Why Paris Hilton Chose To Have Her Two Children Through Surrogacy

Not content merely to live off the family fortune and spend her days clubbing and attending high society events, Paris Hilton became a legitimately branded celeb through her hit reality show, "The Simple Life," her movie appearances, and Hilton's lucrative apparel and fragrance lines. In recent years, the socialite has reinvented herself in a very different way. Hilton's bumpy romantic history finally had a happy ending in 2021 when she wed longtime boyfriend Carter Reum. Two years later, the couple expanded their family twice; Son Phoenix Barron arrived in January, and daughter London was born in November. 

The timing of the babies was possible thanks to surrogacy. Using a surrogate or gestational carrier is a choice many celebrities have made over the years for various reasons. For instance, surrogacy is popular with same-sex parents such as Elton John, Neil Patrick Harris, and Andy Cohen. Further, couples who have health or infertility issues may have no other choice if they want to parent a biological child. Hilton's close pal Kim Kardashian and Kanye West used a surrogate to carry their younger children, Chicago and Psalm West, after the reality star experienced life-threatening hemorrhaging with her first two pregnancies. 

It's also an option for mothers over 40, who have lower odds of successfully conceiving and carrying a child; actors Lucy Liu and Angela Bassett are among them. Hilton, on the other hand, had very different — but just as legitimate — reasons for wanting to use a surrogate.

Paris Hilton had a very real fear of pregnancy

Despite the many platitudes about the "journey to motherhood," not all women look forward to actually being pregnant. Even a so-called "easy" pregnancy creates major physical and mental changes, and at worst, complications such as preeclampsia and placenta previa can be life-threatening. Small wonder, then, that the idea of going through the nine-month ordeal fills some would-be moms with dread. The clinical term for fear of childbirth is tokophobia, and it's more common than you might think. 

A 2016 study from the University of Michigan found that some 30% of women experience tokophobia. That percentage skyrocketed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with researchers at Dartmouth University reporting 62% of subjects fearing childbirth. Count Paris Hilton among that number. In an interview with Glamour UK, conducted just a day before the birth of her son, the reality star confirmed that she always intended to use a surrogate when the time came to start a family, regardless of her age. 

"I want a family so bad, it's just the physical part of doing it," she explained. "I'm just so scared [...] childbirth and death are the two things that scare me more than anything in the world." Hilton became a client of the same surrogacy doctor her longtime friend Kim Kardashian used. Amid the COVID lockdown, she and her new husband, Carter Reum, went through multiple procedures to create a store of embryos. Now, they're the proud parents of two healthy babies.

Paris Hilton's past led her to choose surrogacy

Paris Hilton's stunning transformation into a doting wife and mom is bringing her joy like never before, which she's sharing with viewers on her hit series, "Paris in Love." That joy was a long time coming, however. Hilton's teen years were tumultuous, involving party-girl ways, unwanted sexual experiences, and nightmarish years in a series of boarding reform schools. One in particular, Provo Canyon, was especially horrific; as she told Glamour UK, the socialite recalls being regularly taken from her dorm at night by staff members who put her in a private room and forcibly violated her. 

Hilton tearfully told the outlet, "I just feel like they stole my childhood, and it's heartbreaking that it's still happening to so many kids today." Those traumatic memories also prompted Hilton's decision not to experience pregnancy. She claims that in addition to these abusive "exams," the staff also regularly took blood samples and forced her to ingest medication. "I'm just so scared, I think, again, leading back to Provo of even being in a doctor's office, just all of that," she admitted. 

Rather than going through nine months of obstetricians' appointments and living in a state of fear that could potentially harm their baby (tokophobia increases the chances of premature birth), Hilton and her husband opted to have a surrogate carry the embryos they had frozen. Hilton has no regrets about her choice. As she told "Today," "I'm loving my mom era. [...] I just feel so at peace."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).