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Funding Your Fetus 2.0

pregnant-belly-300x1991It doesn’t take an etiquette expert to know asking for money as a gift is declasse. But when you’re fundraising for your fetus, it turns out the rules go out the window.

Tweet your yearning for a baby, and the money will pour in. At least that’s what happened for one couple who couldn’t fund their IVF.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently featured the story of Molly and Brian Walsh, a couple who have opted for in vitro because they want to avoid passing down a genetic disease that Brian carries. The genetic testing has made the cost of IVF overwhelming for them – despite $10,000 in savings, they were still as much as $20,000 short of the final bill.

So the couple, who are described by the Chronicle as “immersed in social networking,” turned to the web. They’ve got a Website – Makin’ Whoopie - and they’ve been running an online auction which they’ve dubbed “a fundraiser for IVF – you can’t help us in the bedroom, but you can help us make a baby.”

The Web is an obvious go-to spot for fund raising these days. You can reach a nearly unlimited audience, and the “middle man” costs of typical fund raisers are negligible.

But for something like IVF, it means taking what is often a very private struggle out into the open. The positives are obvious – the more people who talk about why they’re using IVF, the less stigma it will carry. In their own way, the Walshes are opening the doors for other couples who make use of genetic testing in conception, explaining why it’s necessary and putting a personal face on what can be a controversial issue.

Likewise, it opens up the conversation on what fertility services are covered by health insurance (traditionally IVF is not covered – regardless of a couple’s reason for seeking that route).

Considering the people offering money to the Walshes are doing it all of their own accord, there seems little downside to this – other than that icky feeling we all get when we ask other people for money.

Would you do this?

Image: 3neus via flickr

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