Amber Heard has revealed she had a baby earlier this year.
Oonagh Paige Heard was born on April 8th, and is the 35-year-old’s first child.
Heard wrote on Instagram: “Four years ago, I decided I wanted to have a child. I wanted to do it on my own terms. I now appreciate how radical it is for us as women to think about one of the most fundamental parts of our destinies in this way.
“I hope we arrive at a point in which it’s normalized to not want a ring in order to have a crib. A part of me wants to uphold that my private life is none of anyone’s business. I also get that the nature of my job compels me to take control of this.”
She said of her daughter: “She’s the beginning of the rest of my life.”
Heard hasn’t given any details about how Oonagh came into the world — and nor should she have to — but she shows there’s a different path to motherhood than what is generally expected: finding a partner, getting married, and procreating.
For decades, this has been the overriding formula, and one that can feel quite limiting. If you’re a single person who wants to have children, you might feel unable to start a family if you don’t have a partner — and women in particular might feel stifled by their biological clocks. However, being single — or a bit older — doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a family if that’s what you want. There are plenty of other options to explore, such as sperm donation, surrogacy or co-parenting with a friend. Who said you had to have a partner to be a parent — and who said it had to be a romantic partner?
Of course, Heard has the wealth, flexibility and clout that comes with being a famous actor — likely making her path to motherhood marginally easier than your average person on the street — but she sets an important precedent. She shows that yes, it is possible to have a baby on your own terms, and it doesn’t mean they’ll be any less loved or cared for.
Heard isn’t the only celebrity doing things her own way — in 2019, singer Natalie Imbruglia announced she was pregnant with the help of IVF and a sperm donor. She is still part of the minority, but her announcement could give hope to anyone hoping to pursue ‘alternative’ routes to parenthood.
In a 2017 interview with Allure, Heard said it was important to “resist labels” when discussing her sexuality, while saying she didn’t have to come out because she was “never in”. Her baby news could be particularly inspiring for people in the LGBTQ+ community, where the ‘traditional’ path to having children isn’t always an option.
Heard could be at the forefront of a new trend in becoming a parent: doing it your own way.