Danish royal couple expects surrogacy baby


Northern Europe


The royal couple on their long-awaited wedding last year. The two spouses had to wait about 20 years before they could get married. Photo Facebook, Eugenia Garavani

Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and his wife, Princess Carina, are expecting a baby. However, the princess lacks the usual baby bump. Instead, another woman is carrying her child.

Both the prince, who is a nephew of the Danish queen Margarethe and his wife are 54 years old. They had to wait almost 20 years before they could get married due to an inheritance rule from Gustav's grandfather Prince Gustav Albrecht, who was a Nazi, Daily Mail writes. Now, they are becoming parents in their fifties with the help of a surrogate mother.

Royal fans have already claimed that the baby is a boy and is due to be born in May. Official sources have not confirmed the announcement yet. According to a press release from Berleburg Castle, the residence of the royal couple in Germany, the baby is due in the summer. The prince and princess state their thanks in the same press release "to everyone who has helped to find a legal path to follow."

According to Kristeligt Dagblad, the baby will be the first royal child born via surrogacy. It is unknown whether the couple has paid the surrogate mother for her service (commercial surrogacy) or whether they found someone who offered to carry the baby altruistically, the Danish newspaper reports.


The royal surrogacy baby may renew the discussion about surrogacy in Denmark. Currently, it is legal to have a child via a surrogate mother, but there are quite a few requirements that have to be fulfilled. It is, for example, illegal to get help with insemination, and third parties may not communicate with the surrogate mother.

Leif Vestergaard Pedersen, chairman of the Danish Ethics Council, finds the rules too restrictive. Last January, the council proposed to make surrogacy a standard fertility treatment, Kristeligt Dagblad reports. At the same time, Vestergaard Pedersen warns against commercial surrogacy "because it can in many ways be equated with trade in children."

Age limit

Another concern about the royal baby is the age of its parents. Being 54 years old is a relatively high age for first-time parents, Kristeligt Dagblad states. However, Vestergaard Pedersen thinks this is not something the Ethical Council is concerned with. "There is an age limit in fertility treatment, probably primarily for the sake of the woman giving birth. Regarding more general considerations, parents' age is a consideration. Still, it is not something we have discussed or have immediate plans for", he says.

Fertility doctor Malene Tanderup Sørensen points out that there is no biological age barrier regarding surrogate parenthood. "However, the fact that they are older is one of the things that can help put the debate on surrogacy at the forefront."


In any case, the royal family welcomes the baby with happiness. Lene Balleby, a spokesperson for the family, says that the royals "are very happy on behalf of the couple."

Historian and royal house commentator Lars Hovbakke Sørensenpoints out that the royal house is usually more conservative than the general population. However, he thinks the difficulties the royal couple overcame to get married "can help to create more understanding around their decision about surrogate motherhood."



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