Kim Kardashian and the Infertility Shame Game

Has the entire world lost its damn mind? Really. People actually think Kim Kardashian wants to use a surrogate so she doesn’t get fat? Or that she’s lying about her placenta accreta? Or that she shouldn’t have another one because she doesn’t spend time with the ones she has? No, no…it’s true. People actually think (and worse…say) these things.

And these are just two examples of HUNDREDS of comments on ONE article about it.

I don’t know where to start. First…is this really what you’re spending your effort and concern (Syria anyone?)? Second, you have to be kidding me. If not getting gaining weight is her reason for using a surrogate, don’t you think she would have used one for her second child? Heck, for her first if we’re going to go that far. Plus, she has far better personal trainers than most of us common folks – I doubt she has trouble with the motivation to lose a little extra baby weight. Let’s not even talk about her personal chef probably cooking her delicious, healthy meals. Point being…pretty sure she’s got more resources than most to bounce back to pre-baby shape.

And I’m pretty sure her uterus or any problems with her uterus are private and shouldn’t really be up for discussion. And last, but not least, people are judging her on how much time she does/doesn’t spend with her kids?  Pretty sure no one commenting is around her for any extended period of time to see if that is true. And if it is…and people weren't allowed to have more kids because they didn’t spend the “right” amount of time with their current kid(s), our population would shortly die off.

Women, Sanctimommies, Pinterest Moms, Judgy McJudsters, hell…even MEN — we have to STOP shaming each other over things like this. According to RESOLVE 1 in 8 couples experience infertility. Think about your circle of friends. Now think about how many of that circle it means are silently struggling. Do you think they really care if they “get fat” if it means they can have that baby they so desperately desire? The reasons that push people to use a surrogate are personal and heartbreaking. I also haven’t seen anyone making fun of Nicole Kidman, Tyra Banks, Sarah Jessica Parker, Elizabeth Banks, Lucy Liu, Katey Segal, Angela Bassett, Ricky Martin, Sir Elton John or Neil Patrick Harris for turning to surrogacy (admittedly, a few on that list are missing a uterus in their pairing, making the decision substantially different).

Using a surrogate is a huge decision. Many people go through a major period of mourning when they are told it’s their only option forward. Think about it — movies tell you that it just takes having sex once and *boom* you get pregnant. Imagine going through years of trying and it doesn’t happen?  The feeling that your body has let you down can be intense. Worse, imagine it working and you repeatedly having to go through the agony of miscarriage. And then to hear comments like the ones above? Completely unfair!

The reality is that IVF technology is a fantastic thing that helps so many people achieve their dreams of a family, and women who are willing and able to act as gestational carriers are angels on Earth to the parents they help who desperately want to expand their family. For many it is the *only* way they can have children — do they really deserve to be shamed for that? Absolutely not. It’s a disgusting attitude and beyond insensitive and unfair to those who use a gestational surrogate.

Let’s stop the current mindset of shame surrounding not being able to carry your own child (and the shame for everything else for that matter). In fact, let’s celebrate the bravery, determination, and love that is shown as families of all types move through a gestational surrogacy. Celebrity or not, the pain of not being able to carry a child is the same. 

Jennifer White is owner and co-director of Colorado Surrogacy, LLC. She spends a disproportionate amount of every day talking about periods and sperm and loves every second of it. Reach her through her blog, “Heartbeat,” Facebook and Twitter.