Emmerdale star Michelle Hardwick and her wife, show producer Kate Brooks, have revealed exclusively to OK! that they chose a donor as their son Teddy’s biological dad, and were incredibly moved by the process.
The revelation came as they invited us into their new home near the show's Leeds base, to meet young Teddy who was born in October 2020.
“It sounds very clinical, but you read these kind of CVs, all about the characteristics of the man, his values and family life,” explains 46 year old Michelle, who plays vet Vanessa Woodfield in the ITV soap – in which she has starred since arriving in 2012 as an old friend of fellow vet Rhona Goskirk, played by Zoe Henry.
“We wanted to read them separately, because we didn't want to influence each other,” adds Kate, 45.
“I burst into tears when I read the first one and I just said to Kate, 'I've read them both, see what you think’", says Michelle. “And you read them and burst into tears at the same one.”
Kate then details what it was that drew to her the profile of the man they chose to father Teddy.
“There was just a kindness to his words,” says Kate. “And above all else, we just want Teddy to be a kind-hearted little boy who's got good values.”
The couple, who wed at Elvis's Graceland property in Memphis in 2019, hope that one day their son might meet the donor who shares his genes. When the time is right they will explain the background to his birth and would be very happy for there to be a meeting with his biological father.
“When Teddy is 18 he can find out who he is, and we’d massively back him,” says Michelle. “I'd love to meet him just to say, ‘thank you so much for allowing us to be parents and giving us the most beautiful little boy.’”
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Kate then explains that in such situations, the donor reaches out to a child they father, so that there is a connection for the child, even though they haven't met.
“We'd massively support that,” agrees Kate. “The donor writes a letter to the child, which is for Teddy to read when he's a bit older. And I just think it's so important just for Teddy to understand and know how he came about and what happened and how loved he was. And that this man out there wanted to help us.”
But choosing a donor was only part of the journey for the couple. And having chosen Teddy’s biological dad, the time came to go through the arduous IVF procedure.
“It worked first time and we got Teddy,” says Michelle. “We just couldn't believe it, and we know how lucky we were.”
Kate says: “The fact that it was my egg which Michelle carried, it meant we were both a part of it. Becoming a parent is amazing and brilliant in whatever shape or form it comes. For us, this just felt like the natural route.
“But it's a hardcore journey. There's lots of ups and downs on the way. You just have to take every day as it comes really. But it was all worth it, because we've got this little chap."
Emmerdale airs Monday to Friday on ITV and is on the ITV hub.
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