In December, 2018, host of Bravo's Watch What Happens Next Live, Andy Cohen revealed he was expecting his first child via surrogate. He told viewers that “family means everything to me and having one of my own is something that I have wanted in my heart for my entire life." On Feb. 4, 2019, he shared the happy news of son Benjamin Allen's arrival. "I'm in love," he wrote on Instagram alongside a blissful shot of the two of them together.
Cohen has been a vocal advocate to help change the laws in New York state to make it legal for paid gestational surrogacy. As a gay man, he was drawn to New York because he could live his life openly. He said it seemed wrong that he had to go out of state when it came time to find a surrogate to have a child. He chose California, where paid surrogacy is legal, and had a son, Benjamin, early in 2019.
“I worked with an incredible surrogate. She was in California. Surrogacy is illegal in so many states, including New York. I don’t understand why. It’s a voluntary process, obviously. My surrogate just viewed it as, she was giving me the ultimate gift. She gave me life," he said. "So I’ll be forever indebted to her.”
"I would like to give a brother or sister to Benjamin, and I would like to do it New York state," said Cohen, who said he has had a great relationship with his surrogate.
Looks like Cohen will have the opportunity he's been waiting for! On February 15th, compensated surrogacy will be legalized in the state of New York. Until now, it has not only been outlawed, it has been a criminal offense. Unfortunately, there are still 3 states in which people can, at a minimum, have surrogacy contracts be declared void and at worst, face charges and jail time for compensated surrogacy. Join us in the Building Your Voice for Social Change Challenge. We're compiling stories of empowerment through surrogacy, that we'll be using to support the fight for legal and fair surrogacy laws across the country.