Friends and fans alike were thrilled to hear the news that Giuliana and Bill Rancic are expecting a baby after a long and difficult journey through infertility and Giuliana’s breast cancer treatments.
The couple also made the courageous choice to make public the news that they’re using a gestational surrogate. Surrogacy is a growing option for couples – more than 1,400 babies were born in the U.S. via this method – but it’s not a subject frequently discussed. In fact, experts think many more surrogate births go unreported.
To lift some of the mystery off surrogacy, tomorrow’s Giuliana & Bill episode on the Style network will be followed by a 30-minute special, Giuliana & Bill: Baby Dreams. The show will discuss the myths and facts about gestational carriers and follow couples who chose that option.
In the meantime, we rounded up some information about surrogacy – and some photos of other celebs who chose it – to give you a better idea of just what Giuliana and Bill had to go through to make their dreams come true.
Have a look!
There are different types of surrogacy 1 of 7In "traditional" surrogacy, the surrogate's eggs are used, making her the biological mother. "Gestational" surrogacy, the option used by Giuliana and Bill Rancic - as well as Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban - uses the couple's own embryos, so the surrogate has no biological connection to the child.
The parents choose their own surrogate 2 of 7Typically, parents go through an agency that lets them pick a surrogate mother based on her profile, location and preferences. For instance, some surrogates prefer not to carry a child for a gay couple like Elton John and David Furnish.
Drugs and surgery are involved 3 of 7In gestational surrogacy, the biological mother (like Elizabeth Banks) takes hormones to stimulate egg production. The eggs are then retrieved, fertilized with the father's sperm and implanted in the surrogate. Surrogates also undergo hormone therapy to prepare their uterine lining for the embryos.
Surrogacy is legally complicated 4 of 7Only a few states have formal laws regarding surrogacy, and some forbid it altogether, with stiff fines for violating the law. Still other states restrict surrogacy to heterosexual couples or to couples using gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the intended mother may be required to adopt the baby after birth. Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka had to consider all this before choosing surrogacy. They're now the parents of twins.
Surrogacy doesn’t come cheap 5 of 7The cost of gestational surrogacy can run anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000, plus the extra cost for the biological mother's IVF. A portion of the fee goes to the agency, with the rest going toward the surrogate's living expenses, insurance and other costs. It's a hefty sum even for celebrity moms like Katey Sagal.
It’s not easy for the surrogate, either 6 of 7Women who become surrogates undergo psychological testing and sign lengthy agreements regarding their pregnancy and lifestyle. (A surrogate may be asked to give up risky activities or follow a certain diet.) A woman carrying a child for a celebrity couple assumes other risks, too. The surrogate for Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick was hounded by paparazzi and even received death threats.
It’s an option for older mothers 7 of 7Women in their 40s often struggle to get pregnant, even though their eggs may still be viable. Using a gestational surrogate may be an older couple's best choice if they want a biological child. Angela Bassett and her husband, Courtney B. Vance, used a gestational surrogate in their 40s after numerous failed fertility treatments. They're now parents of a twin son and daughter.
[Photos: via PacificCoastNews.com]
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