Elizabeth Banks Welcomes Son Magnus Mitchell

11/14/2012 at 11:45 AM ET

Elizabeth Banks Welcomes Son Magnus Mitchell
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty

It’s another boy for Elizabeth Banks.

The actress, 38, and husband Max Handelman recently welcomed their second son, Magnus Mitchell Handelman, Banks announced on her website Wednesday. He joins big brother Felix, 20 months, at home.

“As 2012 winds down and Thanksgiving approaches, I have much for which to be thankful – personal, professional, and Presidential. However, nothing can match the joy and excitement my husband and I felt when we recently welcomed our second baby boy,” the Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect star writes.

“Magnus joins older brother Felix, thus commencing a decade or more of close hand to hand combat.”

“Like Felix, Magnus was born via gestational surrogate. This experience has exceeded all expectations, taught us a great deal about generosity and gratitude, and established a relationship that will last a lifetime,” adds Banks.

“I am also so very thankful to our family and friends for their support throughout this process, as well as the Center for Surrogate Parenting for helping make all this possible.”

“I now turn my attention to managing two boys under two. For which I am thankful. And all their poop. For which I am less thankful,” Banks jokes. “Wish me luck.”

The actress, who also had a recurring role on 30 Rock, has been open about her fertility struggle. “It was a womb issue for me. Embryos wouldn’t implant,” she explained earlier this year.

— Julia Haskins

FILED UNDER: Births , News

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sookie on


Kelsey on


Nadia on

Surrogacy is to humans what pet shops are to animals. Why buy when you can adopt?

Sharon on

Wow what an ignorant thing to say! The baby was not “bought” he is their biological child just carried by someone else. You have to pay to adopt babies too. Get a life…..

Anonymous on

So sad some people have. Neither depth of empathy or integrity to grasp anything out of thier narrow minded ness grow up feel for others besides yourself baby’s are a gift from the Lord the best ever esp when you can’t have one yet have the love to give

Tiffany on

Nadia- How many children have YOU adopted? Don’t judge others for their choices.

hbomb1225 on

@Nadia – I bet you dont know what its like to be told you are unable to have children.

Aly on

@Nadia – There is nothing wrong with wanting a child that is genetically related to you. For some surrogacy is the right choice, for others adoption. It’s a personal choice unique to each family. Let the family decide what is best or them.

Ruth on

You’re comparing surrogacy to adopting a pet? Really? She had the baby via surrogate because she can’t have kids herself.

Lisa on

Congrats to you! It must be hard to ignore the ignorance that inevitably will display its ugly head no matter how happy the news. Your choice was personal, private and should be respected.

Lori on

Presidential? Ah, Elizabeth hon – you one percenter hypocrite who can afford to adopt children and hire nannies and live in glass MANSIONS galore – you lost me right there, hon.

Just another privileged elitist one percenter HYPOCRITE celebrity.

Anonymous on

Nadia, she tried for years to conceive and could not.

Kristi on

Another rich person buying a baby. Too bad the rest of us can’t do that.

Goosie on

@Nadia – that is a ridiculous comment. Animals do not go to pet shops; people go to pet shops. Both surrogacy and adoption cost money, but in the case of surrogacy, especially gestational surrogacy, the child is legally that of the biological parents, not the carrier. In the case of adoption, there have been some cases where the adoption has been revoked, and even if that did not happen, couples can spend years on a waiting list for a child that may or may not come. Why would anyone choose to adopt if you can get more of a guarantee with surrogacy?

@Nadia on

Nadia, I could not have put it better myself; except I want to rescue the puppies from the store, too…they are sad looking in those little glass cages. Why spend 100,000 knocking someone else up when there are millions of babies starving in orphanages that can be saved!!!

SusieQ on

You people that are saying “adopt, adopt…”, have you looked into this process? Have you researched the guidelines from different countries regarding eligibility? It is very hard to adopt now. It takes many years and a lot of heart break. Before you judge others maybe you shouldn’t open your mouth and spew ignorance before you do some research on how viable an option it is to people- there are age, race, cultural and gender criteria that adoptive parents need to meet before even starting the adoption process. Be happy that she was able to have a child no matter what the process is!!

