Elizabeth Banks Welcomes Son Felix

03/30/2011 at 03:00 PM ET
Jason Merritt/Getty

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, BanksΒ 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.

“I have had untold number of opportunities to work with inspiring people, on great projects as an actress, and I have had a fantastic long term relationship of nearly 20 years with my now husband, Max. 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: we make a ‘baby cake’ and bake it in another woman’s ‘oven’. 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.”

“We have maintained a great deal of privacy throughout this process, and hope to continue to honor Felix’s privacy going forward,” Banks writes. “Thanks to all our friends, family, and fans for your support.”

In closing, “If you need me, I’ll be changing dirty diapers and trying to get some sleep.”

Banks and Handelman — whom she met on her first day of college in 1992 — wed in July 2003.

— Sarah Michaud with reporting by Blaine Zuckerman

FILED UNDER: Births , News

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Showing 66 comments

Sarah on

Congratulations!!! I absolutely LOVE her!

It’s funny, the other day I saw a picture of her on the People site and wondered if she would ever pop up over here!! So exciting!! πŸ™‚

truehurt on

What is a broken belly?

Melanie on

truehurt, you seriously just need to go away.

Congratulations to Elizabeth and her husband! She is a fantastic actress πŸ™‚

jordan on

Congrats to them!
I love the name. It’s really cute. πŸ™‚

Allison J on

Congratulations to Elizabeth and her husband! What wonderful news. Felix is a cute name, too.

RachelfromBoston on

omgaw!! congrats ❀
& I loooove the name Felix

Kate on

The way she honored the gestational carrier and her husband in the birth announcement shows how classy Elizabeth Banks is. Congrats to the new parents and baby’s name is just great…

Jillian on

What a beautiful story! Congrats!

Melanie, ignore….

Rex on


How does one become a troll? What a pathetic existence you must have. I would love to see you take your various asinine responses to a real *live* person (who would promptly punch you in the face.)

klutzy_girl on

Congratulations to Elizabeth and her husband! I love the name Felix.

Olivia on

Congratulations to her and her family. Love the name Felix!

truehurt on

I don’t like the name Felix. It reminds me of that cat.

Molly on

While, I’m not a fan of the name Felix, I love her explanation of the name. This is one of the better, more classy celebrity birth “announcement” I’ve read in a long time!

B.J. on

I love her! She looks like she could be my sister so I’ve followed her career for years. Not a fan of Felix, but the meaning is lovely! Congrats to the happy parents.

Jgirl on

Beautiful story. Many congratulations to all involved. Baby Felix will be surrounded by love.

Grace on

I love reading about birth announcements like this. I’m so happy for them that they finally became parents. Congrats to them!

Pamela Claire on

What a pleasant surprise! She’s very funny and seems very sweet. This birth announcement is so beautiful, from her acknowledgment of the surrogate family to the meaning behind Felix’s name. It’s obvious he was wanted for a long time and will be loved very much!

Sydney on

Congrats to the new parents.

I think it’s wonderful to name a child something that means happy and lucky. What a lovely thing to carry through life with you.

Nella on

What a nice story! Congrats to them! I’m very happy for them and wish them much happiness! πŸ™‚

meghan on

Yesterday, they reran an episode of Scrubs were she was pregnant and I wondered if she and her husband wanted children or not (like it’s my business πŸ˜‰ ). It breaks my heart to know now that she was struggling with fertility problems while playing a pregnant character (who lies to JDs face about having a miscarriage). It had to be difficult for her. I love that she included the surrogate and her husband in her announcement! Elizabeth and Max have been given an amazing gift and their surrogate and her husband should be celebrated for their selflessness.

Bree on

Congrats to them!! Not a fan of the name Felix but I love the story behind it, I love any name with a story behind it.
I was very surprised to read that she is 37!! She does not look it!! So happy for them, I am sure he is absolutly ADORABLE πŸ™‚

Really on

Rex,I think you will eventually get punched in the face for being so self righteous.Truehurt has a valid point.What exactly is a broken belly?And why not adopt.

L.Marie on

Really~ Really?! Are you that idiotic? She goes on to explain she had fertility issues. That’s a ‘broken belly’. She made ‘my girl parts done work’ not as bad by saying ‘broken belly’!

J on

Poor Truehurt. What if they were seriously asking a question wondering about her fertility problems. Good Lord people are mean.

Rex on

“Really” — go back to the trailer park, immediately. If you can’t infer what a “broken belly” means, then you are as dumb as your comment.

