May 2, 2009
Age, biology, morality? Pah! Just get out that baby cheque book, girls
1st May 2009
Surrogacy and the city: Sarah Jessica Parker
Baby by proxy? You have to admit it is a neat idea. No mess. Pain-
free. And productive, too, in more ways than one. Especially when,
like Sarah Jessica Parker, you are booked to spend most of the year
making films and directing the sequel to Sex And The City.
Not sitting around getting fat and hormonal in a pair of dungarees,
thank you very much.
Instead, you can get into that new Herve Leger cocktail dress any time
you want. And clip-clop around Manhattan in unsuitable shoes, looking
like a sparkly stick of spaghetti in a wig, as usual.
You can just get on with your life while some other cuckoo hatches the
chicks. So that's just what Sarah Jessica Parker is doing.
The star has defrosted some of her eggs - she prudently donated a
batch some years ago - and got husband Matthew Broderick to bring home
the bacon by fertilising them.
Then she hired a gestational surrogate mother to be pregnant with her
twin girls, who will be born some time this summer. I like it.
It's a bit like renting a supertanker to transport your matching sofas
down the motorway to your new home, instead of strapping them to the
roof of your old banger and staggering around the back roads for nine
long, sweaty months.
During which time your axle will buckle, your back tyre blow and
headlights dim, before falling out of their irreparable, raggedy old
Surely there is a lot to be said for surrogacy. Labour has legislated
so much in favour of mothers in the workplace that many putative
employers avoid all women of child-bearing age as if they were Typhoid
Yet if high-flying killer bimbos could outsource the pesky business of
being pregnant to the economically deprived and desperate, then they
need never have a day off and the employment problem would be solved
in a trice. Triplets all round!
Place an ad on eBay and you, too, could find an impoverished barmaid
willing to bust her varicose veins, and pride, to give birth to your
precious little cargo while you go to board meetings and/or direct
For a price, of course. SJP is reportedly paying her barmaid just over
£20,000 to gestate her babies, not to mention a further £80,000 in
agency fees and medical costs.
Naturally, you must be wealthy to order this kind of unnatural bespoke
birth. The 44-year-old actress and her husband have a six-year-old
son, but are believed to have had trouble conceiving naturally this
Broderick's rumoured affair last year with a 25-year-old youth worker
can hardly have enhanced the romantic atmosphere, but SJP is
Increasingly, rich, powerful and famous women such as Parker do not
have to accept the limitations of their ageing or failing bodies.
Slenderella SJP looks barely capable of carrying a potato in a paper
bag, let alone a baby to term.
Yet neither the caprices of nature nor the moral code of the natural
order seem to apply in her case.
Perhaps we are supposed to applaud such nurturing efforts to extend
the family and indulge what she sees as her inalienable right to be a
Yet I can't help but feel slightly queasy about the whole business.
For there is something morally diminishing about using another human
being as a baby bucket, no matter how many greasy fivers with which
you cross Proxy Mum's palm.
It is not quite as ethically bankrupt as buying a slum kid's kidney,
but this celebrity tendency to bag yourself a baby at any cost does
have its disquieting aspects.
At this very moment, legions of shrieking Hollywood actresses are
scouring the globe for cute babies to bring home to play mummy with.
Look at Meg Ryan, who was between husbands - and still is - when she
flew to China to collect adopted baby Daisy three years ago.
In a 2006 magazine interview, she said: 'I never felt like I was on a
rescue mission or anything like that. I just really wanted a baby; I
was on a mission to connect with somebody.'
Connect? Connect? Why didn't she join an evening class or buy a puppy
if she just wanted to bond with someone or something? Meg, dear girl,
I've got a soldering kit you can borrow for any future moments of
Angelina Jolie, Calista Flockhart, Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow are
also among the U.S. actresses who have chosen to adopt - and often, it
works out fine. The daughters don't always grow up wanting to sleep
with Woody Allen.
Meanwhile, Madonna's legal team are back in the Malawi courts on
Monday to appeal against the dismissal of her application to adopt
Mercy Chifundo James. Mark my words, this woman will not be thwarted.
Like a vampire with a taste for human blood, Madonna has developed a
thirst for Third World quasi-orphans and it cannot easily be
quenched. That girl is going back to America with old Madge if the
pop star has to drag her out of the orphanage with her own manicured
You see, if you are rich and famous, there is no barrier to what kind
of child you buy or whatever means you choose to expand your family.
Of course, adoption and surrogacy can be tremendous forces for good if
done properly and for the right reasons. Yet how often does this
More times than not, it seems to be brokered for the personal
fulfilment of a spoiled celebrity mother, not for the good of the
child. Not at all.