Lis on

Aww, congrats!! My little guys are 22 months apart and I love it!!! So much FUN!

kii on

Only if surrogacy was affordable for everyone, damn US health care system..It’s great to have a surrogate if you can’t carry your own kid..It’s funny, how people who don’t even deserve to have kids or can’t even afford to have one, keep pumping out at no stop..but people who are so kind and loving have problems conceiving…I don’t know if god exists, but sure hell god created so unfairness even in this category…

iantoad on

*Nadia, why so judgmental? You have no idea about their private lives.

TJ on

Congrats to them…don’t like the name though.

Nicole on

Seriously! Adopting an infant is hardly like to going down to the SPCA! It’s a very difficult process. Far more people want to adopt than infants available domestically. Waiting children are older and come with special challenges the average person isn’t equipped to deal with. Just because someone is infertile hardly means it is their responsibility to rescue troubled teens and toddlers with severe disabilities!

lola on

if you are told you are unable to have children, then you shouldn’t. that means your body doesn’t work in the way that it should to carry a baby, healthy baby, to full term. playing God and manipulating science with in vitro, surrogacy (which is usually the product of in vitro or forced fertility) all these are cause for a young child and then adult to have severe health issues later in life. not a natural conception equals poor health in that person FOREVER. sadly the selfishness of women across this world to have that picture perfect experience is allowing for sad results in the future generations.

Deb on

@Lola, what a pile of crap!

Rhonda Calcatera on

Your rant was ridiculous! Instead of congratulating Elizabeth for welcoming another baby into the world (doesn’t matter the method,) you’re condemning her! I had a son with the help of fertility drugs and I am so grateful for advanced technology. You should be ashamed of yourself! Congratulations Elizabeth-how exciting!!!

Lucky3 on

@ Lola

Wow! What a ignorant person you are!

I have never commented before but your post is unbelievable. People who are infertile should not have kids?? Hoping you never have to experience the difficulty in trying to conceive.

Also your comments that invitro children have lifelong health issues is just plain stupid! I have three healthy & highly intelligent children that are “invitro” children.

BD on

Your comment is completely ignorant, false, and offensive, lola. IVF does not cause health problems later in life for the mother or the child. Do your homework. There is nothing like the pain of longing for a child and being unable to do that on your own… Do not pass judgement on the thousands of couples who prayerfully and earnestly make sacred decisions and sacrifices to bring biological children into their home.

Paige on

Lori – the definition of hypocrite is “a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.”

What on earth makes her a hypocrite just because she voted for Obama? Yes, she is wealthy and able to afford surrogacy, which not many people are. She will also most likely pay more taxes under Obama – but how exactly does this make her an elitest hypocrite? She is free to spend her money however she pleases – and she’s fine with paying more taxes under an Obama adminitration.

Could you please clarify what you mean?

Tina on

Moreover, she supports Planned Parenthood because she used it as a young woman. She had a heavy flow and had to go on BC to regulate her period. She firsthand understands what valuable services it provides and therefore is a vocal proponent of funding and is a donor herself.

Misty on

I love her. Congrats to them on their new addition!

O on

Thats my sons name and @me yes, we call him Maggie. Love it! @anonymouse really? Stupid name is pretty harsh. Will Ferrel also has a son named Magnus 🙂 Yay for fun names!

O on

love it!

Connie on

@Nadia that is an ignorant statement. Why should you have a child born naturally when there are so many hungry, homeless, and foster children around the world! I hope you aren’t a parent!

Emily on

We love her! Congrats to her and her family!

Natasha on

For all those whining about her not adopting….adoption is also quite expensive, and I’m not talking about “white babies”. I’m looking into the adoption of a mixed ethnicity infant from the US and it can easily cost 10-20k nevermind not knowing what the baby could be exposed to in utero. County adoption is a roller coaster ride and not the right path for everyone (looked into that as well). We live in a free country and people have the right to create a family in the best way for THEM, not for those who judge!

