We're so busy tracking the every move of our favorite pregnant celebrities—and there seems to be no shortage of famous moms-to-be to chose from these days—that we may be missing out on a hot new celebrity trend in birth. From Elton John, Nicole Kidman, and Neil Patrick Harris to Ricky Martin and Sarah Jessica Parker, an increasing number of stars are enlisting the help of surrogates to grow their families. After all, a baby bump is not for everyone, says psychologist Stuart Fischoff in a Toronto Sun article on celebrity surrogacy.
What's driving the trend? "The ones who can't afford the risks of pregnancy or carrying to term, or [who are afraid] of losing precious time from their burgeoning careers, or who might find it hard getting into fighting shape and sloughing off weight again," finds Fischoff, a specialist in media psychology.
Dr. Hilary Hanafin, chief psychologist at the Center for Surrogate Parenting in California, disagrees that surrogate birth is only on the rise among the rich and famous and instead thinks the surge in Hollywood surrogacy is "a reflection of the increase in surrogacy in general and ... acceptance [of the practice]."
Whether celebs really are leading the pack or just showcasing a new attitude towards surrogate birth, at least one surrogate mom is on the recording at being thrilled that celebrities are increasingly open about their surrogacy journeys.
"Every time a celebrity makes the news with the fact that they have used a surrogate mother to add to or complete their family, it helps other couples struggling with infertility, or in a same-sex relationship, realize that surrogacy may be an option for them as well," says surrogate mom Rayven Perkins (via the Toronto Sun).
Is surrogate birth for you? Only you can make the emotional decision about the best way to bring a baby into your life. But if you do think surrogacy could be a path to motherhood you would like to explore, first do some homework about the laws in your state governing the practice. In the US, surrogacy rules differ from state by state. Some states allow individuals and couples to freely enter into surrogacy contracts, while other states prohibit surrogacy altogether. For example, the District of Columbia and Florida prohibit surrogacy for all unmarried couples and other states prohibit surrogacy agreements that require an exchange of money. The Human Rights Campaign offers a complete list of state rules.