In honor of Father’s day, we want to highlight seven celebrity dads who overcame infertility on their path to fatherhood. Infertility and the struggle to have children is a health condition that impacts approximately 7.4 million people. In a single year, approximately 1.9% of all infants born in the United States are conceived using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). The fact is only one-third of infertility cases are attributed to female factors. Research shows that the other one-third are attributed to male factors, and one-third are attributable to both partners or unknown reasons.
Journey to become a father
Despite the statistics, infertility is still viewed and discussed from almost primarily a woman’s perspective. This stigma is beginning to change as more men share their journey to fatherhood. In recent years, celebrities have begun to share their struggles with infertility to help others know that they are not alone in this journey and that infertility can affect anyone. Here are seven celebrity dads who have endured infertility on their path to fatherhood.
Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon and his wife, film producer Nancy Juvonen, have been very open about their fight with infertility. After trying five years to conceive without any luck, they turned to surrogacy. Thankfully, surrogacy worked, and they were able to welcome two daughters, Winnie and Frances. Learn more about their journey to parenthood.
British Celebrity Chef Gordon and Tana Ramsey, television broadcaster and author, were part of the one-third group of couples where infertility is the combination of both partners. Tana discovered she had polycystic ovarian syndrome while Gordon discovered he had a low sperm count because of years of working in a hot kitchen. After going through in vitro fertilization (IVF), Tana and Gordon welcomed their daughter Megan in 1998, twins Holly and Jack in 1999 and Matilda in 2002. Listen to Gordon Ramsay as he explored the topic of male infertility with experts and the impact that a diet can have on sperm production and fertility.
Documentary Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, known for his film Super Size Me, made waves in the infertility community through his documentary Vegas Baby that aired on PBS and Netflix. The film, directed by Andrea Micheli, followed aspiring parents as they competed for a chance to win free IVF treatment from a Las Vegas infertility clinic. The movie shined a light on the financial and emotional toll that couples face during their infertility journey. Spurlock is no stranger to the personal toll infertility has on a couple. He and his wife spent $60,000 on fertility treatments, including IVF, to have his son Kallen.
Singer-Songwriter John Legend and wife and model, Chrissy Teigen turned to in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive their daughter Luna. In a Cosmopolitan interview, the singer said, “We’re lucky that we’re living in an age where we can conceive in other ways. (IVF) brought us Luna and hopefully it will bring us a few more awesome kids, too.” Both John and Chrissy have been outspoken about their journey and the impact infertility had on them.
Actor and singer Hugh Jackman, best known for his portrayal of Wolverine in the X-men movies, and wife and actress Deborra-Lee Furness discovered that becoming parents wasn’t as easy as they had hoped. After years of IVF treatments and several miscarriages, the couple turned to adoption for their son Oscar and daughter Ava. In an interview, Jackman said, “The miscarriage thing, it apparently happens to one in three pregnancies. But it’s very, very rarely talked about. It’s almost secretive, you know, so I hope Deb doesn’t mind me bringing it up now.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg and wife and pediatrician Dr. Priscilla Chan have ushered along the conversation of infertility by openly sharing their two-year journey to conceive, including the three miscarriages they endured. They have two daughters, August and Max. “In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together,” Zuckerberg said. “It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope. When we started talking to our friends, we realized how frequently this happened — that many people we knew had similar issues and that nearly all had healthy children after all.”
Former President Barack Obama and wife and First Lady Michelle Obama turned to IVF after suffering a miscarriage. Both of their daughters, Sasha and Malia, were born with the help of infertility treatments. While Michelle has been candid about her experience with infertility in her memoir, Becoming Michelle, former President Barack Obama has not broached the topic in recent interviews.
Infertility takes a toll
The emotional, mental, physical and financial toll of infertility is one of the common threads of each of these celebrity dad stories. While there is hope in the medical advancements and successes of IVF, there is also community in sharing the stories of personal loss and triumph endured along the journey to parenthood. There are resources now available changing the landscape of infertility treatment.
One such Texas company began with the desire to help families overcome the costs of infertility in an affordable and practical way. Specifically, LifeSpring Insurance Services has created a unique and revolutionary fertility insurance policy that you can purchase for any minor under the age of 13. By providing supplemental health policies for minors, LifeSpring has created an affordable solution for the next generation. LifeSpring’s Primary Infertility Assistance policy is simply the most affordable way to cover infertility treatment costs in the future. Giving a child a policy now will provide them financial resources they need to become a father (or mother) when they are older. Because most health insurance plans rarely cover infertility treatments, this insurance can help protect your future family. Consider a Father’s Day gift that will last generations, and give a LifeSpring policy to a child today.