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Learning About Your Fertility Options Doesn’t Have to be Taboo
by Black Love Team
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June 3, 2021

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Learning About Your Fertility Options Doesn’t Have to be Taboo

Kita and Greysun (Credit: Kita Williams)
Kita and Greysun (Credit: Kita Williams)

The Black Love docuseries has always provided a much-needed platform showing marriage and partnership from the good, the great, and sometimes not so amazing moments of the journey. But, it is always a learning tool that sparks greater conversations within our own families and communities. As we progress through Season 5, one of the most heart-wrenching topics is the subject of infertility because for many, growing a family has always been a lifelong dream. Couples Kita and Joe, Karl and Erica, and Adair and Jason take us through their individual journeys, showing us that fertility can look different for every couple and there are many options to consider.

Research has shown that Black women are twice as likely to have fertility issues than white women, but also find disparities in being able to get care that will help. The CDC also reports that Black women are less likely to receive treatment or seek possible treatment in order to find alternative methods to grow their family. Additionally, according to the American Journal of Men’s Health,Black men were also more likely than white or other race men to have oligozoospermia (male infertility), asthenozoospermia (low sperm motility), and low sperm count.” However, as more and more couples – and singles – share their stories and the routes they took to overcome infertility odds, the future looks much more bright for growing Black families.

IVF (In vitro fertilization)

This process is one of the most effective reproduction assisting methods and is used to help to conceive. The mature eggs are collected and fertilized by the sperm in a lab. The fertilized egg is then carefully implanted into the uterus. On average, one cycle of IVF can take up to 3 weeks or longer. 

Credit: Karl & Erica Townsend
Karl & Erica with their bundle of joy (Credit: Karl & Erica Townsend)

IVF can be extremely time-consuming, but it is also expensive. Erica and Karl explained that their IVF cycles cost upwards of $15,000. And they did it three times. The range for just one cycle of IVF can be between $10,000-$30,000. Costs are often a barrier whis is why Black people make up only 4% of people who try this alternative birth. However, we found a site called Resolve which can help you get educated about your options for financing the process. 

Surrogacy

Also referred to as “assisted reproduction”, surrogacy is the process of enlisting a woman to carry a baby on behalf of someone else. There are many factors that can go into the decision and some of the common ones are issues with fertility, miscarriages, same-sex couples, etc. The average cost can range from $90,000 to over $130,000 which can widely vary based on the legal arrangements set forth by the parties involved.

BlackLove.com Related Articles:
18 Black Fertility Doctors to Help You Explore Your Parenting Options
Breaking The Silence About Male Infertility
Kellee Stewart’s Personal Fertility Journey Turning Pain Into Purpose

There are two types and surrogate.com lists them as follows:

  • Traditional – In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is also the biological mother of the child she carries. Her egg is fertilized using sperm from the intended father or a donor using intrauterine insemination.
  • Gestational – In gestational surrogacy, the child is not biologically related to the surrogate mother. The embryo is instead created using an egg from the intended mother or a donor and sperm from the intended father or a donor using in vitro fertilization. Once the egg is fertilized in the laboratory, the embryo is transferred to the surrogate.

Surrogacy can go through an agency or a surrogacy attorney and it is important to understand that all surrogacy laws are not created equally. It’s important to fully understand the laws in the state in which you live and plan to have your surrogate. 

Family Inceptions is a Black-owned surrogacy company that is equipped to help parents, donors, and surrogates with making the decision.

Adoption

For many who consider options of becoming parents, adoption is an absolutely viable option. Research has shown that the adoption system discriminates against children of darker complexions and our babies deserve healthy homes and families. 

 

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According to Washington University law school professor Kimberly Jade Norwood, “In the adoption market, race and color combine to create another preference hierarchy: white children are preferred over nonwhite. When African-American children are considered, the data suggest there is a preference for light skin and biracial children over dark-skinned children.”

There are 4 types of adoption:

  1. Foster care
  2. Foster-to-adopt
  3. Infant adoption
  4. Independent adoption

 

There are also the options for the adoption to be closed or open. Closed means that there is not contact between the families and that the information of who’s adopting and who is putting their baby up for adoption is confidential. Whereas, an open adoption allows some sort of communication between the birth parent and the adoption family.

There are many ways to create and foster a beautiful, loving family and sometimes that comes with alternative methods, but it’ll never make you any less of a mother, father, or family. Most importantly, get educated about your options and know that you aren’t alone if becoming a parent is difficult for you. Finding a community to support you is vital.

Watch the new season of Black Love on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) every Friday at 10/9c. Seasons 1-4 of Black Love and the official after show, After Love are available on the free Black Love+ App for Android and iOS, as well as YouTube. Jason & Adair and Kita & Joe are both on the latest After Love episode with a special update on one of the couples’ parenting journey!

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