Celebrities Who Used Donor Eggs or a Surrogate

By BA, MA (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 08/01/2016

Nowadays, women do not live pregnancy as they used to a few years ago. Neither do couples in general, who decide to get started with the creation of a family later than before.

While fifty years ago women had children at age 20-25 at the latest, today this is not considered to be the common age to get pregnant for the first time. This phenomenon is known as delayed motherhood and it could be due to occupational, financial or family reasons.

And the same happens in the celebrity world. While many people ask themselves how do older-than-age-40 celebrities have babies, the answer is, in most cases, that they used an egg donor and/or a surrogate.

The following list shall provide you with the names of those stars who either reportedly or presumably used donor eggs and/or a surrogate to have a child.

Also 21st Century society has seen the emergence of many new family types, that is to say, the traditional family type comprised of a man, a woman and a child or children is not the unique family type anymore.

Lesbian couples, single women and men as well as gay couples are increasingly becoming parents. In the majority of the cases, these families, together with those who delay motherhood, are able to do so thanks to assisted reproductive technology (ART), usually combined with the use of donor eggs or sperm.

Nicole Kidman

The 48-year-old veteran actress has four children: Isabella Jane, Anthony Connor, Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret. While Isabella and Anthony were adopted during her marriage with Tom Cruise, Sunday and Faith were born during her second marriage, that is, with her current husband Keith Urban.

When the actress was 43 years old, she got suspiciously pregnant. But she was one of the very few Hollywood actresses who talked openly about her infertility issues to dismiss all the secrecy that usually surrounds this issue.

After her daughter Faith Margaret was born, she made declarations as the following: “No words can adequately describe the incredible gratitude that we feel for everyone who was so supportive throughout this process, in particular our gestational carrier."

Caprice Bourret

Model Caprice also resorted to surrogacy in her early 40s. Not only she got pregnant at this late age, but she had two sons, something that shocked the world when it was made public.

The case of Caprice Bourret is rather particular because each son was carried by a different woman: one via a surrogate and the other one by herself. Each of the babies were delivered just weeks apart.

After this shocking news, model Caprice talked openly to Hello! magazine, stating that whenever anyone asks her if they are twins, she says “yes” because they look so close in age that no one could ever notice they are not actually twins. In fact, she has given them the same birthday.

Mariah Carey

The American singer had twins when she was 41 years old. They were conceived via egg donation, as the singer herself admitted. As a matter of fact, Mariah Carey talked openly about her fertility journey, stating that it was not easy either for her or her husband, Nick Cannon.

The singer admitted she went firstly through acupuncture treatments to get ready for pregnancy. She also used progesterone medications (hormone therapy) to stay pregnant with her twins. As she said, she used this medication during 10 weeks, since it minimized the chances of miscarriage by 50%.

During the gestation period at age 40, the singer experienced huge changes in her life, especially in terms of diet and lifestyle. She admitted having suffered from severe back pain while carrying her twins. In fact, she revealed it was so heavy that she even thought she wouldn’t be able to walk properly again.

Marcia Cross

Marcia Anne Cross, better known as Marcia Cross, is an American TV actress. She is another Hollywood woman who came closest to revealing her pregnancy via egg donation at age 44 without confirming nor denying she used them herself.

The following statement by Cross lead to speculation in this regard as it says “when a woman gets older, they get donor eggs, which doesn’t make the baby any less beautiful or perfect. One’s own eggs only last so long.”

The Desperate Housewives star has been asked about this issue many times, and it was in an interview she gave to Health Magazine when she talked openly about her struggles with infertility.

Marcia Cross is not the only Desperate Wives actress who has experienced her own personal struggle with female infertility: Brenda Strong herself made her fight public as well. The 55-year-old American actress has already a child, Zak Henri, aged 21 now. But when she tried to have a second child in her early 40s, she had to deal with a type of infertility known as secondary infertility. When she finally got pregnant, she suffered a miscarriage and decided not to get started in more fertility treatments.

Currently, Brenda Strong is an experienced yoga practicioner, founder of Strong Yoga®4Women, a community aimed at women fighting against female infertility issues who want to find comfort and strength by helping one another.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker, known to many as Carrie Bradshaw because of her character in the well-known series Sex and the City, used a gestational carrier when she was 44.

She is another of the many actresses who has opened up about getting pregnant via surrogacy. As the case of Mariah Carey or model Caprice, she got twins, and as the actress herself revealed, the journey was not as easy as it seemed.

When she was asked about this process, she admitted being excited, even in disbelief. And the same happened to her husband, Matthew Broderick, and her oldest son, James. She also admitted that she had been trying to conceive for a number of years with no luck, so they decided to explore a variety of ways to do so till they finally aimed for surrogacy.

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon and his wife, Nancy Juvonen, have been together since 2007, that is to say, for 8 years. During this time, the couple have been through a 5-year fertility struggle as the American comedian, television host and producer admitted himself.

