Anderson Cooper is the proud dad of two little boys — Wyatt, 3 and Sebastian, 1 — who he shares with ex-boyfriend Benjamin Maisani. The couple had the boys via surrogate, and one unexpected person offered to carry the kids: Cooper’s mom!
On a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Cooper told Stern that his late mom, fashion designer and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, made the unbelievable proposal when she was 85 years old.
“She was like, ‘The most amazing thing happened … [The gynecologist] told me I could still bear a child,’” the news anchor said. “I’m immediately thinking, ‘How do I stop my mom from bearing a child?’ Which is a thought I’m sure we’ve all had.”
Cooper told her he didn’t think it was a good idea, saying it would be labor intensive — “No pun intended” — and that the math around the situation was “not very good.” After all, when the child was 20, she would be 105.
“But then she said … ‘What I was thinking was you get an egg, and you know, fertilize it with your sperm, and I’ll carry your child.’ I said, ‘Mom, I love you, but even for you this is batsh*t crazy.’”
It’s an incredibly generous offer, but we don’t blame Cooper for turning it down. He found a different surrogate and opened up about their relationship in an emotional Instagram post.
“As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth,” he wrote alongside photos of the newborn. “Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him.”
“It is an extraordinary blessing — what she and all surrogates give to families who can’t have children,” he continued. “My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, a wonderfully supportive husband and kids, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support they have given Wyatt and me. My family is blessed to have this family in our lives.”
Yes, we’re tearing up too!
Cooper said he wants to make sure Vanderbilt’s memory is preserved for his kids (even if she wasn’t their surrogate), as well as the rest of his family. Tragically, Cooper has lost his entire immediate family. His father Wyatt passed away in 1978 at age 50, when Anderson was just 11. Ten years later, his older brother Carter died by suicide at 23 years old. And in 2019, Vanderbilt passed away at age 95.
And so he is going through family and childhood items to create an ancestral history for his kids.
“For me, it’s so fraught with memory and emotions and stuff,” he told People. You find a box of Christmas cards from, I don’t know, 1984, and you think, ‘Oh, I can just toss these.’ And you start to read them … There are letters from Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra telegrams and Charlie Chaplin’s Christmas cards. I didn’t know Charlie Chaplin sent Christmas cards. Nobody did.”
Should his sons be interested in Chaplin’s cards or other familial items, Cooper is creating that archive. “I liked the idea of creating this record if they’re interested. And if they’re not interested, that’s fine too. I don’t want them to feel weighted down by the past.”
While the toddlers can’t yet appreciate a telegram from Sinatra, they have started playing with wooden blocks that Cooper and Carter played with — “That was a big toy for us,” he says — and using a box that he made in grade school. “I remember making this box. And now Sebastian has it and puts books in it and stuff.”
“It’s lovely to see this cycle of life and of love and how all these things sort of repeat,” he said. “They are playing the same games I played as a kid and inventing new games. And I just have this incredible sense of wonder about that and witnessing that up close.”
Even if that cycle of life didn’t include Vanderbilt’s “batsh*t crazy” plan, it is indeed a beautiful cycle of life and love. And we are so happy that Wyatt and Sebastian will have it at their fingertips if and when they want to explore it.
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