for gay guys [to have kids], although we tried!" he said. "[There were] two different women involved. There was an egg donor, a wonderful woman who was anonymous. We took two of our best guys and implanted them into her eggs, two different eggs."
To begin their family, candy store entrepreneur Dylan Lauren and husband Paul Arrouet used a surrogate to welcome their twins, son Cooper and daughter Kingsley, in April 2015. Though they didn't reveal much about their choice to use a surrogate, being in the delivery room was a spectacular experience for Lauren, who is the daughter of fashion designer Ralph Lauren. She said, "It was amazing. I was crying, my husband was crying. We were very nervous. I had never held a baby before," she told People. "But the delivery room nurses were holding them in these weird positions—it helped me understand that they're not going to break."
Songwriter and former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi and her husband Mike McCuddy had a long, difficult road to pregnancy. They struggled with infertility for five years, and DioGuardi also discovered she was a carrier for the BRCA2 gene. After consulting with her doctor, she decided to have her uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes removed as a preventive measure for the possible high risk of cancer in her future. After the surgery, the couple turned to adoption: "We'd hired an adoption attorney, we had the pictures, the book, had it all ready to go," DioGuardi told People. "Then ... I knew this woman, a friend, and on a whim I asked somebody to bring [gestational surrogacy] up and get her thoughts on it and she seemed open to it. She came over with her husband, talked it through, and we negotiated it together." After seven unsuccessful embryo transfers, the eighth one took, and son Greyson was born in 2013. "When I had the surgery, it was helpful to know that this amazing woman was carrying our child and I was taking care of things to ensure I'd be around to see our son grow up," she said.
When musician Chris Daughtry's wife, Deanna, had a partial hysterectomy, she lost the ability to carry a child. Though already the parents of two children, Hannah and Griffin, the couple still wanted to grow their family so they used IVF to transfer an embryo to a surrogate. In 2010, Daughtry and Deanna welcomed twins Adalynn and Noah. After their birth, he posted on his website: ""Our family is overwhelmed with joy by these two precious gifts from God. The babies are both healthy and resting. Thanks to everyone for their love and prayers."
Latin singer Ricky Martin always knew he wanted to be a father, so he decided to become a single dad via a surrogate. His twins Matteo and Valentino were born in August 2008. In Vanity Fair's Spanish edition, Martin gushed about the surrogate he used, saying, "I saw the picture and I said: Who is this woman so angelic, so transparent. I would give my life for the woman who helped me bring my sons into this world."
The Fast and the Furious star has just welcomed her second child with husband Andrew Form using a gestational surrogate— son Rowan Brewster-Form. The couple are already parents to 2-year-old son Julian, who was also born via surrogacy.
“For me it wasn’t a choice,” the actress explained to Yahoo Parenting. “I needed to use a surrogate.” She also copped to sometimes feeling a little left out when other moms talk about their birth experiences. “I feel the loss of not having carried or having been able to carry,” she admitted. “But luckily I keep my circle tight and close, so I never feel judged.”
Jordana also feels grateful that’s she’s been able to be so open about her experience. “There are so many women who are young and have to go through IVF and feel like they can’t talk about it,” she said. “And that’s really unfortunate.”