Gabrielle Union felt “no need to micromanage” the surrogate who carried her baby, because she trusted her right away.
The 46-year-old actress welcomed her first child, a daughter named Kaavia, with her husband Dwayne Wade in November after she was born via a gestational carrier.
And the Being Mary Jane star has heaped praise on the woman who carried Kaavia, saying she was able to step back without setting too many rules for the surrogate, because she “knew what she was doing”.
Gabrielle said: “For others, if you have a same-race surrogate, there’s a fear of someone running off with your baby. People have all kinds of fears and things that they want. Some want [the surrogate to follow] a specific religion; or to allow TV, or no TV; or they send audio files for the surrogate to play your voice so it can be heard along with the household voices.
“For us, we wanted: She has her own kids, a husband, she’s done this before, she knew what she was doing. There was no need for us to micromanage.”
The Breaking In actress formed a bond with her surrogate immediately, as she says that although she hadn’t told the unnamed woman who she was before they met for the first time, she was already a fan of Gabrielle’s work, especially her book We’re Going To Need More Wine.
She explained: “[At first], she didn’t know that it was us, although I knew all about her. So when we met, she walked in and was like, ‘Oh!’ I didn’t know what that meant, and she was like, ‘I have your book on hold at four different libraries.’ I said, ‘I think I can get you a copy!’
“I’d been doing a lot of library appearances with the book, and I love librarians, and here’s this woman who also frequents her local library. In that first meeting, we talked about the books we love, the stacks of books we want to get through. ‘Little Fires Everywhere’, so many more. That, for me, was the sign.”
And Gabrielle - who chose to hire a surrogate after suffering multiple miscarriages - says she was surprised by the overwhelming support of the surrogate community.
Speaking to Shondaland, she said: “A lot of Hollywood people will make an announcement, like, ‘Our baby arrived via gestational carrier,’ but very few are transparent about the whole process. There’s a fertility grassroots underground community: Once you put it out there within your social circle, they’ll find you.
“That’s how you get your information: doctors, acupuncturists, different therapies. Once this group of people takes you into their arms, you’re like, ‘Oh, okay! There’s so many of you!’”