We love “success stories” at the Oncofertility Consortium and right now, there is one story that is making the rounds of every popular magazine in the country. That of native Chicagoan and star of the first Celebrity Apprentice, Bill Rancic, and his wife, Giuliana Rancic, E! News reporter, breast cancer survivor, and Bright Pink spokeswoman. The couple welcomed son Edward Duke Rancic, late Wednesday night, born via gestational carrier.
The Rancics have made a career out of being on TV, but what has garnered them the most attention is their struggle with infertility, and Giuliana’s breast cancer diagnosis, chronicled on their reality series, “Giuliana & Bill.” In 2007, Giuliana and Bill were married and by 2009, the couple were trying to conceive. After not succeeding on their own, they began in vitro fertilization in 2010.
Giuliana went through two IVF cycles and suffered a miscarriage in 2010. She was set to try IVF for the third time, but before she began, her doctor recommended she get a mammogram. It was after that screening that Giuliana was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the couple had to put their baby plans on hold while they focused on Giuliana’s heath. According to Giuliana, “Putting my baby dream on hold was devastating, [but] whether you adopt or use a surrogate or have a child naturally, all that matters is you have a child.” They planned to get through her cancer treatment, and then look into their options for having a baby once she was given a clean bill of health.
After Giuliana had a double mastectomy in December 2011, and was treated for breast cancer, the Rancics finally had some good news to share with their family and friends when they announced in April that they were expecting their first child via surrogate. According to Bill, “ the baby is 100 percent genetically ours. It’s our embryo.” Bill and Giuliana froze embryos before Giuliana underwent treatment for breast cancer in an effort to preserve her fertility.
As we have blogged about in previous posts, choosing surrogacy as a means of having a biological child necessitates a significant amount of research in order to fully understand the complicated legal, ethical and economic implications of an already emotional and personal decision. Decisions need to be made about which type of surrogacy you will pursue – altruistic or commercial – will you be compensating someone or not? Does your state even allow you to compensate a surrogate and if not, what are your options in other states? In surrogacy, a lot of what you decide to do depends on your geographical location and the laws and practices of that particular region.
Despite their notoriety, the Rancics' still had to contend with the same emotional, legal, and ethical issues involved when choosing surrogacy, as anyone else in their position would have had to do. According to Bill, “Everything happens for a reason, and we believe this is meant to be and the way it was supposed to work out.” Since their big announcement, the couple had been preparing for their new baby, and life as parents. Congratulations to them both!