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Should celebrities hire surrogates?

Surrogate mother Shanna St Clair reveals her experience carrying a baby on behalf of celebrities.

Khloé and Tristan use a surrogate for second child

A surrogate mother for the stars has talked about her experience carrying a surrogate child on behalf of celebrities who are not able to or choose not to have their own children the natural way. Shanna St Clair, a married woman and mother of three of her own children, carried a surrogate child for several celebrity couples, whose names she changed in her story to protect their identity.

Celebrities who have publicly shared that they hired a surrogate include Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Neil Patrick Harris, Jimmy Fallon, Tyra Banks, Elizabeth Banks, Ellen Pompeo, and most recently, Paris Hilton and her husband Carter Reum.

Shanna St Clair signs up for surrogacy

In a story published by the BBC, Shanna St Clair revealed that she had done three successful surrogacies.

“I’ve had two beautiful surrogacy experiences, and one that was terrible and transactional,” the surrogate mother said. “Surrogacy is not for everyone.”

St Clair explains how she got involved with surrogacy. She was intrigued by the prospect as she read about the opportunity in a magazine.

The experience was framed as a “gift” to single people who desire to be parents, or people who cannot have children for biological reasons.

St Clair remembers nothing in the article warning would-be surrogates about the staggering gap in power and wealth that separates the wealthy parents from the surrogate who often signs up for the responsibility due to the hefty paycheck, and expresses concern over this divide in her story.

St Clair and her husband underwent the process in agreement, and tackled mountains of paperwork before they could proceed. They were also examined by a litany of doctors and psychiatrists and had “dozens” of legal meetings with lawyers, as the $50 000 contract was very thorough, covering budget details for travel to the IVF clinic, hotels, meals, and compensation for lost income from her regular job as a hairdresser.

St Clair and the A-Listers

Shanna St Clair realized there was a high demand in Hollywood for surrogate mothers.

Every week I speak to people who are trying for babies, who just had babies, who have lost babies, who can’t have babies, who say they never want babies, who want to try any way to have babies,’’ she said.

St Clair’s first experience as a surrogate was for an A-List celebrity couple she calls Jennifer and Mark, who were warm, engaged in the process, and even held her hand during labor.

Sometimes surrogacy is not so sunny

Things weren’t so sunny when it came to her next surrogacy. St Clair recounted another experience where she was hired as a surrogate by a celebrity she calls Catherine, who came from a famous family and wanted to have a child on her own.

After St Clair became pregnant, she got a call from Catherine, who said that another surrogate she had hired had just given birth — and therefore St Clair’s services were no longer needed.

“Listen, I wanted to tell you before you see it in the news,” Catherine told St Clair on the phone. “I was using another surrogate and she has just given birth.”

St Clair never heard from Catherine again, but later heard the celebrity on a talk show making “disparaging” comments about surrogates.