Mira on

You have to admit that “broken belly” sounds pretty awkward and kind of insulting to people with fertility problems. Why not just say “fertility problems”? Or “I couldn’t conceive”? Both much simpler and much more accurate options.

But congrats to her and her husband. I looooove the name Felix, but my hubby didn’t want to use it because of the cat. I also think it’s great that she’s been with her husband since 1992. They must be true soulmates to manage to go through all of the ups and downs of fame and “growing up” together. Good for them!!

laurelcanyonfashionista on

what a sweet announcement- love it!!! wish them all the best in the world.

hannah on

Really – why should she have to adopt? They made their choice and it was a great one for them. So sorry they didnt include you in their decision.. sigh.

Congratulations to Elizabeth and Max on the birth of Felix. I LOVE the name. Its been in the top 10 on our baby boys list for the past 5 years.

Cecelia on

Really, as someone who was adopted, I will say, adoption, while a wonderful thing, is not for everyone and there’s nothing wrong with that. Thankfully, science has progressed enough that couples can explore a variety of options before choosing what will work best for their family.

BabyBlogAddict on

I think her use of ‘broken belly’ is funny and cute! Felix is an adorable name and so happy for them to be able to have children. I agree with many of the other posters… referencing the carrier and her husband in the announcement is very classy! Shows they are appreciative!

KRS on

Come on Mira, get real. She’s not speaking for other people who have had fertility issues – she’s speaking for herself alone, and describing how it probably feels sometimes to her. Not to mention that it may be a very sensitive or private topic for her that she doesn’t wish to elaborate on. Let her speak for herself and express her joyous news however she likes.

dsfg on

Really, why don’t YOU adopt? I can bet you haven’t because if you had, you’d know that adopting a baby isn’t always that easy! Maybe you should learn a little bit about adoption before you suggest others should try it!

I would have adopted all of my children if it was that easy!

Winter221 on

Really, YOU are being self-righteous.

I don’t understand what’s with the posters here who keep saying things like “they should adopt”. Not everyone wants adopted children. People need to get past that.

Katie on

Oh this made me cry. How wonderful for her and her husband!
Her announcement is so sweet and sincere… I wish them every happiness with their long awaited child.

Ali on

I LOVE her and had no idea she was 37! She looks soooooooooooooooooooo much younger! Good for her!!! I think that a surrogate is such an amazing thing. I think it’s incredible how this is becoming such a common option for couples to have children. It’s awesome.

Congrats to the new family!!!!!

Shannon on

Broken belly? Does she mean broken uterus?

Jillian on

I had/have fertility problems and am NOT insulted by broken belly. I like it and which I had thought of it!

Corrie on

Truehurt, I wish this blog was still moderated so we wouldn’t have to deal with your pessimism and negativity all the time.

Really, REALLY?!?! My husband and I are thinking about adopting because we have not been able to have our own kids. Just because someone has the money to adopt, it doesn’t mean that they want to or that they have to. Adoption is expensive. People don’t really seem to GET that. We are looking at upwards of 6K just to start the process.

And also, maybe it’s important for someone to have their own child? As an adoptee, my biggest dream has always been to see some of my own qualities in my own child, and clearly that’s something that Elizabeth and her husband wanted to do. Adoption’s a personal choice and definitely not for everyone. For those who choose to, that’s great, but there’s no call to judge people who choose to take other avenues to have kids of their own!

Rex, I don’t condone violence, but I must say that you are my hero.

/steps off soapbox and walks away.

Rosalie on

Congrast to them, wonderful news!!

Keira on

Adopted children are definitely not for me, but I do think its selfish for people to have children via a surrogate. I understand choosing to have biological children as opposed to adopted children if that is a possibility, but clearly it was not a possibility for her. Is blood relation THAT important that you would have an embryo created in a LAB and have it implanted into a desperate woman who will probably regret her decision later on in life?

This is exploitation. It doesn’t matter if the woman is being paid. The fact that the child is not biologically related to the surrogate does not mean that the surrogate will not love that baby like her own. No amount of money can ever replace a woman’s child. And after carrying the baby for 9 months and developing a bond, the surrogate is definitely the mother.

Clearly a woman willing to do something like this is in a very miserable situation and she is desperate for money. No normal person would become a surrogate.

As I said before, just because the woman is consenting to it and being paid for her “services” does not make it alright. Lets say, hypothetically, that I hire a live-in maid that I only pay 2 dollars per hour and she is alright with it because she can’t find another job. Is it morally acceptable for me to take advantage of her just because she is willing? No! That’s why we have labor laws. A situation like I just described would be considered a form of modern slavery. Surrogacy is slavery also!

