Entertainment And News

Anderson Cooper Revealed His Mom’s Unusual, But Kind Offer To Him Years Before He Had His First Child

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Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper is the proud father of two sons, Wyatt, 3, and Sebastian, 1. Cooper raises his boys in a non-romantic, co-parenting partnership with his ex, Benjamin Maisani. Cooper acknowledged how unique their family set-up is, telling People Magazine, “It’s maybe unconventional because he’s my ex, he is my family.”

Yet Cooper’s co-parenting set-up isn’t the only unconventional way his family has supported him, as he relayed in an interview with Stephen Colbert in 2021, one year after Wyatt was born.

Anderson Cooper shared the kind yet unusual offer his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt, made him years before he had his first child.

While promoting a book he wrote about his mom’s side of the family, titled “Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of An American Dynasty,” Cooper visited Colbert to discuss his relationship with his mother. He held an especially supportive role towards his mom, especially after his father died, when Cooper was 10 years old. 

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Cooper shared a story that captured both his mom’s eccentricity and the depths of her love for her son. He relayed the time that his 85-year-old mother visited the gynecologist for a check-up, only to reveal the “amazing news” her doctor gave her.

Cooper explained how he got a phone call from his mother, in which she told him, “‘Honey, there’s something I really need to talk to you about.’ Which in my mom’s vocabulary meant, ‘I’m redecorating the apartment, and you’re gonna pay for it, and then I’m gonna redecorate it like, a week later, and you’re gonna pay for that too.’”

As Cooper recalled, his mother said that her gynecologist told her “the most amazing thing — she told me I could still bear a child.” 

When my mom said this kind of stuff, as she often did, you couldn't be ‘negative,’ meaning you couldn’t be realistic, and tell her what you actually thought, or try to talk sense into her, you had to be supportive,” Cooper explained.

After a bit of back-and-forth with his mom over his concerns that she have a baby at her advanced age, Vanderbilt told Cooper, “I’m not talking about having a child of my own, that’s crazy, I’m 85.”

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Anderson Cooper’s 85-year-old heiress mom offered to be a surrogate for him to have a baby.

She went on to tell her son, “You can get an egg anywhere these days… What I was thinking is, you get an egg, and fertilize it with your sperm, and I’ll carry your child.”

The audience broke into raucous laughter. Cooper continued, explaining, “I was just stunned and I finally said to her, ‘Mom I love you, but even for you, that is just bat-–-- crazy.’”

The American Surrogacy organization notes that it can be fairly common for a family member to be a gestational carrier for another family member, which is known as an “identified” surrogacy. There are benefits to going about surrogacy in this way, including decreased costs and already having an established sense of trust.

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Yet, involving family in the surrogacy journey can also be complex, as there could be emotional complications, and the relationships will inevitably shift, for better or for worse. 

Cooper declined to take his mom up on her offer. But when the time came that Cooper was ready to have kids, he and his then-partner Benjamin Maisani did use a surrogate, just not Cooper’s mom. 

Cooper and Maisani welcomed their first son, Wyatt, in 2020, a year after Cooper lost his mother to stomach cancer. Despite no longer being involved romantically, Cooper and Maisani continued to co-parent, and, in 2022, they had their second son, Sebastian, by surrogate as well.

At the end of his interview with Colbert, Cooper touched on what he hoped his son will hold onto when learning about their family history. He explained that the story of the Vanderbilt family is “a story from his past, but I hope his future, he knows is his to write for himself… He gets to write his own story, moving forward.”

While Cooper’s experience as Gloria Vanderbilt’s son was complex, his love for her was deep, as was hers for him. All families function in their own unique ways, and while Cooper's mom's offer seems like it came from left field, it was also rooted in loving support. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.