When it comes to having children, there’s no right or wrong way of doing it. From IVF to surrogacy and conceiving later in life, the celebrity world is proving that it’s possible to welcome children into the world whichever way you please.
Infertility is battle faced by countless women, but no matter how many times we speak out about it, there’s still a level of shame and taboo which surrounds it. Currently, infertility affects about 1 in 6 Australian couples and 1 in 5 American couples. Much like we’ve fought to better the conversation around abortion, we need to do the same for infertiliy.
It’s no secret that age and fertility share a correlation, with it (statistically speaking) being more challenging to fall pregnant later in life. But, when we see people in the public eye defying those odds, it incites a little more hope in all of us.
Below, 18 celebrities who conceived children after 40.
At age 48, Hilary Swank announced that she’s expecting twins with her husband after years of struggling with fertility.
“This is something that I’ve been wanting for a long time, and my next thing is I’m gonna be a mom,” the actress told Good Morning America in October 2022. “And not just of one, but of two. I can’t believe it.”
Halle Berry became a first time mum at 41, welcoming her daughter Nahla in March 2008 with her then-boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry. At age 46, she fell pregnant again to her husband Olivier Martinez, revealing that it was the “biggest surprise” of her life.
“I didn’t think it was possible at my age, honestly,” she told Ellen DeGeneres. “They call it a geriatric pregnancy. I was, you know, on my way. This is probably way TMI, but I was kinda premenopausal, so to have this happen was huge.”
In January 2020, Cameron Diaz fell pregnant with her first child at 47 — herdaughter, Raddix, whom she welcomed with husband Benji Madden.
“A lot of people do it the other way around… they get married [and] have a family in their youth,” says Diaz.”I’m kind of doing it in the second half of my life,” she said while appearing on Naomi Campbell’s YouTube series, No Filter.
After being with Keith Urban for 3 years, Nicole Kidman gave birth to her first biological child, Sunday Rose, in 2008 at age 40. Then, in 2010, the couple welcomed their second daughter, Faith, via surrogate.
“Anyone that’s been in the place of wanting another child or wanting a child knows the disappointment, the pain and the loss that you go through trying and struggling,” she said. “Fertility is such a big thing, and it’s not something I’ve ever run away from talking about,” Kidman told 60 Minutes in 2011.
She also has two children, Isabella and Connor, whom she adopted while married to ex-husband Tom Cruise.
In 1992, Susan Sarandon was 45 when she welcomed her second son, Miles Guthrie into the world with her ex, Tim Robbins.
She previously gave birth to a daughter in 1985 (whom she conceived with Italian filmmaker Franco Amurri), and her first son in 1989, when she was 42.
Sarandon, who has endometriosis, said she’d previously been told she wouldn’t be able to have children.
“I wasn’t in a hurry, but I actually had a medical condition and was told I could never be a mother,” the actress told Time Out New York in 2014.
Mendes and Ryan Gosling became first time parents in 2014, when the actress was 40, welcoming a daughter, Esmerelda. In 2016, the couple fell pregnant again with another daughter, Amada Lee.
I’m completely exhausted,” she told the Violet Files, after the birth of her first child in 2014. “I thought my wild nights were over but these are some of the wildest nights I’ve ever had.
At 42, Celine Dion announced her second pregnancy after struggling with IVF and a miscarriage. The singer welcomed twin boys, Eddy and Nelson, in 2010 and was already mother to another boy Rene-Charles.
“I never gave up,” Dion told Oprah at the time. “But I can tell you that it was physically and mentally exhausting.”
In June 1991, Meryl Streep became a mother for the fourth time, welcoming daughter Louisa at age 42 with her sculptor husband, Don Gummer.
I feel like a big piece of furniture,” she told the New York Times at the time.
Gwen Stefani welcomed her third child, son Apollo Bowie Flynn Rossdale in 2014 at ae 44 to then-husband, Gavin Rossdale. She called him a “miracle baby,” revealing that the pregnancy was “unexpected” in an interview that year with Spin.
Janet Jackson became a first time mum at 50, welcoming her son Eissa in January 2017.
In her self-titled documentary, Jackson addressed and denied the rumours that she had secretly birthed and given a baby away during the 1980s.
“A lot of the kids thought I was pregnant ’cause I had gained weight and I had started taking birth-control pills,” she said. “And back then, you could pick up weight taking them, and that’s what happened to me.”
Actress Rashida Jones welcomed her first child at age 42, a son named Isiah. Tragically, she gave birth around the same time that her mother passed away.
“I was in grief-shock. I don’t even know if that’s a word, but I was just not in my body at all and just had a baby. I was doubly not in my body,” she later told NPR.
“The thing that’s the craziest about birth and death is just the utter rawness of feeling. I still feel this way, I think. It’s like something cracks in you. It’s very binary, both things—becoming a mother and losing my mother — like, there’s my life before and there’s my life after.”
In 2007 at age 41, Hayek gave birth to her daughter, Valentina.
“I gained so much weight, I got an opportunity to see myself completely disfigured in many different ways — for a very good reason — and I don’t regret it for a second,” Hayek told Glamour a few years later in 2013.
“That’s when I started appreciating my body. The things that I used to criticize, they were not that bad after all.”
After welcoming Maya in 1998 and Levon in 2002, Uma Thurman fell pregnant again in 2012 at age 42.
“The shop is closed,” she told Us Weekly in April 2018, when asked if she would considering having more kids. “I have three healthy, beautiful children. Touch wood.”
Actress Julianne Moore was 41 when she welcomed her second child, daughter Liv, with her husband Bart Freundlich in 2002.
Comedian Tina Fey welcomed her second daughter, Penelope, with her husband Jeff Richmond at 41.
“It’s funny because I’m oldie, olderson,” she told Ellen DeGeneres in 2011.
“I have what they call advanced maternal age. [Doctors] look at me like I’m just going to explode. They treat me very gingerly.”
Molly Ringwald fell pregnant with twins in 2009 at 41, while working on The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
The actress was overjoyed when her pregnancy was written into the show, which allowed her to continue her character arc onscreen.
“I could continue working,” she told Us Weekly in 2012. “It was very special to me.”
Madonna was 42 when she gave birth to her second biological child, Rocco, in 2000.