Like mother, like son? Tyra Banks posts the first picture-perfect snap of her adorable newborn son to Instagram, along with a special message.
Banks rang in Valentine’s Day this year — a day she referred to as the “Happiest Valentine’s Day” of her life — by releasing a never-before-seen photo of her new baby, York Banks Asla. York was born to Banks and her boyfriend, Erik Asla, a Norwegian photographer, on Jan. 27 via surrogate. This is the first child for Banks, 42, and Asla, after Banks’ long (and public) struggle with infertility. The supermodel and America’s Next Top Model host called little York her “miracle baby,” since his birth followed years of unsuccessful IVF treatments before using a surrogate.
For Banks, posting this beautiful photo to her Instagram account is bittersweet. Banks knows all too well that the infertility struggle is real, stating that she would continue to pray for other women who were struggling with the same fertility issues she did.
Banks’ openness about the circumstances surrounding her son’s birth opens the door to an important conversation. The reality is that infertility, a hush-hush topic often spoken about behind closed doors, is likely to affect you or someone you love. According to the 2015 Infertility in America Survey and Report by the Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, close to 7 million men and women in the U.S. experienced infertility in 2015 and required some type of assisted fertility treatment.
Not only is infertility expensive, with cost standing in the way of 58 percent of couples and the fertility treatments they need, but the stress can be crippling — 55 percent of people struggling with infertility believe it is more stressful than unemployment, and 61 percent consider infertility more stressful than divorce.
Banks’ story — opting to use a surrogate after a series of failed fertility treatments — is one shared by thousands of other couples across the U.S. While precise surrogacy statistics for each year are hard to pinpoint, surrogacy is growing in popularity, with an estimated nine children born to surrogates in each state every year. According to the Attain Fertility Network, surrogacy often makes for an enticing plan B when fertility struggles seem insurmountable. After being matched with the right surrogate, surrogacy success rates can be exceptionally high, with 90 percent of surrogates conceiving by the second or third attempt.
While the journey through infertility is never easy, Banks shows us what sweet success can look like. After years of struggle and heartbreak and waiting, Banks is now the proud mama to a beautiful baby boy. And as she explains it, her bond with her son may be even deeper — because she waited so long to meet him.
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