Michelle on

Nawww I was about to comment that it must have been her real belly on 30 Rock. Life is unfair and then these options present themselves!

Congrats on the new baby!

Jessica on

Keira–Clearly a woman willing to do something like this is in a very miserable situation and she is desperate for money. No normal person would become a surrogate.

You are sadly misinformed. I have two WONDERFUL friends who have bene surro’s. They are married with 2 and 3 children of their own. They do not do it for $, but because they feel blessed to have been able to have children of their own and want to bless others who arn’t able to carry children of their own. Get the facts straight before you start judging all surro’s. I’m sure there are some who need the $ and do it for mainly that reason, but you still have to be a wonderful caring person to do it. Your comment is just plain RUDE!!!!!!

zappo on

Kiera, it’s apparent that surrogacy is not for you and that’s ok. What is not ok, though, is you calling it “slavery.” Come on, that is dramatic and well, plainly false. It is not slavery, and the women go through lots of pre-screening and it is a consentual , LEGAL agreement. Just because it is not for you, doesn’t mean that you have the right to criticize others for whom it has worked. And your comparison to a live in maid really is so far from the comparison of surrogacy it makes no sense. And yes, for some people it is important to have a biological child. That IS NOT A CRIME.

For anybody who wasn’t being facetious, “broken belly” is Elizabeth’s euphemism for infertility. She can use any language she wants to describe her infertility and anyone who takes it as an “insult” is to obsessed with themselves and needs to be less self centered.

Congratulations to her and her husband on their baby!

Jillian on

Keira, Many surrogates know the mother and/or father and therefore are NOT doing it for the money, but for love.

Kate on

I like to consider myself what Keira calls a “normal” person, and I would GLADLY become a surrogate. How wonderful to be able to give someone a child they would have never had otherwise!

Kim on

Kiera Most women giving up babies for adoption can’t afford to keep them so I guess they are being exploited. Also many receive a stipend and medical expenses.Naybe those woman should terminate those pregnancies so they want be exploited by “rich” adoptive parents and agencies Huh

dsfg on

Corrie, any child you adopt will be your own child. If you don’t think of a child you adopt as your own, you probably shouldn’t adopt.

Coraline on

Aw, congrats! I love the name Felix and its meanings are lovely. I’m happy for them and I’m glad that Elizabeth finally gets to be a mom. I have a tremendous amount of respect for surrogates because it’s such a lovely, selfless way to help somebody and I find that very sweet.

Keira on

There are a FEW exceptions, but most surrogate mothers do not go into the business because they are such kind people. They do it for the money. There have been many cases documented where the surrogate mothers decided to keep the babies. Clearly the surrogate develops a bond with the child and it is HER child and she has the right to keep it regardless of the fact that it isn’t hers biologically.

It IS exploitation. Just because some people have gotten their best friends or family members to do it for them, does not mean that is the norm. Most surrogate mothers do it for money and many of them regret their decisions later on.

I have heard of many cases where couples went to foreign countries and paid women only a few hundred dollars to carry a child for them. Most people would agree that hiring a poor surrogate from a third world country and only paying her 500-1000 dollars is exploitation. But surrogacy in ANY form is exploitation. It doesn’t matter if you are paying the woman 1,000,000 of even 1,000,000,000 dollars, it is WRONG!

If you can’t have kids, adopt. Stop being so selfish. Science and technology is wonderful, but sometimes it can be downright scary. I can’t imagine what we’ll be doing 100 years from now if people are sick enough to be having children via a surrogate in 2011. What’s next, scientists inventing a fake womb where babies can be grown in labs? Sick, sick, sick!

Amanda on

Unless, you have dealt with fertility issues you have no idea what kind of pain that is. I for one am happy for her and her husband. Their surrogate has blessed them in one of the most UNSELFISH ways possible.

Adoption is not for everyone. I have heard too many stories of heartbroken couples ending up with no baby cause the birth mother changes her mind. That’s a risk I myself would not be willing to take after all is said and done.

Corrie on

dsfg, I AM adopted. Sorry for the confusion. What I meant to say, and I apologize if it came out the wrong way, was that I still would like to have a biological child of my own if there’s a chance that might happen one day. And that I understand why Elizabeth made the choices that she did, that’s all. πŸ™‚

soph on

Banks is lame for saying “broken belly” and if you all can’t see that there’s nothing to be done for you…do you think you have more right to be here than truehurt, Melanie? Asinine, Rex, really? Mmkay.

Jillian on

Soph, Well, I guess there is nothing to be done for me……whatever that means!

dsfg on

Keira, I would love to see some source citations for your “statistics.”

