When Real Housewives Of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss and her husband Todd Tucker decided to have another baby, the singer and reality star realized it would be safer to expand their family via surrogacy.
It’s a process in which an embryo from the two biological parents is placed inside the birth mother via in vitro fertilization. While she was already a mother a teenage daughter named Riley, she didn’t know anyone who had done it before. To add even more pressure, this was all being filmed for the show.
Burruss and Tucker wed in 2014 and tried to conceive naturally for two years before seeking fertility treatments. Burruss had developed uterine fibroids, and even underwent surgery to have them removed. With the help of in vitro fertilization, the couple welcomed a son named Ace in 2016.
When it came time to expand their family once more, Burruss and Tucker weighed their options and decided the risks were too high given her medical history. With the help of her OB-GYN, Dr. Jackie Walters, they were connected to a surrogate named Shadina Blunt. She had been a surrogate for another couple in the past, and the process turned out beautifully.
Blaze Tucker was born in December 2019, and according to mom, she’s already got a big personality.
“Ace was super chill. I feel like Blaze is going to be a little bit more spunky,” says Burruss. “Obviously, she’s only seven weeks so it’s too early to tell, but she definitely is vocal when she’s not happy about something.”
For Black women who are considering surrogacy in the near future, Burruss wants them to be aware of the long road ahead.
“You need to start having those conversations now, because it’s not a fast process,” she says. “The IVF clinic we used requires mental health testing from the surrogate and the parents. [In therapy] they bring up questions you probably didn’t even think about.”
“The overall thought process is: it’s your baby but their body,” Burruss emphasizes. “Meaning, if [the birth mother] is not feeling well or things are [effecting her health] she can say, ‘terminate the pregnancy.’ Although it didn’t stop me from wanting to move forward, there are a lot of things you don’t know.”
Though Burruss may not have experienced the physical journey of carrying baby Blaze, the emotional part of surrogacy was no walk in the park. “A lot of people aren’t going to be sensitive to your situation, because they don’t really know a lot of information about it,” she says.
“I had a family member say something like, ‘You’re not concerned that you’re not going to bond with your baby?’ It’s like, of course I am concerned. I didn’t need you to rub it,” Burruss admits. “You just have to remember everybody is not privy to how the process works. As you’re educating yourself, you might want to educate your whole family and all your friends.”
Kandi and Todd are forever grateful for their surrogate Shadina Blunt for safely carrying her miracle baby. “Shadina was amazing and I’m happy to say that she’s part of the family now,” Burruss says. “I’m very okay with my decision to use a surrogate. Seeing her [carrying our daughter] is not making me feel bad or taking anything away from me. My baby is my baby and she was a blessing to us to help us get our baby.”