Gabrielle Union speaks out about ‘difficult’ decision to have daughter through surrogacy

Actress Gabrielle Union is revealing about her struggle to get pregnant and her choice to have daughter Kaavia via surrogacy in an excerpt shared from her new book, "You Got Something Stronger?"

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Actress Gabrielle Union is speaking out about her experience in using a surrogate to deliver her daughter, Kaavia James Union Wade.

In an excerpt from her new book, You Got Something Stronger?, shared with Time magazine, Union writes that she was advised toward surrogacy after an adenomyosis diagnosis and many miscarriages. She said the decision was difficult because she desperately wanted to experience being pregnant, and she admits she wanted to be publicly pregnant.

Gabrielle Union poses backstage at May 2021’s Billboard Music Awards at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Unioin writes that even after her doctor advised her, she waited another year and endured more cycles of in-vitro fertilization and pregnancy losses.

It was her adenomyosis, she writes — a condition that causes cells to build up in the uterus — and the subsequent medication to treat it that meant that she would face a 35% chance of a successful pregnancy.

She adds that her former NBA-star husband, Dwyane Wade, told her, “As much as we want this baby, I want you.” According to the excerpt, he said, “We’ve lost too much in our relationship for me to be okay with encouraging you to do one more thing to your body and your soul.”

Gabrielle Union said despite the support, she thought surrogacy felt like “an acknowledgment of failure.” She noted the difficult decision was compounded by the fact that Wade had a baby with another woman while they were together, but before they were married.

“But I loved him. Each day, he had worked to be forgiven, and I had chosen to do so. And part of this journey of making peace with our love is also making peace with ourselves,” Union wrote. She called it a “Big Bang” moment in their relationship.

In Union’s journey to surrogacy, she researched and found she “got the sense a lot of white families-to-be were more comfortable with brown people as surrogates — Latina and South Asian — who were often classified as ‘breeders.'” She found some experiences reminiscent of the hit Hulu show, Handmaid’s Tale.

She then found an ethical agency, and the identity of her surrogate was kept anonymous until they met in person — and that surrogate was white.

Gabrielle Union writes that even during the pregnancy, she still felt sadness and grief in her inability to physically carry her daughter. She noted that she was “grateful,” but was sad until the five-month mark in the pregnancy, when she allowed herself to feel confident.

Kaavia James was born in October via emergency C-section, and at her birth, Union was “seized in a full release of every emotion. Relief, anxiety, terror, joy, resentment, disbelief, gratitude . . . and also, disconnection.”

She quickly changed into a hospital gown to do skin-to-skin bonding with her daughter; the picture was shared on social media and quickly went viral.

“Yet the question lingers in my mind: I will always wonder if Kaav would love me more if I had carried her,” she writes. “Would our bond be even tighter? I will never know what it would have been like to carry this rockstar inside me.” Yet, she adds that in “telling the fullness of our stories, of our three lives together, I must tell the truths I live with. And I have learned that you can be honest and loving at the same time.”

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