Asking Friends for IVF Money? Why Not?!

No, I’m not asking any of you for money to help fund our baby-making process. I’m one of the very lucky ones who has amazing insurance benefits that cover my IVF. In fact, because our fertility center is considered a “center of excellence,” we don’t have to pay so much as a copay for our visits. Our nearly $4,000 worth of IVF hormones (for one month!) cost us roughly $130 in copays, and the over $7,000 IVF procedure is fully covered by our insurance. Yes, I’ve griped about the cost of sperm — and still can’t believe how expensive it is! — and the fact that we have to pay out-of-pocket for it. But I can tell you wholeheartedly that if I didn’t have the coverage that I do, if I wasn’t blessed with a job that provides top-of-the-line insurance, I would undoubtedly and unashamedly reach out to friends and family to help cover the costs.

Apparently, though, others think it’s a terrible idea.

Jezebel ran a story yesterday about a woman who created a crowdfunding page to help pay for her IVF. The author of the article is both callous and insensitive, and I’d daresay she’s never actually known another woman who has undergone IVF treatments — but enough about the author. Being involved firsthand in this very emotionally taxing process, I can only imagine what it must be like to further add financial stress into the mix. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with reaching out for help.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Why not to create one? At the end of the day, people are there to support you. They want to support you.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Why not to create one? We live in an ever-changing world where traditional whatever-the-heck-that-word-even-means-these-days families are not the only type of family. Children grow up in single-parent homes, married-parent homes, gay-parent homes, grandparent-run homes, adoptive-parent homes, foster homes. Good Lord, the list goes on and changes more quickly than any of us can keep up with. While the majority of children are conceived “the good old-fashioned way,” and likely always will be, there are more and more babies born from the help of a very costly science. So if a couple or a single woman or man wants to ask for help in making the dream of having or growing their family a reality, I say: Go for it! Putting yourself and your story out there is no easy feat. Doing so immediately opens up a world of criticism, and the haters and nay-sayers come out from every corner. But at the end of the day, people are there to support you. They want to support you.

I know in my own endeavor, the support has been overwhelming. And while I’d like to chalk it all up to people loving my wife and me so very much, I know a lot of it also has to do with the fact that people innately want to be there for others. Sure, there are people, like the author of the Jezebel article, who find these sorts of things “annoying,” but I truly believe the majority of those people are otherwise miserable and selfish. Most people that I am lucky enough to know and have in my life are loving, caring, and giving people — and I think this group of people in my life is a good sample of the world as a whole. While I haven’t needed to ask any of them for a dime, I don’t doubt that if I did, their response would equally match the emotional support with which they have overwhelmingly come forward. People want to give. Whatever it is they can.

To me, creating a fundraising page for your fertility expenses is no different than registering for your wedding or for baby-shower gifts. It’s a request, a suggestion. But by no means is it an obligation. No one has to donate to your cause. No one is forced to, nor is anyone publicly denounced if they choose not to donate. It takes a lot of courage to admit your shortcomings, and for people struggling with fertility issues, not being able to conceive a child on their own can very much feel like a shortcoming. But admitting a legitimate shortcoming — admitting that you cannot afford this tens-of-thousands-of-dollars procedure on your own, in addition to letting the world know you can’t conceive on your own, is a very brave act. I commend the women who ask for help. It is far more noble than those women who only serve to condemn.

Skip the Jezebel article and read the far-more supportive New York Times article.
Want to help a complete stranger have a baby? Click here. I donated. Proudly.

Photo: 123RF Stock Photos

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