Famed supermodel Tyra Banks announced the birth of her son, York, with boyfriend, Erik Asla, via Instagram on Jan. 27, 2016. What made this statement so shocking was the fact that Banks mentioned the use of a surrogate or in her words, an "angel of a woman." Surrogacy is when a woman carries the biological child of another individual or couple and a surrogate can be used for various reasons. One of the main reasons is the issue of infertility.
Tyra Banks opened up on her struggle with fertility on her daytime talk show, "FabLife," back in September of 2015 due to Chrissy Teigen discussing her infertility. Referring to having a baby, a tearful Tyra admitted that "It's not so easy." Banks also discussed her emotional experience with IVF (in vitro fertility) treatments that have not produced a pregnancy. In a survey done on married women by the National Survey of Family Growth, it was found that 1.5 million women in the United States are infertile, meaning that these women were unable to conceive despite having carefully timed sex for about a year. Infertility is an issue that is more common than a lot of people perceive it to be.
Due to infertility, many women begin to question their role as a woman. Some women begin to feel as if they are a failure as a woman if they are unable to carry out a successful pregnancy and even become depressed. You can read the actual accounts of five different women detailing how infertility affected their relationships here. Even though infertility affects a variety of women, married black women have almost twice the odds of being considered "infertile" when compared to married white women. According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services and from the National Center for Health Statistic, fifteen percent of white women ages 25 through 44 have gotten medical help like fertility treatments in order to become pregnant while only eight percent of black women have. This can be due in part to a lack of information given to black women in their communities. If nobody educates a woman on fertility treatments, how is she supposed to know about them?
Highlighted in this article from "The New York Times", 'Fertility for Colored Girls' is a support group made for black women struggling with infertility. Fertility is not a widely discussed topic within the black community due in part to the stigma that black women actually have no problem popping out babies like bunnies, which is very offensive, racist, and not true at all. With that being said, you never know who is having issues conceiving a baby due to infertility. You should never go up to a recently married couple and ask, "When is the baby coming?" even if the couple does not seem bothered by that question. It is not really any of your business if the baby is coming soon or not anyway. All you would probably do is send the baby some bibs from Old Navy and make empty promises to help babysit one day.
You can donate to 'Fertility of Colored Girls' here in order to participate in the movement of educating and supporting black women experiencing infertility. Whether you know it or not, you probably came across a black woman who is just like Tyra. I say congratulations to Tyra Banks and Erik Alsa on the birth of their son and also a thank you to Tyra Banks for being open about her dealing with infertility while encouraging other black women to open up about their infertility experiences as well.