We may know them as some of our favorite internet influencers, but these celebrities are now influencing the way some of us start a family.
For years, surrogacy in the US was a taboo and super sticky subject. It was rare that it even was on the table for discussion, for fear of backlash or a slew of questions about nefarious scientific processes or exploitation of women. While we can’t say that all of these claims are unfounded, surrogacy has definitely come a long way as far as mainstream perception is concerned. And we have our celebrities to thank.
“The normalcy of US surrogacy has been seen largely due to renewed, surrogacy friendly media” Ilaya spokesperson says. Ilaya, a global leader in infertility solutions has seen an increase in demand for their US surrogacy programs. Ilaya says that US surrogacy programs are some of the most alt-family friendly programs in the world. Allowing for single parents and same sex partners to achieve the family they’ve always dreamed of. “The state of California has exceptional surrogacy laws, I don’t know if it’s solely due to celebrity presence, but it definitely helped to move the topic into the mainstream.”
US Surrogacy, A New Normal
Creating trends and speaking out about the unspoken are just a few things that celebrities are really good at. I dare you to pretend that you didn’t adopt (or seriously consider adopting) at least 7 puppies during the Sarah Mclaughlin & A.S.P.C.A. campaign.
From political agendas, to religion, to health and wellness crazes, celebrities have long influenced the way Americans think about subjects that are more than uncomfortable. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. But taking surrogacy mainstream has been a boon for many families stricken with infertility issues.
According to the CDC, 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility, and many of those are told that they will never conceive using traditional methods. For years this was a death sentence to the dream of having a family for many couples. Once celebrity couples like Sarah Jessica Parker, Elizabeth Banks, Jimmy Fallon and Kim Kardashian came forward and began openly discussing their own problems with infertility, it began to shine a light on the real-life struggle that many people around the globe have to contend with.
The World View
Unfortunately, we now know that straight, married women aren’t the only hopeful parents that struggle with the idea of not being able to have a child of their own. While gestational surrogacy is indeed making headway in legislation throughout the world, many countries still only extend their surrogacy programs to parents that are in a married heterosexual relationship, which leaves many people out of the equation.
Despite the improvements and advancements seen in the rights of LGBTQ+ populations, surrogacy contracts for these families are still moderately difficult to come by. “This is where US surrogacy really shines in the global market.” Says Ilaya.
Celebrities have brought surrogacy discussions into the mainstream and have served to remove much of the stigma surrounding the practice, however, little has been done to promote the rights of same sex parents in surrogacy proceedings worldwide.
“Multiple states throughout the US have favorable legislation and do not restrict or limit surrogacy to traditional family models.” Ilaya reports. In some countries, same sex parents, single parents, and unmarried couples have to petition courts for custody rights of their children, if the services are allowed at all. Following big names like Ricky Martin and Neil Patrick Harris coming forward with their happy surrogate born families, focus is starting to shift towards this sorely underrepresented demographic.
“For [ilaya], we want to provide solutions for families of all kinds. This is why we’ve partnered with a leading surrogacy provider in California to help all intended parents create their families.” The company says.
Bringing Surrogacy Mainstream
Because of its deep roots in feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, and medical science, surrogacy still remains an odd topic for dinner conversation, but that is rapidly changing. With celebrities from all over the world starting, and continuing, the conversation of surrogacy, the hopes of its normalization abound. Legislation is becoming more favorable for surrogacy in more places. Parents with surrogate born children are becoming less stigmatized in society. Even science is starting to agree that surrogate born children are at no larger risk for psychological problems than those born in other fashions.
Creating the conversation and addressing fears in an open and honest format has allowed surrogacy the commendation it deserves. Celebrities have made it easier to systematically dismantle the erroneous and abusive rhetoric that the procedure has endured in the past. Surrogacy programs, whether in the US or abroad, are helping hopeful parents create beautiful families and lasting relationships. Making it difficult to argue the good that surrogacy brings into the world.
As more and more people are talking about surrogacy, fewer and fewer fears are found to be valid. So, while not all celebrity trends may be enduring or inspiring, the discussions about surrogacy are definitely a bandwagon we are happy to jump on.