In the Age of Celebrity Surrogate Families, What Exactly Is Surrogacy?

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye are reportedly expecting their third child via surrogate — many other celebs have done so too.

But surrogacy is nothing new, with more and more Americans opting for it. In 2011, 1,593 babies in the U.S. were born to gestational surrogates, up from 738 in 2004, according to data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), an Alabama-based nonprofit.

Here’s how it works, according to parents, surrogates, and Growing Generations, a surrogacy agency.

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Here’s What the Surrogacy Process Actually Looks Like