Alice on

In addition to the comments about why some women choose to be surrogates, in that they want to provide other women with children and they can make some money, I think others enjoy being pregnant and understand that sometimes it is unrealistic to have a bunch of children of their own, so why not carry another woman’s child? It isn’t sick or twisted at all. We shouldn’t sit here and criticize other people for their decisions regarding how to have children. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to learn that you physically cannot have children of your own, and I think it’s great to go out and pursue other options. She also seems like she’ll be a great mother, and she can clearly afford to raise a child, so I honestly do not think she’s doing anything wrong.

molly on

Love her- so funny and so heartfelt-her annoucnement. Absolutely wonderul for them and their baby love!! From a woman who knows infertility and pain…the wait is well worth it! I wish them all the joy (and sleep!) they can get from little Felix! Congrats!

Katie on

We live in America. People are entitled to do whatever they want, when they want to do it. If getting a surrogate is what she wanted, who is to judge her here? Instead we should be congratulating her. Who cares about her broken belly comment for those who disliked it. Build a bridge and get over it!

Indira on

If someone wants to rent out their womb it’s their body, let them.

Eliza on

Actually who ever said about adoption is right on the spot. She could have adopted but wanted her own offspring the share the same genes to some it is a big deal to others it is not. Since I am adopted I know for a fact it is not that hard at all. That is only if you do not care what color the child is and to those whites who are going to agrue you are wrong ask my white mother. It took my little sister less then a year to be placed in our home because she was black period.

Eliza on

oh can I had she was a very healthy baby girl and now she is 13 years old and has amazing grades at school. People want chilren that look like them even if they have to wait for years and years.. so sad but I am glad my parent picked a black child to gave a great home to.

Grace-2 on

@dsfg: I agree – I would love to see where Keira is getting her information (I think she’s getting it from a Lifetime TV movie from the 80s but that’s just my guess.)

meghan on

Has it occured to anyone that says “why not adopt” that it’s possible that some of these couples who had a child via surrogate DID try adoption at one point? Adoptions fall through for a multitude of reasons and when you get your hopes up like that just to get your heart broken, you are very reluctant to set yourself up for that again. We don’t know what Elizabeth Banks or any woman goes through on the journey of infertility and it’s really not our place to tell them how to handle it. I’ve seen the struggle of infertility destroy marriages, so as far as I’m concerned, however you are blessed to become a parent should not be judged by people who have no idea what it’s like.

dsfg on

Eliza, it’s too bad they didn’t send you to school! Otherwise I’d probably be able to decipher your post.

Shailey on

When people have no trouble having biological children, they never have to face the kind of issues that infertile people struggle to handle. As soon as people hear that you’re undergoing ANY type of infertility treatments, you start getting the, “why don’t you just adopt?”, speech. They don’t think about the fact that it costs tens of thousands of dollars, have of them fall through after you put your finances and heart on the line and it can take a long time. With infertility treatment, you always seem to think, “one more month, one more try and this could all be over”. Once you start the adoption process, you have a whole other set of people (usually online) who tell you that you are a horrible person for “stealing” someone else’s child, taking advantage of a young pregnant woman, etc. even though they have no idea what your specific situation is. Any time you struggle to have kids, your become the social punching bag for a myriad of people who love to criticize your family building decisions while never having to face these heart wrenching decisions themselves. Family comes to us in all sorts of ways. Just be happy for them, realize that your opinion on how someone should have a family is not the only one and move on.

Lol on

Wow. Just wow. Keira, hear is a bit of useful info you should take into consideration. Shut the f*ck up and mind your own business! It’s clearly a small world since you think you know everyone. If someone who isn’t able to have a baby turns to surrogacy, i think it’s wonderful. Maybe your money hungry, (which you seem to be, considering that’s all you seem to think it’s about) but that doesn’t mean the rest of us are. Some people just want to bless someone who isn’t as fortunate as them. We need more people like that in the world nowadays. And a few less nasty judgemental b*tches like you. Congrats to Elizabeth and Max on their new arrival Felix, for he is a very special gift from above. One more thing Keira, it’s NOT up to YOU what people do with their time, money or bodies, so why don’t you just mind your own business and congratulate them? Oh nevermind…I really wouldn’t want you to crack a smile or anything.

PS. Hope you haven’t got any kids of your own lol, the world is already quite overpopulated with bastards if you ask me.

Annachestnut on

Unless you go through it, you don’t know how painful infertility is and how it steals years from your life. Congrats to Elizabeth!