Surrogacy – Celebrities Raising Awareness

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick recently announced that they’ll be having twins this summer. And they’re not the only ones. According to Ireland’s Independent, Robert De Niro, Kelsy Grammer, Agnela Basset and Ricky Martin have all resorted to surrogacy. Melissa Brissman, head of a U.S. surrogacy law firm, says that “We’re now seeing a lot of celebrities using surrogates to have children which, in turn, is making the process more socially acceptable among ordinary Americans."

While no information about Sarah Jessica Parker’s gestational carrier has been made available, speculation is that the gestational carrier is outside New York. In the U.S., surrogacy is governed by state laws, and these vary quite a bit from state to state.  New York is one of 12 states that are very strict and forbid payment to surrogate mothers. Several states, like Texas, Illinois, Utah and Florida have more liberal surrogacy laws.

UK (and much of European law) is also strict. In the UK, a surrogate mother can only be paid “reasonable expenses” and UK law does not recognize a surrogacy agreement or contract as a binding agreement. This is driving UK and European couples seeking surrogacy to India as well.

While it is likely the baby is being born in the U.S., and while the U.S. still likely has the highest numbers of surrogacy births, India is also heavily involved in this globalizing industry. While surrogacy in the U.S. can be legally complicated and cost between US$60,000 and US$120,000, surrogacy in India costs about US$25,000 with a bill moving through the Indian parliament to legalize surrogacy.  When passed, this bill will make India the first country to have legalized surrogacy.  Meanwhile, in India, the biological parents (who provided the egg and sperm) are listed on the birth certificate. Several clinics in India, including Rotunda and Akanksha Infertility and IVF Hospital, are leading the way in providing surrogacy services to both local and international clients.

While celebrities may be the ones that create awareness of surrogacy, many other couples have already been pursing surrogacy with a dozen or so blogging about their experiences, including Million Rupee BabySpawn of Mike and Mike, and The Bombay Baby. The Surrogacy India Guide maintains a more updated list of surrogacy blogs.

The article from Ireland’s Independent can be read here.

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