Surrogacy: The Latest Hollywood Trend?

Health & Wellness on 03.17.11
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Image Credit: Robin Layton via Getty Images

Morning sickness. Weight gain. Swollen hands and feet. Aching back. Remember all of these gems from your pregnancy? I certainly do! If you could have someone else carry your baby for you and spare you all of these gnarly side effects, would you? I certainly would, if I needed to, but not to save me the trouble of a broken body and a closet full of shoes collecting dust because my feet expanded an entire size. While I remember all of the unfortunate parts of being pregnant, I also remember the first time I felt my daughter move inside of me. I would gladly put up with the bad parts in order to enjoy the amazing parts. Sadly, not everyone can be so lucky, and many have to turn to other means to welcome their children into the world.

Nicole Kidman, Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker and Ricky Martin have all had (biological) children in the last year or so, and all have done it either by a gestational carrier (the fertilized embryo belongs to the couple) or by a surrogate (the carrier's egg is the one used). Elton John and Ricky Martin, both gay men, didn't have many options in their quest to have a biological child. But what about Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman, both of whom have delivered children in the past? Parker made no secret of the fact that she and her husband, Matthew Broderick, had been trying to have more children for years, unsuccessfully. Likewise, Kidman has always struggled with fertility. Both actresses and their husbands explored options for having more children, and both settled on a gestational carrier. So, what's involved? A lot, it turns out.

 Babycenter.com says the process is "emotionally intense and legally complex." It begins with IVF, quite a long and difficult journey on its own. When an embryo is fertilized -- which could take multiple tries -- it's placed inside the gestational carrier, and she then carries the baby to term and delivers. Depending on the state, the laws surrounding surrogacy differ, and an agency or doctor who specializes in surrogacy can help you to make arrangements -- for a price. The average cost of will run you around $60,000 to $75,000. For a breakdown of what you'll be paying for, check out this list.

But in the end, you'll have a bouncing baby to love and dote on. Who can put a price on that?

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