More New York families using surrogates

Dr. John Zhang consults with a patient yesterday about her fertility options.

More New York City women are turning to someone else to have their babies.

Two different fertility clinics told Metro they’ve seen a 30 percent increase in using gestational carriers, or surrogates, in the past few years.

And New York breeds women more likely than elsewhere to choose surrogacy, said Dr. John Zhang, the Upper East Side doctor who helped Martha Stewart’s daughter, Alexis Stewart, with her surrogacy treatments.

Some choose surrogacy because of their career: Zhang’s other clients include a Broadway actress who didn’t want a belly on stage, a news anchor, and one young wife to an older man. She wants three babies at once — using three simultaneous surrogates.

“They say, ‘Oh, my husband is 74, I am 32. We want to have a big family, and if I have one baby at a time it will take six years to have three babies,’” said the New Hope Fertility Center doctor. “I call it ‘scheduled babies’ — they want the right number of babies at the right place at the right age.”

Yet hundreds of New Yorkers turn to gestational carriers simply because it’s the last option.

East Village fashion designer Anna Philip, 44, chose surrogacy after seven years with three surgeries, three heartbreaking miscarriages and four failed rounds of in vitro.

In two weeks, she’ll welcome her second son, a younger brother to 3-year-old Sven — both birthed by the same Massachusetts woman.  

“Nobody turns to that out of their own choice,” she said. “It’s a very difficult thing to do.”

Did you know?

It is illegal to be a surrogate in New York. But potential parents can use surrogates from states where surrogacy is not prohibited, like New Jersey or Massachusetts.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter at @AlisonatMetro.


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