Connie on

@Kii – life is not fair; grow up. And oh US Health Care would still not make Surrogacy affordable for everyone. The main costs are non-medical (the time of the surrogate who gets paid). The conception and birth would be covered under many health plans, if you have insurance. Just wait America, when this Health Care is in affect – middle class will no longer exist – we will have the wealthy and the poor. Business owners will take their money and go overseas for cheaper labor and less government control, while the middle class person who wants to work and earn their way will not have a job or will be down to part-time for the owners to avoid having to comply with government regulations. We will be posting on our actual hardships and not slamming someone who made their own choice with their own money!

Kenzi on

@Nadia – As someone who can not have children I find your comment completely rude and ignorant! Just as you can choose whether to have a baby from yourself and spouse or to adopt WE should also have that choose!

SKG on

Congratulations Elizabeth! I appreciate your openness and honesty about using surrogacy, and wish your family health and happiness! As we all know, there are celebrities out there who “pretend” to be pregnant rather than revealing the truth.

Elisa on

it’s better compared to something even worse than pet shop… surrogates sell their bodies for money, that’s the ugly truth…

Lily on

Ugly name.

Chris on

Congrats to Elizabeth and her family. 🙂 That is wonderful news!!

MMac1220 on

Lola, based on that statement I would say that you are too stupid to have a baby. Are you going to tell me it isn’t my place to say that? Because it definitely isn’t your place to say that someone isn’t meant to be a mother. And please tell me where I can find the research to back up your claim that children born through in vitro have health problems? Please keep your close-minded opinions to yourself.

daniella on

@lola – you are a dimwit in all meanings of the word. No idea where you get info but certainly not from science or medicine. I’m guessing you were created “naturally” and you are stupid so obviously that isn’t perefct either.

## on

MANY congrats to her and her family. What a wonderful thing and a true blessing.

And to “Nadia” and whoever else out there that are being mean, saying hurtful things —- I just want to know why?

Why at a time when someone is a proud parent do you find the negative in this?? A child was brought into this world and however her family was blessed with this child is a wonderful thing.
Is your life so bad and pathetic it makes you feel better to say something so mean about her having the chance to be a mother??

I am not saying everything in the world is perfect but damn!

BlueSkidoo on

Congratulations to her and her family. And congratulations to Lola for the most ignorant and least-researched post EVER to be posted on People. I can only assume you’re a troll who intentionally posted the most inane thing that came to mind, because no one could really be that stupid.

Leigh on

Congratulations to the whole family! Surrogacy is awesome!


Congrats!! 😀

Magnus is a beautiful name, though I prefer the Latin pronunciation of it.

Wow, some people seriously need to keep the trap shut. How dare u people critisize the wish for a biological child. People like you need to be faced with fertility problems. I pray to God that you’ll never have any children, they will grow up in an ignorant and cruel environment.

Cathy on

I think Elizabeth is lovely. She is funny and well spoken and I for one am so happy for her and her husband. They created a loving family and it really doesn’t matter how they went about it. Congratulations to them!

lisa on

whoever is complaining about elizabeth being a 1 percenter: rich people can feel for the middle and lower classes too. it’s not about how much money they have, but what they do with it..and you DON’T know..so it’s best to just keep quiet.

fanofboardwalkempire on

Congratulations to the happy family- Love the new name for the new baby boy- What a great blessing!

SarahJane on

She had a gestational surrogate, her eggs, his sperm, their baby. She couldn’t carry a baby to term so someone else did. It’s amazing and a blessing that they were able to have their own biological children despite their challenges. Congratulations to them!!! I hope they ignore the haters on here.

cheatingtobechic on

Gotta love the trolls. Congrats Elizabeth! For those who don’t understand surrogacy, please do some research before you insult others in a public forum.

Adoption is often the same price as surrogacy. It’s also difficult or impossible for most people to adopt healthy babies because the waiting lists are so long in the US and abroad.

It’s especially difficult to adopt when you’re Jewish (like Banks) bc most women who give up children for adoption want to place their babies in christian homes.

Then older children who need homes often have physical and emotional problems that normal people cannot handle- and more often older kids have several siblings they want to keep together.

