Time magazine recently shared a portion of a new memoir from Paris Hilton, titled “Paris: The Memoir,” which delves into the decisions she’s made and is making about her children. She shared more details about the abortion she had in her 20s, saying that the baby would have “jeopardized the forever family I hoped to have…” and how she is trying to create a daughter to join her 20 sons currently frozen in their embryonic stage of life.
She also doubled down on the fact that she underwent IVF to create the twins she wanted — but not because of infertility issues. Instead, Hilton had other reasons for her decision.
Choosing IVF and surrogacy without infertility
Hilton explained that she and her husband, Carter Reum, started a family on their “own terms” when they “were both ready to be parents.” This mindset has become increasingly common, but it causes a child’s life to be about the parents’ wants and desires. Under this line of thinking, if the child doesn’t fit the parents’ ideal, she can be destroyed. Reum already has a 10-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, with whom he allegedly has no relationship.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the couple began making embryos. They eventually hired a surrogate, but not because they were dealing with infertility — as Hilton has made clear. When her mother, Kathy Hilton, shared that Paris Hilton was struggling with infertility, Paris was quick to fire back that she didn’t know where her mother got that information and that she had “lots of healthy embryos ready and waiting…” At that point, baby Phoenix was just weeks from being born via surrogate — a secret Hilton had kept from even her mother.
In an interview with Glamour, Hilton was asked if she used a surrogate because of her age (42). Hilton said that even if she were 20, she would have used a surrogate.
“I’m just so scared,” she said. She mentioned the abuse she suffered at Provo Canyon School in Utah, and noted that those experiences and others made her afraid of doctor’s offices. “The shots, the IVs that they put in… When I was in The Simple Life, I had to be in a room when a woman was giving birth and that traumatised me as well. But I want a family so bad, it’s just the physical part of doing it. I’m just so scared… childbirth and death are the two things that scare me more than anything in the world.”
Yet egg retrieval involves needles, doctor’s visits, and plenty of prodding and poking. She said it herself. “Month after month of injections, several egg-harvesting procedures, more IVF injections, new ADHD meds, my natural state of chaos — it was a lot. The shots are painful,” she said. “At times, I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore.”
READ: Paris Hilton’s children aren’t designer handbags, and shouldn’t be treated as if they are
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Though she denies struggling with infertility, Hilton has said she utilized IVF to have “twins if I like,” and would use a surrogate at any age. And yet, Hilton paints her journey to motherhood as one on par with women who deal with infertility.
“I’ve always wanted twins: a boy and a girl. ‘It’s possible,’ our doctor said. ‘In a perfect world…’ If only my world were as perfect as it looks. For so many people, having babies is like plug and play, right? That’s how it seems anyway. And when you want a baby, it seems like everyone around you is getting pregnant. It sucks, but I’m not alone in this either. There are so many young women at the fertility doctor’s office, so many families waiting to happen.”
She added, “That’s what IVF is all about. Possibility. Hope. It’s hard, but you’re willing to go through anything to find your heart’s desire.”
Some women struggling to become pregnant found Hilton’s use of IVF to create designer babies upsetting. Research shows that IVF actually destroys embryos at a higher rate than abortion does, making adoption the pro-life option. But Hilton’s words lacked understanding and compassion for women with infertility.
Hilton said her newborn son, Phoenix Barron Hilton Reum, is “the child I was always meant to raise.” This seemingly loving statement is laced with undertones of high expectations for Phoenix to live up to. This statement is also tragic, as Hilton aborted a child two decades ago when she was neither in a dire situation nor unable to raise a child.
A woman named Claire explained what it feels like to be a child created through the process of IVF. She told the organization Them Before Us:
“Somehow, somewhere, my parents developed the idea that they deserved to have a baby, and it didn’t matter how much it cost, how many times it took, or how many died in the process. They deserved a child. And with an attitude like that, by the time I was born they thought they deserved to have the perfect child… as Dad defined a perfect child. And since they deserved a child, I was their property to be controlled, not a person or a gift to be treasured.
And when I at last became an adult with my own opinions and thoughts, an adult who could stand up for herself, I was simply removed from their lives. I was no longer the perfect child they had wanted, and they had no use for an independent, high-spirited daughter.”
READ: Made to order: Paris Hilton says she’s started IVF ‘so I can pick twins if I like’
Phoenix has 20 brothers currently frozen, according to Hilton, and she is attempting to create his sister as well. But it’s unlikely that Hilton has plans to raise over 20 children. Most won’t be seen as children Hilton feels “meant to raise.” They will remain frozen, be donated, or be destroyed. And the ones fortunate enough to be born may feel much as Claire felt — that expectations on them to be ‘the perfect child’ were harmful.
Children are meant to be the individual beings that God created them to be. They don’t exist to fulfill adults’ desires. But with Hilton’s admission that she did an eighth round of IVF in hopes of creating a girl, it appears she may be attempting to make her desired boy-girl twins with the next surrogate.
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