Grimes and Elon Musk have second child through surrogacy – here’s how it works

Grimes and Elon Musk have second child through surrogacy – here’s how it works

Elon Musk and Grimes, real name Claire Elise Boucher, have secretly welcomed a baby daughter together, two years after she gave birth to their first child X.

The Genesis hitmaker was forced to announce the news during an interview with Vanity Fair after her youngest began wailing in another room as the chat took place.

During the pandemic the on/off couple has been able to keep their latest addition to the family quiet, and they named her Exa Dark Sideræl Musk – but call her Y.

Elon, 50, and Canadian singer Grimes, 33, decided to split in 2021 following three years together but describe their relationship as "very fluid" and see each other "all the time".

Last month Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas surprised fans by announcing that they had welcomed their first child together, a baby born via surrogate.

And they’re not the only celebrities who have welcomed a child through surrogacy – famous faces including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick and Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have all opened up about their experiences.

Following this, OK! asked an expert about how surrogacy works and what steps are involved in treatment.

“It’s no surprise that we increasingly see more celebrities becoming parents via surrogate,” says Dr Timothy Bracewell-Milnes, Consultant Gynaecologist and Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at the Lister Fertility Clinic (part of HCA Healthcare UK).

“Recent reports show that the number of parents having a baby using a surrogate in England and Wales has quadrupled in the last 10 years.”

With figures increasing, there are many different reasons why parents-to-be may opt for surrogacy when starting a family, such as fertility issues, being in a same sex relationship or not wanting to go through pregnancy themselves.

“People who might consider surrogacy include those who have previously tried IVF cycles or other assisted fertility treatments that have unfortunately not resulted in success,” explains Dr Bracewell-Milnes.

“Other patients that choose surrogacy have medical conditions that make it too dangerous to go through pregnancy or give birth themselves. It is also common for same-sex male couples to use a surrogate.”

What is surrogacy and what does it involve?

“Surrogacy is the process of a woman carrying a baby for someone else who is unable to conceive or carry a child themselves for medical or physical reasons,” says Dr Bracewell-Milnes. “The intended parent(s) will become the legal guardian of the child born through surrogacy.”

He adds that there are two main types of surrogacy arrangements:

Gestational surrogacy

“Gestational, or host, surrogacy is when there is no genetic connection between the baby and the surrogate,” says Dr Bracewell-Milnes. “The eggs of the intended mother or donor, and the sperm from the intended father or donor, are fertilised in the laboratory through IVF, resulting in embryos that are transferred into the womb of the surrogate mother.”

Traditional surrogacy

“Alternatively, and less common today, is traditional surrogacy,” he says. “This involves a biological connection between the surrogate and the baby, where the surrogate becomes pregnant through artificial insemination of the intended father’s or donor’s sperm.”

What should people do before choosing surrogacy?

1. Be transparent

“Be open and honest with yourself, your partner, your surrogate, and the fertility specialist so that everyone is on the same page,” explains Dr Bracewell-Milnes.

“You should be informed of what each side expects from the surrogacy process and how you intend to deal with any issues that arise. If someone has strong opinions about a particular issue, such as the surrogate's lifestyle during pregnancy, they should be open about it."

2. Evaluate the lifestyle changes required

“Consider the emotional, financial, and physical consequences of becoming a parent through surrogacy such as the monetary cost of childcare, or the social cost of having less free time,” he says. “Naturally, a baby needs looking after at all hours of the day or night, and this can take a physical and mental toll on some.”

3. Get legal advice

If you use a surrogate, they will be the child’s legal parent at birth and legal parenthood can be transferred after the child is born by parental order or adoption. As a result, getting legal advice is important when embarking on this journey, says the expert.

“Seek independent legal advice before proceeding with surrogacy treatments. To ensure the intended parents are granted complete legal custody of the child following the birth, a legal contract will need to be drafted and signed between parties stipulating this."

4. Prepare yourself for the highs and lows

“Be aware that surrogacy may not be successful the first time, or at any time,” warns Dr Bracewell-Milnes. “Prepare yourself for the highs but also the lows of the journey and surround yourself with an emotionally supportive system and network of loved ones.”

5. Maintain regular communication

“Stay in touch with the fertility specialist and your surrogate throughout the pregnancy. There should be ongoing communication between all parties, not just for your own peace of mind as the intended parent, but also to guarantee the health of the surrogate and child.”

What are the different stages of the surrogacy process?

Surrogacy begins with a consultation with a fertility profession who will discuss the processes involved, allowing surrogates and the intended parents to decide whether surrogacy is the right thing for them.

“Before any treatment can be provided, all parties participating in surrogacy agreements must undergo screening in accordance with HFEA current standards,” he explains.

Parents-to-be will then need to find a suitable surrogate before moving onto the next step which is conception at a fertility clinic.

“If it is a gestational surrogacy, the process will start with retrieving the eggs from the intended mother or donor. Embryos will subsequently be created through IVF using the intended father's sperm or donor sperm,” says Dr Bracewell-Milnes. “The embryos will be transferred to the surrogate when they have been fertilised.

“If the surrogate's pregnancy is successful, she will carry on with her pregnancy; if not, the intended parents and surrogate may contemplate another IVF cycle.”

How do you find a surrogate?

When it comes to finding a surrogate, many people turn to friends or family members while others go through a surrogacy agency. Either way, it’s important to find a good match.

“It is also typical for the intended parent(s) and surrogate to meet with counsellors separately and jointly to discuss the ethical, legal, and social implications of surrogacy. This will include checks on the surrogate's health, lifestyle, and reproductive history.”

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