Furthermore, international adoption policies require living in that foreign country for a month minimum – which makes it unrealistic for people who have to work.

I’m sick of hearing people talk about adoption like it’s an easy accessible option for everyone and then imply that the only reason why someone would choose surrogacy is because of their wealth and narcissism. By that logic, it is selfish for ANYONE to conceive their own children, instead of adopting, regardless of fertility issues.

Megan on

@Nadia, I didn’t go to a petshop because I can’t deliver PUPPIES myself….I went to a surrogate because I can’t deliver a BABY myself. I have good eggs and my husband has good sperm, but I don’t have a uterus. There is NOTHING wrong with technology helping me have my own biological child.

Meg on

she’s so well spoken and funny and humble. i love her lots 🙂

lili4582 on

W.T.H ever happened to saying congrats and keeping any snarky comments to yourself? And Lola, just stop! Please never say anything EVER! And since that is the nicest thing I can say to you, I’m done!

hbomb1225 on

To the people complaining about “science getting in the way of ‘Gods’ plan” in regards to surragocy or IVF. Do you should also complain about people who wear contacts or glasses (God clearly wants you to be blind), or taking medicine while sick (he clearly wants you to be sick, and possible die depending on the illness), or people who have any kind of surgery, etc. The list could go on and on. Your argument is null because I am willing to bet that at some point you have done something to your body that was against “Gods so called plan”. And why should people adopt if its against Gods plan for them to be a parent? Maybe Gods plan is for the kids to live a rough life and hopefully come through it better on the other end?

Until you are told you cant have children, dont comment on it, because its an extremely hard thing to go through. Adoption is much harder and quite expensive to go through, so dont act as if its a walk in the park and that anyone can do it so easily.

Hea on

I like the name Magnus. It’s a very common boys name where I live.

ASpectacle on

A surrogate mother who “sells” her body for a compensation of $25,000 (average/high) does so for an average of $3.70 an hour, if a full-term pregnancy is a “job” where she is on the clock working every hour, every day for 280 consecutive days. This all includes her time for giving muliple hormone shots, medications, travel, possible bedrest and any complications that may arise. Not EXACTLY the get rich quick scheme you make it out to be. Unless, just maybe, money isn’t the motivating factor behind why a woman chooses to act as a surrogate.

?!? on

Have fun with all that money for the next 2 months hun….lets see how thankful you are for that president when you fall off the edge of the fiscal cliff with the rest of us. And btw- you’re about to taxes almost 50%…consider the losers of America to be new charity of choice! Congrats on the baby though! Lol

Kiki Bridges on

Presidential? Silly celebrities. So oblivious.

Meggles on

Congratulations to Elizabeth and her family on the arrival of baby Magnus.

For the ignorant people out there who think they know better, because they live conservative lives, baby Magnus is biologically Elizabeth’s and her husbands – Elizabeth just was not able to carry the baby (as also stated in the article).

Also, without disrespect to Elizabeth, she is hardly part of the 1% of this country; so please be careful when throwing that little gem around. There are a lot of nameless CEOs and Executives, as well as high level entertainment industry types, who form part of the 1%, and Ms Banks is certainly not part of it.

Finally, you take the trouble to comment negatively on someone who is welcoming a miracle into their life, rather than congratulating them. How awful is your life, that you have to stoop so low to carry on with ignorant, factually incorrect comments? Go and read a book before commenting about someone’s life. I don’t care if you’re entitled to your opinion, at least make it a well-informed and CORRECT opinion.

Congrats again to Elizabeth and her family and thank you for sharing your news!

Kat on

Will Farrell has a son named Magnus too. I love their babies’ names Magnus and Felix.

Amy on

People are so cruel! Thank God most of this nation is not as bitter as the people who can’t lose a political election graciously! Congrats to the family!

Cassie on

Magnus is my son’s name too! So masculine! For the uneducated ppl in here who are not aware, Magnus is a common Scandinavian name. Will Ferrell is married to a Swede as am I. He has a Magnus, Axel and Mattias. All great names. Perhaps Elizabeth and her hubby just really likes the name, or maybe they have Scandinavian roots?

stacey on

Whoa, Magnus and Felix!!!! Horrible taste in names!!!!!!!!!!!

