Paid Surrogacy Boom 2021 – The Golden Age of Status Surrogacy Has Arrived

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When most people are getting ready to have children, they head to the bedroom. Fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra and her husband, real estate investor Seth Weissman, visited a restaurant. With another couple.

“Our friends Jordan and Richie had gone through the surrogacy process and they gave us a list of agencies to consider,” Weissman said, referring to Broadway producer Jordan Roth and her husband Richie Jackson. “We talked about everything. He and Altuzarra welcomed a little girl at the end of 2019.

Much like the concept of camp, Lady Gaga and ‘Queen Yaasss’, surrogacy is something gay men developed before culture in general caught up. After complications from her first two pregnancies, Kim Kardashian gave birth to her third and fourth children, Chicago and Psalm, with Kanye West in 2018 and 2019. Gabrielle Union, Cameron Diaz, Ricky Martin, Kristen Wiig, have since noted Honorary Spaniard Hilaria Baldwin. , and Real housewives Honcho Andy Cohen all had babies (twins in Wiig and Martin’s cases) through a surrogate mother. A year after Cohen’s son was born, boyfriend Anderson Cooper welcomed a boy through a surrogate, and in May, YouTube director Derek Blasberg and his partner shared the news of their twins.

Over the summer, Blasberg posted on Instagram a photo of the group during a performance of Madonna in New York, captioning: “Daddies. (No, really.)” The New York To post can call notable matriarchs at the end of life like Janet Jackson and Naomi Campbell, who would have employed surrogate mothers, “geriatric moms”. Except none of those top moms and dads are over the hill. In fact, they’re healthy, they’re thriving, and they’re everywhere. Get used to it.

Designer Joseph Altuzarra and his daughter Emma in his fall 2020 advertising campaign.

Courtesy of Joseph Altuzarra

Twenty years ago, assisted reproductive technology was, uh, in its infancy; 727 children were born by surrogate mother in 1999, when the Centers for Disease Control began to follow. The number had risen to 3,432 in 2013 and continued to climb. The lack of more recent figures may be due to privacy concerns and the stigma that remains around infertility. But that is starting to change thanks to social media and more transparency from parents, including public figures and LGBTQ couples, to discuss their journeys.

In September, Union opened up about the birth of her daughter with husband Dwyane Wade in her memoir, Do you have something stronger?, writing: “If I tell the fullness of our stories, of our three lives together, I must speak the truths I live with. And last year New York, with its high concentration of media figures and influencers, became the 47th state to legalize paid surrogacy, which may explain Instagram’s baby boom.

Among the best-known surrogacy agencies is Growing Generations, which opened in Los Angeles in 1996. Today, it initiates about 100 births per year; one was Cohen’s son, Ben. Teo Martinez, one of the firm’s four partners, says celebrity clients are a big part of his business.

Courtesy

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“Confidentiality is an important thing,” he says. “Some clients will discuss this after birth, but during pregnancy they want a high level of confidentiality and a limited number of people on a case.”

Like so much else available to the wealthy, surrogacy can be very personalized. Parents can be as involved as they want, or they can let an agency act as a kind of concierge service. Growing Generations charges a flat fee, typically $ 25,000- $ 40,000, but its rate for the VIP package is $ 100,000, for which you get one of the business partners to act as a contact for a unlimited amount of handling. (The package represents about 10 percent of the company’s business.)

As with so many things in life, the rich pay for convenience and how they want to exercise it. The process itself can cost expectant parents between $ 145,000 and $ 250,000 (although some employers offer generous fertility / surrogacy benefits of up to $ 100,000). This total includes the surrogate’s fees, the agency bill, medical care, related expenses, as well as payments for egg donors, IVF treatments and all legal work to establish guardianship of the new born. The choice of carrier is entirely up to the future parents, whatever their income; they all have the opportunity to review the profiles of potential surrogates and usually interview several before deciding who they think is the best match.

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Melissa Brisman, CEO and Founder of Reproductive Possibilities in New Jersey, also speaks to high net worth individuals, including Altuzarra and Weissman. She offers a package that includes private hospital rooms, her personal presence at the birth and a security that goes beyond the normal expectation of discretion.

“It’s a very private and intimate part of their life, and they don’t want it exposed for profit,” she says. “It is unfortunate that they are subjected to all the normal worries of surrogacy, as well as the annoying problem of journalists writing all over their infertility. Star magazine.”

This is not the only reason that the real names of all parties involved remain confidential throughout the pregnancy. “We’re doing it more to protect carriers,” says Brisman. “Celebrities are used to having their privacy invaded. The carriers are not.

There are two types of surrogacy. In the traditional approach, a woman carries one of her own fertilized eggs to term. In the now more common method, surrogacy, she carries a fertilized egg from an egg donor. Ideal carriers are women under 38 who have already had a child in the past decade (and no more than five years), who are financially stable, and who live in a state where paid surrogacy is legal. . Less than 2% of applicants end up qualifying for the job. If they do, beginners can earn anywhere from $ 47,000 to $ 58,000, says Martinez. For their second time, they can add between $ 5,000 and $ 35,000 to their fees.

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Some say the pandemic has sparked a wave of interest in surrogacy, but it has also introduced new wrinkles to the procedure. Do you think that traveling abroad is complicated these days? Consider the challenges of childbirth in today’s public health environment, in addition to the complexities, sensitivities, and obstacles of navigating this costly and emotionally draining process. Agencies can view new parents online and connect them to carriers through Zoom, but as with everything else, politics has entered the conversation: All parents want their carrier to be vaccinated, and that’s not always the case. case.

As for Weissman and Altuzarra, Brisman found them a surrogate mother who gave them Emma, ​​who is now a beautiful two-year-old girl and has already made her fashion debut, appearing in one of the designer’s ad campaigns. alongside other important women in his life: his mother Karen and grandmother Jeannette. Weissman and Altuzarra are, in many ways, the opposite of the carrier and her husband, but the arrangement worked perfectly.

“They couldn’t have been more loving, and it’s an incredible gift,” says Weissman. “We have received them at our homes in New York and Long Island a few times. Everyone stays in touch, and now that they know all the modern birds and bees, they pay next. Just as Weissman and Altuzarra have already benefited from the wisdom of others, they are happy to spread the gospel, even if it is one dinner at a time.

This story appears in the November 2021 issue of City Country. SUBSCRIBE NOW

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