Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
Most of the time, the stars of Keeping Up With the Kardashians exist in a glitzy, isolated realm that’s a joy to look at, but difficult to relate to.
But yesterday, the reality series broached a topic relevant to many women: fertility difficulties. The episode focuses on the question of whether Kim can carry another baby, following complications during her pregnancies with North and Saint West. After an unsuccessful surgery to repair a hole in her uterus, Kim’s doctor breaks the news: She’ll be unable to carry any more children. Kim is devastated.
“Now I feel like that's my reality. I feel like surrogacy is really the only other option for me,” Kim tells her sisters.
Undoubtedly, the show will continue to follow Kim’s journey with surrogacy. But Kim isn't the only celebrity to expand her family through gestational surrogacy, even if she's the most public. With access to wealth and resources, celebs don't bat an eye at surrogacy's price tag, which begins at $98,000 and can skyrocket to $140,000 or more.
Here’s a roundup of other celebrities who, like Kim, have spoken publicly about their experiences with surrogacy.
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Kim Kardashian West & Kanye West
After giving birth to children North and Saint, doctors told Kardashian West it would be dangerous for her to carry another child. Kardashian was devastated. "Hearing that I can't carry any more kids, it couldn't get any worse," she said.
Keeping Up With the Kardaashians documented Kardashian West's journey towards accepting surrogacy as a viable option. Initially, she was hesitant. Soon, though, she began to take surrogacy more seriously.
"After talking to Kanye, I think that I always knew that surrogacy was an option, but I didn't think it was that realistic of an option. Now, I feel like that's my reality," Kardashian West said to Kourtney Kardashian.
Today, she and West reportedly have hired a surrogate to carry their third child.
Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick
After the birth of their son, Parker and Broderick struggled to get pregnant again. Parker told Access Hollywood, "It would be odd to have made this choice if I was able to, you know, have successful pregnancies since my son’s birth,”
Parker's surrogacy was marked by complications — though none medical. The situation became complicated after the surrogate's identity was revealed. “The most unsavory things have been done,” Parker said. “She’s had her phone hacked, her personal computer information hacked, she’s had threats against her and true harassment… She’s had friends threatened and family threatened and she’s had family of friends threatened.”
The couple’s twins, Marion and Tabitha, were born healthy in 2009.
Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance
Following years of failed fertility treatments, Angela Bassett and her husband Courtney B. Vance found an answer to their problems in surrogacy. Their twins, Bronwyn Golden and Slater Josiah, were born in January of 2008.
In an eerie twist of fate, twins didn’t come as a surprise for Vance. “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,” he told Oprah.MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock
Elton John & David Furnish
Captain Fantastic’s two sons, Zachary and Elijah, were born two years apart through surrogate mothers.
Elizabeth Banks & Max Handelman
Banks has been particularly outspoken about her use of a surrogate. Both her children, Magnus and Felix, were born via surrogacy.
In a public statement after Magnus’ birth in 2012, Banks wrote, “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."Yoan Valat / Epa/REX/Shutterstock
Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban
Kidman and Urban used a gestational surrogate to have their second daughter, Faith, in 2011. Kidman's still holding out hope for another child.
This past January, Kidman said, “I still have the faintest hope that something may happen to me this year. Keith and I would love to have more babies. My grandmother gave birth to my mother at 49. I would be beyond happy and just welcome it with open arms.”Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock
Jimmy Fallon & Nancy Juvonen
It took five years for Jimmy Fallon and his wife, Nancy Juvonen, to have their daughter, Winnie Rose. Though they eventually turned to a surrogate mother in 2013, Fallon had words for everyone going through a similarly arduous struggle with fertility.
“If there's anyone out there who is trying and they're just losing hope...just hang in there," he told Savannah Guthrie on NBC. "Try every avenue; try anything you can do, 'cause you'll get there. You'll end up with a family, and it's so worth it. It is the most 'worth it' thing. I'm just so happy right now. I'm freaking out."Gregory Pace/BEI/REX/Shutterstock
Not wanting to wait around for the perfect partner, Ricky Martin took the journey to fatherhood alone. In 2008, his twin boys, Matteo and Valentino, were born via surrogate.
When one of his sons asked the singer about his birth, Martin explained, “There was a woman that I adore with all my heart that helped me bring you into this world. She lent me her belly so that you could come and when you were born she put you in my arms.”Amanda Schwab/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock
Giuliana & Bill Rancic
This couple had quite a journey toward the birth of their boy, Edward Duke, in 2012.
At some point during Rancic's three cycles of IVF treatment, doctors detected a cancerous lump during a mammogram. Rancic told Michigan Avenue magazine, “If we had gotten pregnant, I would have been done...that would have catapulted this cancer into another level.” Following the diagnosis, Rancic underwent a double mastectomy and is now cancer-free.
Due to Rancic's medical complications, Edward was born via surrogate.Neil Rasmus/BFA.com/REX/Shutterstock
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