Romy on

I love the name! I might not use it myself, but I think it’s great. Is it Swedish? I wouldn’t call him Maggie, though.

J on

Presidential? Oh please…

Spare us Amy. I’m sure you’d be complaining if the doofus in chief lost…

shelley on

Congrats to them! I love her sense of humor!

Anonymous on

cheatingtobechic- Actually, only a few foregin countries require a period of residency before adopting. Most don’t (including virtually all the countries celebs seem to adopt from the most, including Ethiopia, China, Korea, and prior to it ceasing to allow international adoptions, Vietnam)..

I agree 1000 percent with the rest of what you said, though.

BD- Actually, it’s only half true that IVF isn’t harmful to mothers or babies. It doesn’t appear to be harmful to babies, but it DOES have some possible long-term effect

Anonymous on

Whoops! Accidentally hit the send button while I was typing! The rest of my comment (I’ll repeat the last sentence I typed in an attempt to making things less confusing!):

IVF CAN have long-term health effects for the mother. For example, although it is still not known for sure yet whether this is true (and studies have shown conflicting results), it’s thought that undergoing a lot of fertility treatments that involve stimulating ovulation (which is virtually all of them, including IVF) may increase a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer later on.

In addition, fertility treatments can increase the chances of breast cancer in women and cause a potentially fatal condition known as hyper ovualation syndrome (google it if you want more info).

That being said, it’s up to each individual woman to weigh the risks and benefits of IVF and decide what’s right for her. i just didn’t want mis-information to be spread!

Carol on

Congratulations for becoming a mother for the second time! God Bless you and your beautiful family. Please ignore the very, very, very ignorant haters!!

Anonymous on

SusieQ (and others who have expressed similar views)- Exactly! I highly suggest that all of you who are basically saying “Just adopt” read Mariska Harigitay’s story about her and her husband’s adoption journey (just type Mariska’s name in the search box at the top of the page, go down to where it says “Babies” and you should find it quickly! :)).

Adoption is NOT easy, and not everyone can handle the heartbreak that can come with it (such as bringing a child into their home only for the birthmother to change her mind, as happened to Mariska).

I also want to point out that most of you criticizing Elizabeth for using a surrogate would probably have criticized her for adopting as well had she gone that route. For example, if she adopted a white baby there would be people calling her racist and asking why she didn’t adopt a child of color.

If she had adopted a COC, there would be people saying she was just following the supposid “trend” among celebs of adopting COC. If she had adopted from abroad there would be people blasting her for not adopting from her own country.

If she had adopted a newborn from the U.S. there would be people ripping her to shreds for not adopting an older child from the foster care system. And the list goes on!

Bottomline: This is a perfect example of how celebs are basically in a lose-lose situation when it comes to the decisions they make about their personal lives!

Anonymous on

Oh, and congrats to Elizabeth, Max, and Felix on the arrival of Magnus!

Anonymous on

One more thing: Why is that so many people seem to want to deny celebs the right to talk politics. Last time I checked, they had the right to free speech just like the rest of us!

Anonymous on

“A decade of close hand to hand combat.” Woman speaks the truth.


Whenever I read the comments on some stories I realise even more how you just can’t ever please everybody and not everybody is gonna like you so why bother trying…least of all celebs. Being a celebrity does not mean they were always rich. there was a time where surrogacy for them could not have been possible. But they are privileged enough now to afford it. Why should anyone less privileged, for whatever reasons, judge what is a happy and blessed time for these people? Money does not buy happiness but clearly not having any money makes some people seriously sour!! Ahem…too bad! it is the way it is.

Elisa on

Not being able to bear a child is awful, that’s not the point here… but surrogacy itself is not a right thing, these women are selling their own bodies!! doesn’t matter if it’s for little or a lot of money, they’re doing it…

adopting is not as easy as it sounds too…. why can’t the laws be changed about it? if abortion was forbidden in United States as it is here, you bet there would be more couples adopting… the point is that people tend to go to the easier path which doesn’t mean it’s the right one….

