Heard continued, “A part of me wants to uphold that my private life is none of anyone’s business. I also get that the nature of my job compels me to take control of this. My daughter was born on April 8, 2021. Her name is Oonagh Paige Heard. She’s the beginning of the rest of my life.”
The idea of a child born via surrogate is nothing new, but to speak about it with such transparency and honesty is something we can only applaud Heard for doing. While you can’t help but think it a little sad that a story of a strong woman choosing to raise a child alone should cause such a stir, the fact is that for many, prevailing social expectations continue to obscure the choice to do so.
Still, Heard’s announcement suggests social attitudes towards motherhood are changing - however slowly that may be. As Arwa Mahdawi writes in The Guardian, “Statistics point to an increase in the number of IVF cycles undertaken by single women in the UK, and celebrities such as the musician Natalie Imbruglia have helped to normalise women conceiving alone.”
While the cost of fertility treatments and surrogacy mean that for some it’s an unattainable option, it is helpful to know that the choice is up to the individual alone and not one governed by social constructs. As more women choose a path similar to Heard’s or perhaps choose to not have kids altogether, it’s a decision that should be respected.