Khloe Kardashian Admits She Feels “Less Connected” To Her Baby Because He Was Born Via Surrogate
Khloe Kardashian says she "feels less connected" to her baby, Tatum, who was born via surrogacy.
In a heartbreaking episode of Hulu's The Kardashians, Khloe Kardashian says she feels "guilty" over her lack of connection to her son Tatum, and wishes that others would have been more "honest" with her about the realities of surrogacy. The 38-year-old sat with Kim Kardashian and Scott Disick to discuss the "transactional" experience she called a "mind f*ck."
Khloe and her ex Tristan Thompson welcomed their baby Tatum in July 2022, but she revealed that it didn't register she was having a kid until she got to the hospital.
Kim, who carried her first two kids – North and Saint – explains that it's different when the baby is in your belly. "I do think there is a difference when the baby is in your belly; the baby actually feels your real heart. There is no one else on this planet who will feel you from the inside like that," she said.
"People can connect in different ways, some cannot connect," Kim adds, and Scott asks Khloe, "So do you feel less connected?" Khloe admits to the disconnect and blames the "transactional" circumstances.
“I felt really guilty that this woman just had my baby,” she says. “I take the baby, and I go to another room, and you’re sort of separated. It’s such a transactional experience ’cause it’s not about him.”
“I wish someone was honest about surrogacy and the difference of it,” she shares, stating it's not a bad thing. “It’s still great, it’s just very different.”
The global surrogacy industry grew to an estimated $14 billion in 2022 and is predicted to rise to $129 billion in the next decade. While the practice is often "touted" as an empowering way for women to become mothers, the reality is that it's often mistreated and deepens the class divides.
Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Amber Heard, Priyanka Chopra, Tyra Banks, and Paris Hilton are among the celebrities who have used surrogates. According to Investopedia, the average cost of the procedure in the U.S. is around $100,000, a total that includes fertility treatments, embryo creation, surrogate compensation, and hospital fees. Circle Surrogacy states that surrogate mother pay varies, and they typically earn a base compensation of $30,000 to $40,000, a wage many deem inadequate due to the emotional and physical demands of pregnancy and childbirth. And, it's not unheard of for vulnerable women to seek potentially harmful avenues to make money, including surrogacy and egg donation.
Like Khloe, many high-profile individuals treat surrogacy as a transactional process, perceiving the child as a commodity rather than recognizing the profound human connection and responsibility involved. This can result in a lack of emotional attachment or bonding between the intended parents and the child, negatively affecting the child's well-being and development.
It may seem like surrogate mothers have agency – they did opt for the process after all – but the mother is treated like someone else's property as she carries her baby. Perhaps the real cost of this procedure isn't the price tag, but that it reduces a woman's body to a mere vessel, a body to be rented. The real harm of surrogacy is the devaluation of women, their bodies, and their nature.
Support our cause and help women reclaim their femininity by subscribing today.