Elizabeth Banks welcomes son Felix via surrogate, releases awesome statement


Wow, Star Magazine got one right! A few weeks ago, Star Magazine claimed that Elizabeth Banks and her husband were expecting a baby via surrogate, and on Wednesday, Elizabeth announced the happy news. Their surrogate gave birth to a baby boy, which they named Felix Handelman (Elizabeth‘s husband is named Max Handelman). What’s particular refreshing in this case is Elizabeth’s almost too-honest and heartfelt public statement announcing the birth. It actually made me kind of emotional:

Her 30 Rock character Avery Jessup is a new mom – and it turns out Elizabeth Banks is as well. The actress and husband Max Handelman have welcomed son Felix via gestational surrogate, Banks Tweeted Wednesday.

“I have been very fortunate in life both professionally and personally,” Banks, 37, wrote on her Web site in a blog post announcing the birth.

“The one true hurdle I’ve faced in life is that I have a broken belly. After years of trying to get pregnant, exploring the range of fertility treatments, all unsuccessful, our journey led us to gestational surrogacy.”

“From that came two miracles,” she continues. “The first was meeting our carrier and her husband who were truly humbling in their decency and generosity. And the second miracle was the birth of our baby boy, Felix Handelman. Felix means ‘happy’ and ‘lucky’ in Latin. And true to his name, Felix is a very happy baby and a blessing on our life.”

Banks and Handelman – who met on her first day of college in 1992 – wed in July 2003.

[From People]

I love that she comes out and says something about infertility. It’s none of our business, of course, but many of us wonder, and I appreciate that Elizabeth puts it out there. I also love the respect and gratitude she publicly shows for her surrogate. I mean, that’s how you publicly thank someone for carrying your child (take note, Nicole). Also: I love that she’s been with the same guy since college. That’s awesome. Congratulations to Elizabeth, Max and Felix!

Sidenote: I pray that Felix inherited his mother’s truly extraordinary bitchface. I love Elizabeth Banks, and her face can go from beautiful to raging “Imma gonna shank someone” bitchface in two seconds flat.



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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40 Responses to “Elizabeth Banks welcomes son Felix via surrogate, releases awesome statement”

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  1. brin says:

    Great story. I like Elizabeth Banks, she’s a good actress and she will be a wonderful mom….congrats!

  2. Louise says:

    I think a lot of women talk about infertility. So many, at recently, don’t hide using a surrogate or fertility treatments.

  3. the original bellaluna says:

    What a sweet statement she made. Congrats to them, and blessings to them and the baby they so desperately wanted.

    @ brin – Mornin’! 🙂

  4. tooey says:

    I love her on 30 Rock. Congrats to her and her family. She’s a class act!

  5. lisa says:

    Beautiful for them.

    I just get tired of some women not admitting they can’t just pop a baby out at any age (sorry for the blunt statement) But when I hear woman in their 40’s going on about how they plan on having a baby or another it is not a realistic thing. Women of all ages have fertility issues.

    It makes me sick that STAR thinks they have the right to talk about it before the couple does.

  6. beth says:

    she is the prettiest thing ever… i mean the mom! 🙂
    haven’t seen the baby yet, but you can’t really tell who they follow until after a while….

  7. Granger says:

    So lovely.

    Kaiser, you made the most hilarious typo. You called her husband (Max) MAN Handelman. Man. Handelman. Manhandle. I’m still laughing.

  8. Katie says:

    I have generally mixed feelings about Banks, but this is putting me more towards liking her. It is nice that she spoke openly about why she used the surrogate and thanked her. And I think it’s great that she is being public about her infertility issues, not acting like it’s something shameful, b/c it isn’t. So okay. Now I like her.

  9. Micki says:

    I wish her that her son will always make her a happy and proud mother!

  10. wonderfully written statement. this is how you thank people, Natalie Portman

  11. becky says:

    i cant believe shes old enough to have been in a 20 yr relationship. shes so hot! and shes awesome on 30rock

  12. Hakura says:

    It was a really beautiful way to share their excitement =) Not edited to come across in a rigid professional way.

    I would never downplay how difficult it must be to realize you can’t conceive… But there’s absolutely nothing shameful about deciding to go another route, be it surrogacy or adoption. More women should be open about these things.

  13. LeManda says:


  14. TQB says:

    It’s a lovely statement but it made me tear up to hear her refer to herself as “broken.” Amazing how a simple word can communicate such an awful feeling. I just want to give her a big hug.

  15. Mollyb says:

    I found parts of that statement super annoying. I hate when adults baby-talk about serious issues. A “broken belly”? a “baby cake”? Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted that she was able to have a baby and that she is speaking out about an issue that plagues many women (including myself)but I wish that she chose to use grown up words. It’s like she knew it would be kind of taboo so she wanted to use non-threatening language. There’s no reason why infertility or pregnancy loss should be taboo.

  16. Brittany says:

    I love this woman in interviews…

    But I can’t stand to watch her act.

  17. Bodhi says:

    Yay, congrats to the little family! I LOVE EB; I think she is so pretty, very talented & low-key & “normal” to boot.

    I don’t think that she is “baby-talking” about her fertility issues, I think she is making them more relatable to the average person. If she start using technical terms I wager that the majority of people either wouldn’t know what she is talking about or would just stop reading all together.

