Women all over the country have found gestational surrogacy to be the answer to their quest for a family of their own. Now, former supermodel and TV personality Tyra Banks joins the ranks of mothers via gestational surrogacy. After a long struggle with infertility, Tyra and her boyfriend welcomed a son, York Banks Asla, on Wednesday, January 27, 2016.
Tyra, who is now 42, spoke of her desire to be a mother and mentioned that the couple “worked and prayed so hard” for little York. The baby boy is the biological child of both Tyra and her boyfriend Erik. His birth shines a spotlight on the possibilities that gestational surrogacy can open up for childless couples.
Tyra’s Flourishing Career
Tyra Banks has a long history of being in the spotlight herself. At age 15, she became a model, winning fame as the first African American woman to grace the cover of GQ magazine and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. She posed for hundreds of photos, walked in many runway shows, and gained acclaim as one of the original Victoria’s Secret Angels. After retiring from modeling, Tyra Banks came up with the idea for America’s Next Top Model, a reality TV show and contest that ran for over 20 seasons. She hosted the Tyra Banks show and appeared in various other TV shows and movies as well.
The Struggle to Build a Family
Because of her thriving career, Tyra put off her plans for a family. In September of 2015, on her talk show “FABlife,” Tyra mentioned that she has been planning to have kids ever since she was in her mid-twenties; but she kept putting it off. Year after year went by, and when she was finally in a place where she felt ready to start a family, the struggle with infertility began.
At one point, Tyra said, “I am so tired of seeing on my social media, ‘Why don’t you have kids? Why don’t you have kids?’ You don’t know. You don’t know what I’m going through.”
It’s a struggle that many women are familiar with— the questions, the hints, the rude comments, the prying into their private lives. When social expectations are not met, there is often judgment instead of sympathy, assumptions rather than understanding.
Hope for the Future
Fortunately for Tyra and Erik, the story has a happy ending. After announcing York’s birth on January 27, Tyra called the surrogate who carried the baby an “angel” and thanked her publicly.
In previous decades, there was a stigma associated with gestational surrogacy— unwarranted, but existent. People feared the legal issues involved and were concerned about surrogates refusing to give up the babies to the intended parents. However, with growing support through surrogacy agencies and attorneys specializing in assisted reproduction, these drawbacks are becoming practically nonexistent. And with celebrities like Lucy Liu and Tyra Banks raising awareness for the benefits of gestational surrogacy, there is renewed hope for acceptance and support for intended parents.
If you and your partner are struggling with infertility, take time to explore the option of gestational surrogacy. You may find, as many others have, that it’s the answer to your desire for a biological child of your own. Call an assisted reproduction lawyer in your area today to begin your journey.
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About Nicole K. White
As a mother via gestational surrogacy, Nicole is passionate about helping her clients experience the joy and fulfillment of starting or growing a family of their own through third party reproduction. Her knowledge and experience as an attorney and as an intended parent mean she knows firsthand what you will go through and what you will need – understanding, ongoing support, guidance and a smooth process.