Celebrities Are Normalizing Surrogacy And We Love It

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Are celebrities suddenly *gulp* relatable? 

While relatability might be too much to ask, even from our favorite stars, some celebrities have gotten up close and personal with us about their real-life issues. 

For instance, news recently broke that Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas had a baby via surrogate. 

The couple, who seem madly in love, showed no signs of wanting to get pregnant. Chopra even joked at the Netflix special Jonas Brothers Family Roast that since she and Nick were the only couple not to have kids yet, they were expecting…“To get drunk tonight and sleep in tomorrow.” 

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While the joke was relatable for those of us who don’t want to have kids (surrogacy or not), Priyanka did touch on some of the benefits of choosing to have a baby through surrogacy. 

Getting pregnant is invasive, dangerous, sometimes unsuccessful, and comes with a whole host of other complications. On top of that, you are now responsible for keeping another human being alive! 

While Priyanka and Nick seemed to opt for surrogacy based on the fact that they were two very busy people, the upsides to choosing surrogacy seemed to outweigh the downsides for this couple. According to some sources, Nick and Priyanka’s conflicting schedules also made trying for a baby difficult, as there is only a small window in which a woman can get pregnant. 

While you and your partner may not be jetting off to concerts every week, modeling shoots, or other fabulous celeb events, the lack of alone time and scheduled ‘sexy time’ that’s required in order to conceive is not only a little unrealistic, it’s also not helpful. There is a level of pressure that comes when two people decide to have a baby together. There are monetary strains and also physical, mental, time, societal, and other pressures that come out of, seemingly, nowhere – all at once. 

As more celebrities celebrate surrogacy and taking control over their bodies, it shows the media something that we haven’t seen in a while. There’s immense pressure on married couples to get pregnant and Priyanka and Nick were singled out and, seemingly, chastised (which is weird af) as the only Jonas couple to not have kids. They are, by no means, alone – non-celebrity couples are similarly judged for waiting too long.

Most newly married couples, finally able to dodge the “When are you getting married?” question, are now dealing with, “When are you having kids?” What if they don’t want to? What if having kids is impossible, or dangerous, or not their dream? And what if it’s none of anyone’s fucking business (Spoiler alert: it is, absolutely, none of your fucking business).

For many women, conceiving is difficult and in some cases impossible – making this issue an extremely agonizing thing to go through, let alone talk about – and being questioned considerably adds to this pain.

Infertility is not only a painful journey psychologically, but the treatments are expensive – and most insurance companies do not cover the cost when women opt for in vitro fertilization (I.V.F).  

Amy Klein of The New York Times wrote about ways to ease the financial burden after discovering she needed fertility treatments.

What to Do

There is no “right” way to have a baby, and medical advancements have given women other options to have a child – Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), and sperm and egg donation programs.

Some couples choose to adopt, while others opt to use a surrogate.

But it’s not an easy decision, as there is a stigma about women’s bodies and what is drilled into us from an early age from every direction – we should be able to conceive and have babies. 

Finding out that your body won’t do what it’s supposed to be able to do is traumatizing – both mentally and physically. It takes a toll – women feel shame and guilt and may feel their bodies are somehow defective (they are not) because society has told us that we should be able to conceive naturally.

So with celebrities sharing their path to parenthood, whatever route they take, the public gets to see a side that we don’t often see – a glimpse of the rarely discussed, very personal journey to parenthood.

There is no wrong way to do it, and celebs sharing their stories is helping to shatter long-standing stigmas about the way to start a family.   

Shockingly, not every woman wants to dramatically transform her body and carry another human being around with her for nine months. The gall of women and our bodily autonomy! And the amount of time your body is affected before, during, and after pregnancy is debilitating for some. 

There are also issues about the ethics surrounding surrogacy. 

“Surrogacy is often thought to be a ‘treatment’ option for the infertile or an alternative to adoption, and so to be celebrated in fulfilling people’s desires to be parents. However, surrogacy also brings a wealth of more complex ethical issues around gender, labor, payment, exploitation, and inequality,” says Dr. Herjeet Marway, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham and Chair of Surrogacy UK’s (SUK) Ethics Committee.

“Take the issue of payment: surrogacy involves literal labor (physical and often emotional effort in both gestating and birthing). However, many see it as distinct from labour (working in a factory or teaching a class). This raises an ethical question around whether surrogacy is different from other kinds of paid work and, if it isn’t, shouldn’t we remunerate surrogates?

“Some say that surrogacy is unique when compared to other work – they argue that women are intimately connected to their reproductive capacities and bodies (so pregnancy and birth are special and should not be bought), or that being pregnant requires an unusual time commitment (unlike other kinds of work, the woman works for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for nine months).

“Others argue that there is equivalence to traditional work. Various occupations demand control over the body (ballerinas and astronauts are heavily controlled in what they can eat and how much they exercise, just as surrogates are) and longevity of work (writing a book can take longer than gestating and delivering a baby). All this work should be paid, so the argument goes.”

In the past, women have gotten pregnant and had to quit their jobs in order to raise their children, which was deemed “normal.” You worked until you got pregnant, and then your job was to be a full-time mother. 

While being a mother is a full-time job (you all deserve huge raises), that’s certainly not everyone’s dream, and we can’t assume that every woman wants to, or should, become a mom. And if the woman decides to go back to work after maternity leave and hire a nanny or a babysitter so she can keep working, she’s deemed ‘neglectful,’ ‘career-obsessed,’ and ‘not maternal,’ to name a few. 

Not to mention the physical toll pregnancy takes on the woman’s body. If we were to neglect all other viable reasons for surrogacy, there is still a reason to opt for it if the woman’s work heavily centers around her body image. Celebrities get criticized enough for their bodies when they’re not carrying a human being, but how much more criticism will come their way during and after pregnancy? The pressure to quickly lose “baby weight” is another article, entirely.

What about those of us struggling with eating disorders and body dysmorphia? Are we to shrug off these chemical imbalances in order to undergo nine months of expanding bellies? 

While I think we’re past doing everything because celebrities do it, the public declaration from these figureheads encourages and empowers people to know options like surrogacy are not only allowed but more normal than we think. They’re normalizing something that hasn’t been in mainstream media enough. 

Celebrities That Used Surrogates

Nick and Priyanka aren’t alone in the fight to normalize surrogacy. Many celebrities have opted for surrogacy for multiple reasons. 

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Anderson Cooper welcomed his son via surrogate in 2020. For him, surrogacy opened up options that he never thought possible as a gay man. 

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka were also allowed to have a child with the help of an egg donor and a surrogate. They welcomed their twin children, Gideon Scott and Harper Grace in 2010. 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West also opted for surrogacy for their third and fourth child. Kardashian experienced health issues related to her first two children, so surrogacy allowed her to avoid the possibility of endangering both her and her children’s lives. 

There are millions of people (famous and not) who opt for surrogacy every day and millions of reasons why. While it’s not anyone’s business to know why a couple chose something that ought to be private, we’re all for celebrities normalizing what, in the past, has been a taboo and painful subject. 


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