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Surrogate Calls Out A Celebrity Mom Who Trash-Talked Her On TV

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Surrogate, Martha Stewart, Hilaria Baldwin, Alec Baldwin & Khloe Kardashian

A former surrogate to the stars is sharing her experience working with celebrity parents. Shanna St Clair spoke with the BBC in January 2023 about a negative experience involving a famous mom.

The Pennsylvania native joined a surrogacy agency shortly after she turned 30. Having had three easy pregnancies of her own, the mom decided to pursue becoming a gestational carrier.

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After an arduous process of Shanna and her husband filling out questionnaires and meeting with doctors, lawyers, and psychologists, she was approved to be a surrogate. Just a few weeks later, she got a call from an interested celebrity couple, who she called “Jennifer” and “Mark.” They met in New York, and she immediately liked them.

“They were kind people,” she said. “They made an effort to get to understand my life, to get to know my children.”

They paid her $50,000, which covered food, travel to the IVF clinic, the income she lost while absent from her job as a hairdresser, and other expenses. After several attempts to get pregnant, it was a success, and she gave birth. They cried, holding her hand as she gave birth, filled with gratitude for carrying their child.

Her positive experience as a surrogate was quickly dashed when she was introduced to “Catherine” through the couple. 

'Catherine,' a celebrity from a famous family who was pursuing surrogacy, wound up being a much more difficult person to work with.

Catherine came from a famous family and had tried to have a child on her own and with surrogates but repeatedly failed. Shanna assumed the best after her experience with Jennifer and Mark, but she couldn’t have been more wrong.

“Looking back, there were red flags from that first telephone conversation,” she said. Catherine wanted to bypass a surrogacy agency and just have her lawyers draw up the contract. On top of that, she said that it wouldn’t be necessary for Shanna to undergo another psychological evaluation since she passed the previous one for Jennifer and Mark.

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Shanna ended up agreeing to three attempts to carry Catherine's baby. The first was unsuccessful. At the clinic for the second, Catherine offered her a valium claiming that maybe her nerves were the reason it didn’t work the first time. Shanna tried to reject it, but Catherine insisted. 

“She kept saying, ‘What is your problem, Shanna? One pill isn’t going to hurt you,’ and I felt I couldn’t argue,” she said.

She put it in her mouth and secretly spit it out later. The second attempt failed as well. On the third, Catherine met her again at the clinic. But this time, she paid no mind to her—spending most of the time on the phone arguing with her mother about her home’s interior design.

Photo: G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock

Just 10 days later, they informed Shanna that her hCG levels—a hormone in the placenta—indicated she was pregnant! However, Catherine wasn’t excited yet since she told Shanna that her previous surrogate had a miscarriage. She claimed it was her fault after a 12-hour layover on the way to visit her ailing father. 

“I told her not to travel but she did, and look what happened!... Dead baby,” Catherine said.

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Catherine later informed Shanna that another of her surrogates just delivered a baby.

It came as a shock to Shanna who was unsure if Catherine would want to have two babies so close together but she continued her regular check-ups. Though, there was radio silence on Catherine’s end. After a few weeks, her hCG levels dipped too low, meaning she had a miscarriage. She messaged her the news, and Catherine agreed to call. After a few days of silence, Shanna sent another message.

“Hi, I hope you and the baby are well. Should I forward the remainder of the bills to you?” she wrote.

“Shanna, our relationship has ended,” Catherine replied. “I am appalled at your coldness over the birth of my child. Forward your bills.”

Shanna claimed that months later, Catherine appeared on TV and made hurtful comments about surrogates miscarrying her fertilized eggs. All of the information shared by the BBC led to people speculating on who she could possibly be. 

On posts shared to the subreddit “r/popculturechat” and another celebrity gossip subreddit “r/deuxmoi,” there were two names that came up more than others: Alec Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria, and Martha Stewart’s daughter Alexis. Both had children via surrogacy and belonged to what Shanna called a “famous family.” 

Fans largely suspect Catherine is Alexis Stewart.

Alexis is a single mother to two children via surrogate, a daughter named Jude who was born in 2011 and a son named Truman who was born the following year. She has been open about her long and arduous fertility journey.

In 2010, The New York Post claimed that Alexis had hired a “rural Pennsylvania woman” as her surrogate. The following year, The Daily Mail reported that Alexis had welcomed her first child after experiencing four miscarriages with previous surrogates. Alexis was quoted as saying that she “refused to get excited” anytime a surrogate got pregnant.

Stewart also received backlash for a 2011 appearance on The View. On a Facebook post from 2011 announcing an interview with her, viewers expressed outrage about statements she made.

“Did not like Alexis Stewart!!! ‘This is not about the surrogate!’ If that’s the case go have a baby without a surrogate,” one person wrote.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news and human interest stories.