27 Apr 2021 Kristen Welker Shares Surrogacy Journey So Others Feel Less Alone
Congratulations to NBC co-chief White House correspondent Kristen Welker and her husband, marketing executive John Hughes, who announced recently on NBC’s Today Show that they are expecting a baby daughter in June—born with the help of a surrogate. Welker’s brave decision to speak out about her journey to parenthood, from her prominent platform of a national newscast, will give hope and encouragement to countless would-be parents.
That’s exactly what she hopes to do, said Welker, who became familiar to many Americans as a moderator of the final debate of the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Welker and Hughes, who married in 2017, when Welker was 40, began trying to have a baby right away. Eventually, unable to conceive, the couple turned to in vitro fertilization, only to learn that the lining of Welker’s uterus was too thin for her to carry a child to term. In order to have a biologically related child, their only option would be surrogacy.
Welker, who told Today she was going to doctor visits between live shots as she struggled to conceive, felt like a failure, she wrote in a moving letter to her unborn daughter. “I felt as though I had let you down because I couldn’t carry you myself,” she wrote.
Once the couple was successfully matched with a surrogate, she got pregnant on the second try. Welker knew about the pregnancy and thought of her daughter during her stint as moderator of the final 2020 presidential debate in October 2020. “I can’t wait to tell my daughter that,” Welker said, as reported by The Hill. “I credit her with the fact that I remained calm that night.”
Infertility, Surrogacy Still Stigmatized in U.S.
Although hundreds of babies are born via surrogacy each year in the United States, topics such as surrogacy and infertility are still controversial, and couples or individuals who struggle with infertility often feel stigmatized. As a result, we seldom hear about those individual struggles, which are going on every day, all around us.
Stories from influencers such as Welker are important because they bring a part of life that is often kept private and hidden into the light of day. Stories such as hers illustrate the fact that infertility is not uncommon, and it can happen to anyone. “When someone shares their story, it makes you feel a little less alone,” Welker said on Today.
The Today show has been a pioneer in covering infertility and assisted reproductive technology, and recently ran an informative piece on Surrogacy 101, highlighting Welker’s story and addressing questions from cost to legal establishment of parentage. NBC also said Welker will cover infertility stories on the Today weekend edition.
“It is OK to ask for help; in fact, it can be empowering,” Welker wrote. “Families are made in all different ways, come in all different shapes and sizes, and all families should be celebrated.”
If you have questions about becoming a parent through surrogacy, feel free to contact our experienced team of fertility and assisted reproductive technology attorneys and legal professionals.