Surrogacy has been normalized greatly over the last few years, especially in Hollywood. Lance Bass, former NSYNC member and entrepreneur, is a father of twins with Michael Turchin. Their 2-year-old twins are named Violet Betty and Alexander James; he has recently opened up about their toddler milestones. They are becoming more affectionate, have started speaking, and are growing an interest in learning. In an interview with Yahoo Life, Bass expresses his delight in seeing them discover new words, particularly body parts, due to their favorite YouTube children’s show, Ms. Rachel. With their newfound fascination with anatomy and books, Bass is hopeful that the toddlers will develop a love for reading. However, the first year of their life was riddled with disconnect due to the fact that they were born through surrogacy.
Lance Bass Admits It Was Difficult To Connect with His Children Who Were Born via Surrogacy
Bass candidly shared that he and Turchin struggled in their conception journey. Over three years, the couple experienced two full rounds of IVF with a surrogate, one of which resulted in a pregnancy loss at six weeks. They also worked with 10 different egg donors before finally achieving success. At one point, Bass admitted that he doubted whether he was supposed to be a parent or not because it was so hard.
“Us trying to get pregnant was a difficult time,” Bass shared. “It took us three years to finally get these kids... But you keep going forward, and the universe gives you what you need when you need it."
This challenging process amplified their appreciation for the twins’ small yet impactful milestones, but it was difficult in the beginning for them to truly connect with their children.
"The first year, they wouldn't give me any love," he said. "They never hugged, they never wanted to snuggle, and I was so upset about it. Because they would do that with my mom. My mom would come over, and boom, they’d snuggle with her."
The children are loving now that they're a little older, but at first, there was very little affection and physical interaction. Bass refers to the children's mother as "the donor" and says his son looks just like her. "It's crazy," he said. The couple maintains a connection with both the surrogate who carried the twins and their egg donor, whom Bass calls "angel moms."
Bass advocates for others going through similar struggles to persist, seek comfort in their community, and remember they are not alone. Their journey allowed them to meet many couples who shared their experiences, providing much-needed stress relief. Nowadays, Bass frequently turns to his closest friends, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and JoAnna Garcia, for parenting advice. As each friend is a parent to either only boys or only girls, he considers them his experts for questions about either Violet or Alexander.
“Know that other people are going through the same thing,” Bass gave advice to aspiring parents. “In doing our journey, we met so many couples that went through exactly the same thing that we did. It really relieves a lot of stress.”
Bass certainly isn't the only celebrity to have children via surrogate. Just a few weeks ago, Khloe Kardashian admitted on The Kardashians that she is really struggling to connect with her son, who another woman gave birth to. Kardashian expressed guilt over the "transactional" experience, wishing for more honesty about the realities of surrogacy.
The 38-year-old, alongside Kim Kardashian and Scott Disick, reflected on the journey on camera, admitting she didn't feel like she was having a child until arriving at the hospital. Kim, who carried her first two children, shares her belief that carrying a child creates a unique bond. Scott queried Khloe's connection to Tatum, and she conceded to feeling a disconnect, attributing it to the transactional circumstances of surrogacy. Khloe's admission reflects an overlooked side of the surrogacy industry, a rapidly growing sector projected to reach $129 billion in the next decade. While lauded as an empowering option for women, it often exacerbates class divides and may lead to emotional complexities for the intended parents and child.
Of course, parents like Kardashian and Bass are going to feel disconnected from their child. Their baby had an incredibly intimate, unique experience growing for nine months in another woman's belly, only to be taken away at birth by complete strangers. Even if the child will learn to connect with their adoptive parent later, that trauma they experience early on has significant neurological, physiological, and emotional effects that play a big role in shaping their infancy. Surrogacy is a difficult topic to approach because there are now many women who are taking that route due to infertility, but it's a discussion that needs to be had, as we're seeing many people step forward and be honest enough about the effects it has on parents and children.
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