Melissa on

Congrats! I love the name 🙂

Melisa on

For the people talking about adoption, people want to have there on kids. Also stop comparing babies to pets, not the same

D on

Always sad when you can’t experience pregnancy and childbirth. But I am happy for her and others who can afford to have a surrogate. Congratulations

Katie on

Some people have no clue what they are talking about. most people who are saying these things about them needing to adopt…..WHY DIDN’T YOU ADOPT?? or does the things you say not apply to you?

jennifer on

If you think Magnus is a stupid name then why are you so afraid to post your comment with your real name rather than the Anonymous title………….

Anonymous on

Katie- While I see and agree with your point, we have no way of knowing whether the people saying Elizabeth should adopt have adopted themselves or not. Some of them may have for all we know (I’ll agree that it’s highly unlikely that they ALL did!).

Elisa- Actually, the only payment that most surrogates here in the U.S. recieve is in the form of the parents of the child they’re carrying covering their medical expenses.

Not only that, but most surrogates do what they do because they love being pregnant and want to help a couple who can’t otherwise have children, not because they’re after money. And they certainly don’t view carrying another person or couple’s child as selling their body to that person/couple!

Anonymous on

And as far as abortion goes (still responding to Elisa’s comment, btw), while I’m more pro-life than pro-choice, I don’t think banning it outright is the answer.

While doing so would probably lead to some women who would otherwise have sought termination of their pregnancies to continue them, far more would simply have the procedure done illegaly. And that carries a ton of risks, including infertilty, problems with future pregnancies, and life-threatening bleeding and infection.

Bottomline: I think the U.S. could stand to be a bit more restrictive about abortions, but not put women’s safety in jepordy by banning them completely!

Whatever on

Urg *slaps forehead* it really annoys me that I have to share a world with some people.

1. Elizabeth Banks is NOT in the 1%. It’s funny how some people think that someone can make a few movies and be Donald Trump. I doubt when Elizabeth was facing infertility she was like “Oh I could get a surrogate because I happen to be able to afford it, but I might offend the bitches on the People board” lol

2. Surrogates do NOT do it for the money. $30,000 is hardly the jackpot when most of the money is used for medical expenses. Surrogates are a rare and generous breed. I know I wouldn’t do it for $30k.

3. Adoption is a long hard heartbreaking process. You definitely don’t go down to an orphanage pick up a baby and that is that.

@Nadia- do you say the pet shop thing to everyone who has a baby out of their own uterus or just surrogates?? Because unless you do your comment makes absolutely no sense. I hope you adopted or are planning on adopting. What does it matter whose uterus the baby came out of if Elizabeth could of she would have had the baby herself, what’s the difference?

@Lola- maybe if you happened to get cancer you shouldn’t have chemo because nature doesn’t want you to live. Seriously calling someone selfish because they want to be a mother lol.

Unfortunately for the world people like Lola and Nadia are usually really fertile. Filling the world one ignorant stupid dimwit at a time.

Nadia on

Amen Lola, am with you on this one. Why not adopting?

Shelliec69 on

Congratulations to Elizabeth and her husband on their newest addition!

Mia on

She could have adopted. There are a lot of kids that need to be adopted. I think sometimes some woman are not able to have kids because god wants them to adopted. She probably would have made a good mother to a kid that needs a home.

Thespy on

@Nadia, Mia, etc. IT’S NOT YOUR BUSINESS!!!!

Alex on

For all of you who think that this woman is a horrible person for having a child by surrogacy instead of adopting, get a life. Hell, get a few of them and use one to read a book. There isn’t a damn thing wrong with adoption or the road that Ms. Banks and her family chose in extending their family. This woman is not a monster or a selfish person because she chose not to adopt. It’s no one’s damn business but her’s, and the person she has chosen to spend her life with, how their children came into this world. Not one person on this board or anwhere else, should be considered as less because, hell, they would like to explore how to have a child that is from them if it’s a possibility. What should matter is that here is that this little boy, and his brother, are happy, healthy and loved.

sydzac99 on

happy for her but really “Magnus”?!! sounds like a large dildo, not a baby name!! lol