Gabrielle Union announced yesterday that she and Dwyane Wade had become parents to a little baby girl.
Fans were excited for the couple, who had kept the pregnancy private. In an emotional message to fans, she revealed their newborn arrived via surrogate — but what does that mean?
Traditional and Gestational surrogates
There are two kinds of surrogates: traditional surrogate and a gestational surrogate. Both are used when a hopeful mom-to-be has trouble getting pregnant.
A traditional surrogate sees a second woman — the “surrogate” — become naturally or artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm or sperm from a donor while she’s ovulating.
She then carries the baby to term, and it is the surrogate’s egg that is used.
In gestational surrogacies, doctors retrieve an egg from the hopeful mother-to-be, fertilizes it with sperm from the father (or a donor sperm), and then place the fertilized egg in the uterus of the surrogate using a process called In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
This second woman then carries the child to term, and gives birth to the child, but is not the biological mother and has no genetics tied to the baby because it is biologically 100% the mother and father who donated the eggs and sperm.
At the time of writing, it is not known whether Gabrielle, 46, and Dwyane, 36, used a traditional or a gestational surrogate, although it seems likely that it was a gestational surrogacy.
Gabrielle has been open about her struggles to get pregnant in the past, writing in her memoir We’re Going to Need More Wine, from 2017, that she has suffered eight or nine miscarriages.
“For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant — I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle or coming out of an IVF cycle,” Union explained, hinting that her body could not carry a baby to term.
Which other kids to the couple raise?
Gabrielle and Dwyane, 36, have not yet revealed their newborn baby’s name. She is Gabrielle’s first child, but Wade already has three sons — Xavier Zechariah, 5, Zion Malachi Airamis, 11, and Zaire Blessing Dwyane, 16. The couple also raise his nephew Dahveon Morris, 17.
Dwyane is an NBA player, but he has previously revealed that his life is all about his family. In 2012, he wrote the New York Times bestselling book, A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball.
He and actress Gabrielle married in 2014. She is best known for her roles in Bring It On, Bad Boys II, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Deliver Us From Evil. She’s also starred on Being Mary Jane, and she’s currently filming L.A.’s Finest, Flashforward, and Ugly Betty. Her resume is extensive with her first role going back to Family Matters from 1993.