Olypic gold medalist diver Tom Daley and his husband, Oscar-winning screenwrite Dustin Lance Black, reveal an ultrasound of their son via surrogate on Valentine's Day, 2018 Source: Tom Daley/Instagram

Queer Celebrities and Surrogacy


Representation matters, and inclusion is crucial. LGBTQ+ people, in particular, may find the out and proud careers of openly queer entertainers, athletes, and other prominent people provide a sense that our community is participating in the life of the culture.

For same-sex families, there's a thrilling sense of inclusion in seeing athletes and entertainers like Chrishell Stause and her spouse G Flip tie the knot, or in devouring the details of the lavish 2023 wedding of former NFL player and reality TV star Colton Underwood and his husband, political strategist Jordan C. Brown.

Then there's the recent announcement of NYC celebrity real estate agent and social media influencer Eric Goldie who, with his husband Jeremy Batoff, has embarked on a journey to parenthood through IVF. Goldie and Batoff are partnering with provider IVFMD, which is a member of The Prelude Network, North America's largest and fastest-growing network of fertility clinics.

@ericgoldie Big news to share with you guys. Jeremy and I have been on the (long) journey of #IVF. It has been a rollercoaster of learning, challenges and little victories along the way. And I'm so happy to #partner with IVFMD and The Prelude Network to share our experience with you guys! #WeGetYouSoWeGotYou #husbands #lifeupdate ##IVFMD #couples #ThePreludeNetwork #fertility #fertilityjourney ♬ original sound - ericgoldie

When a famous queer couple, or even a single LGBTQ+ parent-to-be, sets out to build their family using IVF, that heightens visibility of an option for LGBTQ+ families who might not know about it, or who might have heard of it but not really be familiar with it. Pop singer Ricky Martin welcomed twin sons via surrogacy in 2008 – two years before coming out of the closet. Former N*SYNC member Lance Bass and his husband, Michael Turchin, availed themselves of IVF to become fathers in 2021. And just a year after their nuptials, Colton Underwood and Jordan C. Brown announced they are expecting a son this autumn, thanks to a gestational surrogate.

That's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Other out celebrities have also shared their parenting journeys with the world. Cheyenne Jackson and his husband Jason Landau are the proud fathers of twins Willow and Ethan; "Fellow Travelers" star Matt Bomer and his husband Simon Halls are parents to three children – eldest son Kit and younger twins Walker and Henry; and Olympic gold medalist diving champ Tom Daley and his Oscar-winning screenwriter husband Dustin Lance Black dote on their young son, Robbie. All were born via surrogacy. Daley recently shared that it was Robbie sweetly saying, "Papa, I want to see you dive at the Olympics" that melted his heart and helped him decide to compete at this summer's games in Paris.

Lance Bass and Michael Turchin with images of their twins they posted on Instagram
Source: Lance Bass/Instagram

When it comes to fertility interventions for queer families like the ones mentioned above, two prevalent options are Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Simply put, IUI involves depositing a partner or donor's sperm directly into the uterus, where fertilization can take place. IVF is a little more complex, uniting a sperm cell with an ovum (or egg) under controlled laboratory conditions to create an embryo that can then be either implanted right away or frozen for later implantation. Both require a gestational carrier which, in the case of gay males couples, necessitates a surrogate.

The Prelude Network offers LGBTQ+ couples both options. Comprising more than 90 clinics and employing specialists in fertility in 18 cities throughout North America, The Prelude Network allows families around the U.S. and in Canada the chance for in-person consultations to help them determine exactly what route to parenthood will fit their needs and desires best.

You don't have to be a celebrity to make use of IVF and IUI – ordinary people use these medical techniques all the time. But when celebrities share their own stories of family building using IVF, IUI, and/or gestational carriers, it helps demystify something that many queer families may not realize is a valuable option.

Brian Rosenberg, who founded and runs Gay With Kids Academy – a service that offers a range of advising, guiding, and mentoring for LGBTQ+ prospective parents in their family-building journeys – spoke to this point. Rosenberg and his husband have a son through adoption, as well as twins through their own surrogacy journey.

"As far as I'm concerned," Rosenberg said, "we can't have enough LGBTQ+ families who are visible and helping to show the rest of the world what our families look like. When others get to know us, the first thing they realize is, 'Oh, that's just like my family. Those two dads share the same parenting concerns, joys and challenges we do.' For instance, 'They also have a 13-year-old daughter and are dealing with the onset of puberty and friend-related issues.' Or, 'I also struggle with getting my kids to read and putting their screens away!'"

"As long as these portrayals are accurate and positive, they go a long way towards normalizing our family experiences for others," Rosenberg added. "And I've seen first-hand the impact that can have on changing hearts and minds."

Anderson Cooper and son Wyatt
Source: Anderson Cooper / Instagram

From that perspective, out gay couples who happen to be celebrities and who are forthright about their use of reproductive technologies shine a powerful light that helps dispel myths and half-truths, and providers aren't shy about sharing those stories with the LGBTQ+ families that look to them. Aspire Fertility, part of the Prelude Network, shares the story of how, in 2010 – even before they could legally marry – actor Neil Patrick Harris and his husband, David Burtka, welcomed twins via surrogacy. The children (son Gideon and daughter Harper) were conceived using donor eggs, one with Harris' sperm and the other with Burtka's.

Aspire Fertility also shares the story of singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge and her partner at the time, Julie Cypher, becoming mothers when Cypher became pregnant through IUI, giving birth to two children Bailey Jean and Beckett, who were conceived via a donation of sperm from legendary recording artist David Crosby.

Plenty of other celebrity couples have also turned to IVF and surrogacy to help them achieve their family-building dreams. "Queer Eye" star and fashion expert Tan France and his husband Rob have two sons through surrogacy, one born in 2021 and the other in 2023.

Celebrities who are single fathers are also speaking out. Anderson Cooper had already split from his longtime partner, Benjamin Maisani, when, two years after their relationship ended, Cooper became a father via surrogacy to son Wyatt. Despite no longer being a couple, Maisani promptly undertook co-parenting duties and is reportedly even now in the process of becoming Wyatt's second parent through adoption, which helps illustrate just how many shades and nuances there are when it comes to LGBTQ+ families. Cooper and Maisani became co-parents again in 2022 with the arrival, via surrogacy, of Sebastian Luke Maisani-Cooper.

Co-parenting is great, but it, too, is only one of many options. Like heterosexual, cisgender people, some gay celebrities choose to forego co-parenting and raise their kids solo. Talk show host and prolific TV producer Andy Cohen famously became a single father via surrogacy when his son Ben arrived in 2019, followed three years later by a daughter, Lucy.

Whether embarking on family building as a single parent or in a partnered relationship, celebrities speaking out about their IVF and family-building journeys raises awareness, helps to educate the public, and works to abolish stigma around using the innovations of medical science to help realize one of the most primal of human desires: parenthood.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

This story is part of our special report: "Inception Fertility". Want to read more? Here's the full list.