As with the advancement of any progressive social ideal, it is helpful to have assistance from those who are often looked to as trendsetters, and as role models. In late August of 2015, global celebrity Lucy Liu announced the birth of her son, Rockwell Lloyd Liu. When Ms. Liu's representative publicly confirmed that Rockwell was brought into the world via a surrogate mother, the actress joined an ever-growing number of highly esteemed public figures to choose surrogacy as their path to building a family.
Other women from similar circles, who have taken advantage of the availability of surrogacy as an option, include Nancy Fallon, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Nicole Kidman. Saying this, of course, is by no means intended to cut husbands Jimmy Fallon, Matthew Broderick, and Keith Urban out of the picture! Surrogacy is always a family decision.
There are many reasons why a couple might choose to take the route of having a baby through a surrogate mother- here are just seven of the most common:
Same-Sex Couples: Gay couples, most commonly men, will sometimes use donated eggs and the services of a surrogate mother to create a family. At ConceiveAbilities, we are delighted to report that this practice is rapidly gaining in widespread public acceptance, as well as being long validated by the medical community. For more information on the subject, please read our section on same sex parenting.
Age: Many clinics have a specific age range requirement when accepting surrogates or gestational carriers. For ConceiveAbilities, that age range is 21-39 years old.
Personal Decision: As modern family advocates, we believe everyone has the right to build families in the way that supports their personal choices. For some women, surrogacy is not a medical choice, but a social choice.
Lack of a Uterus: The woman in a couple wishing to start a family may not have a uterus. This can be the result of a rare genetic malformation affecting as many as one in twelve thousand women, or the woman may have had her uterus removed. This is sometimes a necessary step in treating such medical conditions as certain forms of cancer. The lack of a uterus precludes any possibility of the woman bearing a child herself.
Uterine Structural Problem: Less severe than the above, a woman might have an inherent condition or uterine defect that makes conception of a child difficult – or which makes it unlikely that a child will be carried to term. Sometimes, a malformation of the uterus can have little impact on conception, but can make it impossible for the woman to actually carry her child to term properly.
Naturally, there are many other reasons for opting to have a child via a surrogate mother, but these six options alone represent tens of thousands of couples in each of dozens of countries around the world – people who could see their dream of a biological child made reality by means of surrogacy.
The privacy of all parents and their families should still be respected, regardless of their social status or fame. ConceiveAbilities believes firmly in the right of a parent's choice as to whether or not they wish to publicly reveal their use of surrogate mothers.
If you or someone close to you might benefit from the use of a surrogate mother in starting a family, consider giving this a read. Our Matching Matters program has helped to connect hopeful intended parents with surrogate mothers since 1996, in countries spread across every permanently inhabited continent. Please consider promoting this blog with a like, a tweet, or a +1, and perhaps spreading the word through an informative post on one or more of your social media accounts!
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.