  18. whybenice says:

    What a pleasure — and rarity — to read a classy statement. Kudos!

  19. Faye says:

    Congratulations to her and her husband! I think it’s very telling of her character to publicly show her gratitude to her surrogate.

  20. lucy2 says:

    I haven’t yet seen her in a role where I liked her, but personally she seems pretty cool.
    That was a really nice statement, and I wish their family the best. But I always feel it’s up to the person to decide how much they should say – not everyone is comfortable discussing their problems or reasons publicly, and shouldn’t have to if they choose not to.

  21. Johnny Depp's Girl says:


  22. Racheal says:

    She is just lovely inside and out. Loved her in Slither, too.

  23. devilgirl says:

    I like her.

    She has gorgeous eyes.

    Congrats to the couple.

  24. Julia says:

    She’s awesome. SO happy for her and her husband!

  25. YAY says:

    If you’re going through all the trouble to have a surrogate, why not adopt a child that needs a home. Congrats?

    I just find it so incredibly vain how people have to have their ‘own’ baby. I don’t know, it just seems cold to me. So many children need homes.


  26. L says:

    I also think she used the ‘broken belly’ language in case her child ever reads her blog on the interwebs. You never know.

  27. CIdee says:

    @ YAY -who are we to judge how someone makes their family? If you feel that way it must follow that you don’t believe anyone should pursue IVF or other fertility treatments. Just adopt instead! Don’t get me wrong, we have had two wonderful children come to my family through adoption (cousins) but I don’t for a minute think that its the only “right” way to become parents. It’s such a sanctimonious position to take.

  28. pinns says:

    Kaiser, sorry to mention it, (honest it’s not ‘pick on you’ day,) but there is another funny typo in this story I had a giggle at!!

    You said “she’s been the same guy since college” perhaps you meant: ” she’s been WITH the same guy”? Or maybe this is how she couldn’t conceive?!

    Anyhoo, congrats to the happy family!

  29. Kaiser says:

    Ugh, sorry about the typos! I’m an idiot.

  30. original kate says:

    i think it’s weird when people say surrogates are “generous.” they are being well compensated to carry someone else’s baby. they aren’t doing it solely out of the goodness of their hearts; i mean, it isn’t as if they are donating a kidney. anyway, congrats to them.

  31. Jeri says:

    A surrogate pregnacy is generous and a big deal. It’s not like you just go sit in the bathroom for a couple minutes and it’s over.

    You are investing months of time and emotion for another. There could be health issues and not to mention the curiosity of family, friends and neighbors.

    It’s a very big deal and very generous. Your own immediate family, husband and children are all involved also.

  32. Ally says:

    I love her acting on 30 Rock. Aside from the character’s heinous politics, the woman is a woman-in-the-workplace inspiration.

    Something like this can be a terrible sadness in a person’s life. I’m glad she found someone to help her have her baby.

  33. Ron says:

    She is damn funny. And I love anyone who can throw a good bitchface at the drop of a hat. Congrats to all involved. 🙂

  34. xxodettexx says:

    something is wrong with me today! i read her statement and didnt immediately roll my eyes! where is my typical cynicism? maybe its bc i love “avery” so much?? haha

  35. Hakura says:

    @Jeri“You are investing months of time and emotion for another…It’s a very big deal and very generous. “

    I agree… There are just some gifts you can’t put a financial ‘value’ on. A lot of celebrity types do keep surrogates behind closed doors (as is their right), but I find it really great that she was comfortable enough with herself & her situation to be honest, as it may be helpful to someone else considering the possibility. =)

  36. jenn says:

    I have a lot of reservation about using gestational surrogacy (mainly the fact most use third world women to carry their kids), but …this was nice. It was appreciative toward the woman who carried her child, unlike some others who just say they “used a gestational carrier” and that’s it. Downplaying the importance of whoever is growing the baby, regardless of whose egg it is, is ugly, as every women risks her life to nourish a human being with her own body and give birth to one. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum are a time of at least slightly heightened risk for *any* woman, — much less one who is going to give away the product of all that — the baby. Be it her own genetic material or not. And regardless of how much bank she will mak for doing so. So, I respect this actress for saying this, very gracious and acknowledging.

  37. Alix says:

    Very happy for the new parents, but can’t imagine why they think the hows, whys and wherefores of their son’s conception and birth are anyone’s business but their own. All anyone needs to know is that they’re the happy parents of a healthy baby boy. TM freakin’ I.

  38. Isa says:

    I think it’s lovely they spoke so openly about it and graciously thanked their surrogate.
    I think there are a lot of fertility problems in Hollywood and they just get swept under the rug. Yea, sure it’s private, it’s personal. But so are drug addictions/eating disorders/emotional issues/failed relationships etc. And yet many of them have no problems giving interview after interview about that stuff.
    I feel like when it’s not talked about it becomes more of a taboo subject, which it shouldn’t be. Just my opinion.
    Hearing her refer to herself as having a broken belly made my heart hurt. 🙁

  39. normades says:

    I like her a lot. She is funny and can act too. I always wondered why she didn’t make it bigger.

    Congrats to her!

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