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Celebrities, Babies, and Egg Donors

Celebrities make planned conception seem easy, right? Gossip, fashion, and style magazines frequently feature celebrity moms at 40, 45, or even older with their newborn children. What is often left out of these articles is the reality of how these babies came to be. Of course, natural conception is possible, but as women get older, they may need an egg donor and/or a gestational surrogate to achieve a pregnancy. With celebrities, this information is often left to the reader’s imagination, or it doesn’t cross the reader’s mind at all.

Celebrities and third-party reproduction
It’s perfectly understandable when celebrities keep their medical choices private and their confidentiality preserved by doctors, family, or friends in the know. As a culture, we’ve come to believe that having a child at a more mature age is easy because the struggles to conceive – if there are any -- simply aren’t discussed.

Of course, there are celebrities who are open about their journey to parenthood. Jimmy Fallon and Nancy Juvon have stated in interviews that both of their daughters were carried by gestational surrogates. Elizabeth Banks and her husband Max Handelman also used gestational surrogates in order to have two children. Additionally, many same-sex couples have been open about their need for an egg donor and surrogate, such as Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka, as well as Elton John and his husband David Furnish. This openness encourages couples who are experiencing similar problems and provides a way to shed light on a sensitive topic, regardless of gender, age, or particular fertility issue.

Fertility, age and celebrities
Women are typically taught to keep the number 35 in mind from the time they first begin to date. Age 35 is when a woman’s fertility begins to decline. By age 35, women produce fewer eggs of lesser quality. It’s easy to understand how one magazine cover after another of celebrity women having children at more mature ages can be both confusing and disheartening to those of a similar age or younger who struggle to conceive. Use of third-party reproduction and fertility treatment is more widespread than you may think – one in eight American couples experience difficult conceiving, regardless of celebrity status.

Related Topics: Egg donation, Gestational surrogacy