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Hill Harper on Being a New Single Dad: I Was Once ‘Running Around N.Y.C.’ Looking for Frozen Breast Milk

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Angela Daves-Haley

Hill Harper wants the best for his son, so if that means running around Manhattan on a search for breast milk, he’s game.

The actor – known for roles on series like CSI: NY, Limitless and upcoming drama The Good Doctor – tells PEOPLE that life as a single dad to Pierce, 18 months, has come with challenges.

“There was a time when I really wanted him to have access to breast milk, so I was running around New York City with a cooler getting frozen breast milk from people that I didn’t even know, you know the people who are like, ‘Hey, my friend has some extra breast milk,’ ” reveals Harper. “And I’d go over to their house and get frozen breast milk and put it in the cooler.”

Angela Daves-Haley

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Pierce was born in December 2015, and his adoption by Harper was finalized in the spring of this year. Since welcoming his little boy, Harper tells PEOPLE he’s leaned on family and friends.

“I was naïve, I didn’t realize that every single day there’s a different decision to make that could possibly impact the well-being of your child. How much do you let them play? Who do they play with?” he says. “There are so many different decisions.”

FROM PEN: Adoption Holds a Special Place in Katherine Heigl’s Heart

The star says he’s learned to put less pressure on himself and trust his intuition.

“Obviously as a new parent I don’t know all those answers,” Harper admits, noting that a friend helped him realize his relationship with Pierce is “specific.”

He adds, “I read books, and I read articles, and I try to learn the best this and the best that, and then I try to filter it through who I am.”