Declarations by Fallon such as the following turn out to be actually encouraging for many couples out there in the same situation: "For anyone out there struggling to have a baby, me and my wife went through a bunch of stuff”. The couple used a surrogate to have both of their daughters, Winnie Rose and Frances Cole.

Statements as the afore mentioned were made by the comedian and television host in 2013, before they finally decided to use a surrogate to have a baby. You can see the full interview in the following video:

Neil Patrick Harris

How I met your mother actor Neil Patrick Harris and his husband, David Burtka, used both an egg donor and a gestational carrier in 2010 for their twins, Gideon Scott and Harper Grace. The couple announced they were expecting twins via a surrogate mother the same year.

"We lucked out!" admitted the actor in an interview at Oprah. He also revealed how the process was: “Two eggs, two embryos, one of mine, one of his”. It was the way through which the married couple conceived their fraternal twins.

Besides, while the couple got to know their surrogate mother, their egg donor remained anonymous—it was found through an egg donor bank and they were only able to get information about her medical and personal history. The fact that two embryos were used to have their fraternal twins is considered nowadays a "miracle of science", as they stated to Oprah.

Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin was also another star who used a surrogate to carry his twin babies, Valentino and Matteo, who were born in 2008.

To be precise, in this case the babies were conceived firstly through artificial insemination and later implanted into a gestational carrier, about whom some sources say she was a 26-year-old anonymous woman.

Besides, it may have been the third time she had provided her service, and what's more, her second set of twins.

The Puerto Rican singer opened up in 2014 about parenting, when both of the babies were 5 years old. As usually happens in these cases, a day when the kids asked themselves how they were conceived arrived. As Ricky Martin himself revealed, the question was as sweet as "Papa, was I in your stomach?" and the answer given by Ricky was "You were in my heart and you are still in my heart".

Elton John

The English composer and singer Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish used an egg donor and a gestational carrier twice. As the singer himself admitted, "the birth of our second son completes our family in a most precious and perfect way".

That is how they got their two children, Zachary and Elijah. As it is known, they went through surrogacy in California and the amount they paid to the surrogate, who was the same for both children, was made public soon after they were born.

In 2010, when their first son Zachary was born, the unknown surrogate mother of the baby was given the sum of £17,340 for carrying the pregnancy to term. And the married couple wanted the same woman to be the surrogate mother of their second son Elijah too, so this figure raised up to £21,675.

Lucy Liu

In 2015, the actress of Chinese origin that starred in films such as Kill Bill and Charlie's Angels became a mother after the birth of her son Rockwell Lloyd Liu, who was conceived via surrogacy.

The actress revealed the news through social media. Nevertheless, as a extremely discreet public figure, she preferred not to give further details on how the process developed.

After all the criticism surrounding the issue, and during the promotion of her campaign #HowWeFamily, the actress took the opportunity to talk openly about her maternity and the reasons why she had no alternative but to turn to surrogacy. In this sense, she admitted "I just went ahead and did it ... I didn't realize there was criticism until after I sent out the information that I had my baby through a gestational carrier".

Liu explained afterwards that her pace of work did not allow her to have enough time as to have a relaxed pregnancy.

Tyra Banks

After fellow TV presenter Chrissy Teigen brought up her own fertility troubles, the 42-year-old Californian supermodel revealed on January 2016 she and her boyfriend Erik Asla had used a gestational carrier after "traumatic" IVF struggle to carry their baby son, according to Banks.

For the supermodel, turning to a surrogate was "a beautiful bright light at the end of the tunnel". Tyra Banks was through various IVF failed treatments in the past, and has shown her great support and empathy for women experiencing the same. She opened up in their now cancelled TV Show FABLife, as you can see below:

They have openly thanked the "angel of a woman" who carried their miracle baby boy for them. Prior to making this news public, she had spoken frankly on her struggles to conceive a baby, and admitted her journey has not been an easy process.

Other stars who presumably used donor eggs

While the singer, actors, actresses and stars in general mentioned above have opened up about surrogacy and/or donor eggs, others are not so comfortable with this fertility treatment and have chosen keeping it a secret.

Most famous cases of women who presumably used an egg donor or a surrogate are, for instance, those of Nancy Grace and Geena Davis, who delivered twins at ages 49 and 48 respectively. At this age, having children without the aid of in vitro fertilization or any other fertility treatment is, as we said, rather difficult.

Jane Seymour, Susan Sarandon, Holly Hunter, Halle Berry, Laura Linney, Rachel Zoe, Gwen Stefani and Kelly Preston (John Travolta's wife) are also examples of stars who have every chance of having used donor eggs to get pregnant, since they became pregnant in their mid-forties or even in their early 50s.

In the majority of the cases, suspicion is based simply on their ages, since the truth is, age is a factor, and by the time a woman is in her 40s or older, chances of having a natural pregnancy are as low as 0.8%.

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Authors and contributors

 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
BA, MA
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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