Banks and her husband, sportswriter and film producer Max Handelman, have two sons: seven-year-old Magnus and eight-year-old Felix.
Both boys were born via surrogate as Banks is unable to carry children, a condition she described as “broken belly”.
The Hunger Games star stated that while there are now hashtags and Facebook groups dedicated to women’s reproductive issues, they used to be “things you would whisper about in small circles”.
“I definitely think I’m still judged for what I’ve done and that people don’t understand by choices, but I don’t feel I owe anybody any explanation,” Banks said.
“And, if my story helps people feel less alone on their journey, then I’m grateful for that.”
There are two forms of surrogacy: full surrogacy (or host/gestational surrogacy) and partial surrogacy (straight/traditional surrogacy), the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) explains.
Full surrogacy is when there is no genetic connection between the surrogate mother and the baby she is carrying, while partial surrogacy involves the fertilisation of the surrogate’s egg with the sperm of the intended father.
In the UK, while it is illegal to pay for someone to be your surrogate, intended parents are expected to cover expenses, with the average cost estimated to range from around £7,000 to £15,000.
In 2018, the Bring It On star revealed she had been diagnosed with adenomyosis, a condition where the cells of the lining of the womb are found in the muscle wall of the womb, which can result in heavy bleeding and feelings of discomfort.
“There’s nothing more that I wanted than to cook my own baby,” Union told Women’s Health magazine. “The idea of [having a surrogate] felt like surrendering to failure.”
The 47-year-old revealed she previously suffered at least eight miscarriages and underwent three years of failed IVF treatments.