Couples facing infertility still have childbearing options available. For those who decide to forgo medical treatments, they may choose to build a brood by alternative means. Additionally, some hopeful moms and dads that can have biological offspring prefer to share their love with living children in need. We've spent the past week looking at domestic and international adoptions and surrogacy and the costs and benefits of these options. Which one would you be most likely to pursue?
We've spent the week celebrating the ways families are created with in-depth looks at adoption and surrogacy. Some of Hollywood's most famous clans include children who came together through these alternative means. We've rounded up some of our favorite celebrity blended families starting with the Jolie-Pitts who have welcomed offspring from Vietnam, Ethiopia and Cambodia via international adoption and biological babies as well. Brad and Angelina prove that the love parents have for their youngsters knows no bounds. Check out our other choices.
The true sisterhood of women is showcased when one woman carries a child for another. Domestic and international adoptions may be the most common ways families introduce nonbiological children into their lives, but last year's movie Baby Mama and Sarah Jessica Parker's recent addition of twins have made surrogacy a common topic. Though there are no national statistics on the practice, it is estimated that approximately 1,000 such births occur each year.
After dealing with infertility and still desiring a family, some couples turn to another woman to carry their baby. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is artificially inseminated, by either the child-to-be's father or an anonymous donor, while in gestational surrogacy, an egg is removed from the future child's mother and fertilized with sperm from either the father or an anonymous donor. The fertilized egg is then implanted in the carrier via IVF. Similar to the adoption process, families interested in surrogacy often work with an agency to help them find a suitable surrogate, handle the legal issues that the transaction involves, and help them through the process.
Qualifications: Similar to adoption, families meet and register with an agency to learn about the process. and to find a carrier. In general, agencies require carriers to be between 23-38 years old, have previously had at least one child on their own, be married or in a serious relationship, undergo a complete medical and psychological evaluation, and be financially stable.
To see the rest of our look at surrogacy, including a chart of the states where it is legal, read more
This week we're celebrating the ways families are created. From domestic and international adoption to using a surrogate, celebrities have become the faces of alternative means since they are in the spotlight. See if you can guess how these celebabies entered their parents' lives.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick introduced the newest additions to their family, Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge this evening. The twins, born on June 22 via a surrogate, join big brother James Wilkie, 6, at the family's home in New York City. When the actors announced their impending twins, they discussed their struggle to conceive another child and their decision to turn to a surrogate. We can only hope that the new cuties don't fight too much over their mom's closet full of goodies!
Sarah Jessica Parker and her hubby, Matthew Broderick were thrilled to announce that they were expecting twin additions via surrogate last month. But now the couple, already parents to son, James, 6, fear for the safety of the woman carrying their daughters as her identity has been discovered and her computer and phone were hacked into. The pregnant woman has also received threats. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Sarah Jessica said:
"I care deeply about her, and I am incredibly outraged by the sort of extraordinary and unprecedented invasion of her privacy. I think even given the unfortunate way we live now ... it has still shocked me, and it has still really disappointed me."
This is a concern for any mother wishing to protect her children, but being that the Sex and the City star lives such a high profile life — do you think she should have been so open about her impending babes?
The will to donate one's organs is as simple as a sticker affixed to a driver's license in many states, but preserving the deceased person's sperm for relatives to reproduce after the death seems to be a bit more of a gray area. A grieving wife may ask for a loved one's sperm so she can fulfill her dreams of bearing her late husband's child. Should this privilege extend to other family members?
Recently, a mother in Texas asked for her 21-year-old's sperm because she plans to eventually find a surrogate to carry her late son's child. Do you think loved ones should have this power or should people be required to register for this much like organ donation in the event of death?
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick have announced they are expecting twin girls this Summer with the help of a surrogate mother. The couple, who EW reports is "overjoyed," has supposedly been trying for more children for years, and finally turned to surrogacy to make it happen. Sarah and Matthew are mom and pop to 6-year-old political tot and daddy's boy James Wilkie. Congratulations to the lucky family — here's hoping the girls have Sarah's passion for fashion!
For some couples with fertility issues, adoption and surrogacy can be their only options for fulfilling dreams of having a family. But, not everyone involved in the baby business is on the up and up. Consider the adoptive parents that found out their Samoan children had been stolen from their biological parents and placed in America under false pretenses by Focus On Children adoption agency. Thirty-seven children were involved, but the agents who facilitated the placements were charged with just misdemeanors.
It's equally devastating to think about the hopeful parents now caught in the midst of SurroGenesis's situation. Couples placed money in trust funds for the company to pay their surrogates, but the money went missing. One report said:
On one level, this looks like any other financial scandal. But the pregnancies add a whole new dimension. Around 70 people are affected. At least one pregnancy plan was reportedly suspended just before extracting the eggs that were to be used. In two other reported cases, the surrogates are in their third trimester. But what about the pregnancies in the middle—too late to call off the fertilization or implantation but not too late for abortion?
Some couples have managed to pay, out of their own funds, the monthly installments that the companies had promised to the surrogates. But others can't. A lawyer involved in the case says, "We've got couples in the midst of pregnancies with no ability to pay the surrogate."
If you are seeking alternative ways to start or complete your family, make sure and do extensive research.