What Sets Celebrity Surrogacy Apart?

By: Friday Faraday

Gestational Surrogacy is a unique experience for both the surrogate and the intended parents, and there are a number of situations that can bring a person to the decision to explore surrogacy. Infertility is a well known reason for why intended parents chose this option to start or grow their family, the number of people worldwide experiencing infertility in their lifetime is around 17.5%. Infertility is something that does not discriminate, affecting any income level and profession, including celebrities.

The wide encompassing world of celebrities includes actors, musicians, reality tv stars and influencers. The people in this world do have many advantages than the average person, wealth is one of them for sure, but the realities of living a human experience will always hit, and often hit hard. That brings us to the world of gestational surrogacy within the world of celebrity culture, but how does it remain the same and how does it differ?

The Limelight and Shadows

An unifying feature is the ability to make dreams come true in the way of family, especially when it comes to LGBTQIA2S+ families. The door of possibilities is also opened for older intended parents that put off having families due to career and other situations that allow someone to have children. While you can connect this to the lives of everyday people, you can not overlook that there is a level of privilege at work. For those working class intended parents (queer and straight), choosing to explore your career first before starting a family or even for a different reason, while it is still possible, it is going to look different when you do not have nearly unlimited resources. While that is not to shade anyone, it is always important to acknowledge your privilege to understand the intersectionality of many struggles to bring about change.

One of the biggest overlooked aspects that draws the line between celebrities and everyday people is privacy. You might be thinking “what about money?” especially since the topic of resources was brought up and plays a big part into this equation because capitalism, duh. However, for most intended parents the worry of your most private moments as you start or expand your family being posted on nearly every blog, online magazine, or entertainment show is slim to none. At the most, a social media post will be the minimum, and that Facebook announcement is generally under your control.

Our society does love a good distraction, and for a long time the lives of the rich and famous has been some good tea. On the other side of that viewing, it is probably not as delicious. There are many of us, celebrity or not, that do not want our private medical history or journey blasted everywhere. Infertility, previous pregnancy trauma including experiencing numerous miscarriages, or suffering from serious conditions like preeclampsia are things that we want to keep to ourselves until the decision to talk about it publicly is made or not made. Unfortunately, the grace of those choices are not given to celebrity intended parents, and the grace of privacy is not given to the gestational surrogate.

Just as the life and medical history of celebrities is often a topic of discussion, the hunt for the identity of the surrogate shares space with it. Many celebrity surrogates can receive many perks other than the compensation. From gifts, luxury accommodations to make their lives easier and comfortable during the pregnancy, the entry into this world is two-sided as celebrity surrogates often have to sign very strict NDA agreements for the sake of privacy. Nonetheless, for the first to try and break the story and unveil the identity of the surrogate, it is opening this person up to an experience they didn’t sign up for. We have all heard stories of celebrities being followed, having their computers or phones hacked to gain sensitive information and pictures. This too can happen to gestational surrogates, particularly this happen to the surrogate of Sarah Jessica Parker.

“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.” (Sarah Jessica Parker opens up, 2009)

This is a situation that no one wants a surrogate to be in and is unfair and sad, period.

The Important Bits

There is no doubt the benefits of gestational surrogacy for many families no matter your place in life. There are also a varying degree of struggles that can affect surrogates and intended parents, and as celebrity surrogacy grows in the limelight even if it infringes on the privacy of everyone involved, it does show the world the importance of surrogacy for everyone, along with the representation of LGBTQIA2+ families and families of color. With that visibility, hopefully the need to respect the privacy for both the intended parents and surrogate will grow and everyone can experience this journey in peace.

Work Cited

“Sarah Jessica Parker opens up about surrogate.” TODAY, 19 May 2009, https://www.today.com/popculture/sarah-jessica-parker-opens-about-surrogate-2d80555145. Accessed 5 May 2023.