The Power of Diverse Journeys: 4 LGBTQ+ Celebrities Who Shared Their Family-Building Stories
Posted on June 16th, 2023
By generously sharing their family-building journeys, celebrities are raising LGBTQ+ awareness and encouraging change. Their inspirational experiences help to normalize the public’s perception of LGBTQ+ families, as well as of assisted reproduction technologies (ART), such as surrogacy and egg donation. In honor of Pride Week, Aspire Fertility applauds each of these famous individuals for their candidness and bravery.
Lance Bass and Michael Turchin
On their four-year journey to becoming parents, Lance Bass and his husband Michael Turchin have openly discussed their ups and downs. They have publicly spoken about their personal challenges with surrogacy and in-vitro fertilization (IVF). In a 2019 news interview with ET Online, Bass revealed that their surrogate tragically lost a pregnancy to miscarriage at eight weeks gestation. In addition to going through a miscarriage, the couple reportedly, "went through so many different egg donors, and we got almost to the point of doing the transfer, and then we had to find a new egg donor. So, that happened nine times just trying to find the right egg donor after starting that journey with them."
Bass and Turchin both admitted that it was hard to get their hopes up during the process and then have them dashed when things didn't work out. Bass explained that they were fortunate enough to have a good support system. "Pretty much every single couple that we knew miscarried their very first time, so that comforted us, and, you know, it felt like we were part of a nice community," he explained to ET Online.
But the couple didn’t give up. In October 2021, they welcomed twins Alexander and Violet into the world. Their story serves as a reminder that family-building paths can be complex and unpredictable, but with perseverance and support, dreams of parenthood can come true. The couple’s journey has been an inspiration for many LGBTQ+ couples and individuals navigating the path to parenthood.
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
"How I Met Your Mother" actor Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka have twins, a boy, and a girl, named Harper and Gideon. Their family, which has grown through surrogacy, has significantly impacted the public, and the couple strongly advocates for the rights of LGBTQ+ parents.
The couple was ecstatic to find out they were expecting fraternal twins with the help of a surrogate and egg donor almost seven years after they met. "We inserted two eggs, one with my sperm, one with David's sperm, and they both took," Harris told HuffPost. Burtka described holding their twins shortly after birth as “just absolute joy”’ and goes on to say, "We had two babies that we made. With help."
Anderson Cooper welcomed his first son Wyatt Morgan via surrogate in 2020.
Today, the CNN News Anchor is a father twice over. His second son, Sebastian Luke Maisani-Cooper, was welcomed via surrogate in 2022.
Although Cooper is a single parent today, he explained on his show Anderson Cooper 360 that he plans to co-parent both of his children (Sebastian and Wyatt) with his ex-partner Benjamin Maisani. “Wyatt calls me 'daddy' and Benjamin 'papa.' We're a family. Benjamin is also in the process of adopting Wyatt, whose last name will be changed to Maisani-Cooper as well," Anderson explained in a People Magazine interview.
Cooper's journey to parenthood as a single father has shed light on the diverse paths of parenthood opportunities available within the LGBTQ+ community.
Melissa Etheridge has been an LGBTQ+ rights activist for some time, but her activism is based on real-life situations, rather than politics. Her strength, according to The Guardian, was always talking openly about the things she was most passionate about, like LGBTQ+ rights.
During Etheridge’s partnership with Julie Cypher in the late ’90s, Cypher had two children via sperm donation, which was famously provided by singer-songwriter David Crosby, and artificial insemination; the children were named Bailey Jean and Beckett.
Later, in 2010, Etheridge had twins – a daughter Johnnie Rose and a son Miller Steven – with a second life partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, this time using an anonymous sperm donor. “The creation of life brings about immeasurable love, and pours hope into the future. The joy will help carry us through our upcoming sleepless nights,” the couple was quoted as saying in a Today Show interview.
Learn About Your Family-Building Options
Celebrities like these, and many others, are using their influence to share their personal family-building stories, challenges, and successes to help break down stereotypes and promote understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ+ families. To learn about LGBTQ+ family building options, schedule a consultation, or register for a virtual event hosted by our LGBTQ ambassador, click here.