As Rebel Wilson Welcomes Her Baby, This Is What It's Like To Be A Surrogate

"I cared about the baby, but I didn’t bond with him."
Rebel Wilson has become a mother via surrogate.
Thomas Niedermueller via Getty Images
Rebel Wilson has become a mother via surrogate.

Rebel Wilson has announced that she has become a mother after welcoming a baby girl via surrogate.

“I am forever grateful to everyone who has been involved, (you know who you are), this has been years in the making… but particularly wanted to thank my gorgeous surrogate who carried her and birthed her with such grace and care,” the Pitch Perfect star said on Instagram.

“Thank you for helping me start my own family, it’s an amazing gift.”

It’s not clear in what country Rebel’s daughter was born. The rules around surrogacy differ in the UK from those in the US and other countries. Surrogacy agreements are not enforceable by UK law, for example, as the government website explains. Not can you a surrogate in the UK, except for their “reasonable expenses”.

Still, the number of babies born via surrogate in England and Wales has quadrupled in the past 10 years, according to research by the University of Kent and the non-profit organisation, My Surrogacy Journey.

The number of parental orders – which transfer legal parentage from a surrogate to the baby’s intended parents – rose from 117 in 2011 to 413 in 2020

But what does it actually feel like to be a surrogate?

Lisa Charlwood-Green, 44, from Glasgow, was a surrogate in 2019. She decided she wanted to do it a few years ago – a male friend offered to be a donor for her and her wife, and they now have two boys. She wanted to pay forward the kindness. “I wanted to help another gay man have a family,” she previously told HuffPost UK.

One of the most common questions surrogates get asked is if they were worried about having a bond with the baby, but Charlwood-Green said this wasn’t a huge concern.

“It takes a very certain person to be a surrogate. We’re quite a practical lot and I treated the pregnancy in a very practical way,” she said. “I cared about the baby, but I didn’t bond with him. When I was pregnant with my son, I bonded very quickly after birth, but until that point I felt quite detached.”

Lisa Charlwood-Green

She also didn’t feel any differently after giving birth and was again focused on the practicalities of it.

“I was scared because I had an emergency C-section – I didn’t want that! I wasn’t a fan of surgery,” she said.

“But after I just felt really pleased for the couple and happy the baby was safe. I guess I was nosey too, I wanted to see what he looked like – I wasn’t interested in holding him, but I wanted to know what he weighed because he was predicted to be a heavy one. He was only eight pounds (but looked much bigger!).”

Annie Peverelle, 43, also previously shared her experience of being a surrogate. She’d always wondered what it would be like to be pregnant and give birth and didn’t have children of her own. So she decided to sign up as a surrogate and conceived Pip via IVF.

Annie Peverelle

“I watched Katy [the mother] as she locked eyes with her daughter – I gave birth in theatre and her partner wasn’t allowed in, so it was important to me that Pip met her dad as soon as possible. ‘Go take your daughter to meet her daddy,’ I told her. She didn’t want to leave me, but I wanted the first people Pip had skin to skin with to be her parents, not me,” she recalled.

She still sees Pip and the family occasionally and feels immensely proud to have carried her.

“I had the privilege of watching a couple fall in love with their baby and that feeling – wow,” she said. “That feeling is something you could bottle and sell for millions.”