Hill Harper, known for his work on hit shows like CSI:NY and the upcoming The Good Doctor, recently spoke with People magazine about his journey to fatherhood.

Harper had always assumed that parenthood would be in his future, expecting it to come along in the more traditional route via marriage and having children with a wife. A conversation with a friend encouraged him to think about fatherhood in a different way and to at least speak with some adoption professionals before closing his mind to that pathway. After consideration, Harper spoke with an adoption attorney and decided to proceed. In a very short time frame that shocked Harper almost to the point of not moving forward, he was contacted by that attorney about an expectant mom who was looking for a family with which to place her child.

Harper reports that a conversation with the “amazing” birth mother changed his mind, including his concerns about being a single dad. Harper got to be there when his son Pierce was born. “I was so scared,” he says of that moment. “I think because it was such a huge decision. But looking back now, all the fears I had were ridiculously small compared to the joy of having him in my life and having the opportunity to be a father.”

Pierce is now 18 months old and Harper has made sure that together they are surrounded daily by a “great support system from his mother and family, and his girlfriend.”

Photo Credit: Marilyn Hill Harper