Anderson Cooper says that his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, once offered to carry his child.
To be clear, the late heiress, who was 85 years old at the time, was offering to be a surrogate for her out broadcaster son.
The CNN anchor is raising his two sons with friend and former partner Benjamin Maisani.
Cooper told the story on a recent episode of shock-jock Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show.
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“This was like eight years before I decided to have a child,” Cooper, who is now the father of two young sons, said. “But my mom really wanted me to have a kid, and she called me up one time and she was like, ‘Honey, there’s something I really need to talk to you about.’”
“She was like, ‘Well the most amazing thing happened. I went to the gynecologist the other day,’” Cooper recalled, noting that Vanderbilt was 85 at the time. He said his mother proceeded to tell him that her doctor had informed her that she was still able to bear a child.
Cooper explained that he had spent his life not reacting to his mother’s “crazy statements.”
“She said, ‘Isn’t that amazing?’” Cooper continued. “I said, ‘Yes, mom, I think that is amazing that a gynecologist told you that at age 85 you could still bear a child.’”
Cooper said that he immediately started thinking about how he could prevent his mother from trying to have a baby at her age. But, he said, Vanderbilt explained that she wasn’t thinking about having her own baby; she wanted to be a surrogate for her son’s child.
“She was like, ‘You know, you can get an egg anywhere nowadays,’” Cooper said. “She was like, ‘Well, what I was thinking is, you get an egg and fertilize it with your sperm and I’ll carry your child.’”
“I said, ‘Mom, I love you, but even for you this is bats**t crazy.’”
Interestingly, Vanderbilt’s unconventional offer was not so rare as it might seem. In March 2019, a 61-year-old Nebraska woman successfully carried a child for her gay son and his husband. The following September, a 45-year-old Brazilian woman gave birth to twins after serving as a surrogate for her gay son. In both instances, donor eggs were fertilized by the sons’ sperm via in vitro fertilization.
Cooper ultimately did opt to have a child via a surrogate who was not his own mother. In an April 2020 Instagram post, he announced the birth of his oldest son, thanking the surrogate who carried now three-year-old Wyatt. In February 2022, he announced the birth of his second son, Sebastian. He and friend and former romantic partner Benjamin Maisani are co-parenting the boys together.
Vanderbilt died at the age of 95 in June 2019.