By Angie Argabrite, Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at 9:01 am.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman and Elizabeth Banks all did it. Used a gestational surrogate, that is. But more and more non-celebrities are turning to surrogacy, too: More than 1,400 babies were born this way in the U.S. in 2010, though many more go unreported. The uptick in surrogacies has created the need for lawyers to specialize in coordinating the pregnancies and births, which can be fraught with legal issues. Surrogates usually receive about $25,000 in compensation, but the payoff, most say, comes largely in the form of warm and fuzzy feelings. One of the most prolific surrogates we’ve heard of just retired after giving birth to her 15th baby in March. Meanwhile, in Australia, only 4 percent of women aged 18 to 44 say that having a baby is their top priority. Instead, they place higher value on feeling secure financially and in a relationship. In other birthing news, a group of Oxford University researchers determined that home births may be safer and cheaper for women who already have children. Our favorite of all baby trends: gender reveal parties, which require that the ultrasound technician not tell expectant parents the sex of their baby. Instead, this information is disclosed to a baker who whips up a pink or blue cake, swaths it in icing, and readies it to be cut so that the big surprise happens in front of a room full of family and friends. A truly sweet occasion.