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Future of Fertility

Offsetting the Costs of Fertility Treatments

Planning for a family can break the bank, but there are creative ways to raise funds for a future little one.

Regina Townsend,

Founder, TheBrokenBrownEgg.org,@BrokenBrownEgg

Planning for a family can break the bank, but there are creative ways to raise funds for a future little one.

While it’s safe to assume that most are aware that the cost of raising a child today is high, many probably don’t think about the costs associated with simply planning to have one. For the nearly 8 million Americans facing fertility issues, this is a heavy and constant concern. From initial testing, medications, and assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), the bills can begin to pile up before intended parents even get close to an actual pregnancy.  In fact, numerous studies have found that cost is the highest barrier to fertility, even for those with high incomes. 

But there is hope — if you know where to look, and maybe how to think outside of the box.

Grants

For the cost of an application fee and a little time, you can apply for a grant to cover the cost of medical treatments, fertility preservation services, or adoption through one of the many nonprofit organizations that have made family building their mission. Most are started by couples or individuals with a personal connection to the hurdles associated with modern family planning and have a compassionate and transparent process. For example The Cade Foundation, founded in 2005 by Drs. Jason and Camille Hammond, is named for Camille’s mother, Dr. Tinina Cade, who carried the couple’s triplets after they’d endured five years of infertility. The Maryland-based nonprofit has grown to offer multiple grant opportunities and has helped over 100 families.

If you have already selected a fertility clinic, reach out to their patient coordinator or take a deep dive through their website, as many clinics offer their own form of financial assistance or grants. There are also grant options specific to cultural background, religion, and ethnicity.  

Employer benefits

Companies are taking note that providing their employees with family building options is a great attraction to potential candidates. Companies such as Spotify, Bank of America, and Starbucks have received press in the past few years for offering competitive and compassionate fertility benefits. For those willing to change their career paths in pursuit of family, the switch to a fertility-friendly company is a smart move. If your employer does not offer fertility benefits, however, you may consider reaching out to organizations such as Progyny, which works with companies to develop such benefits for their business. 

Fundraising and merchandising

Often, those who are experiencing infertility choose not to share their journey with family or friends, so the idea of opening up in this way can be especially daunting. But others have found fundraising to be an effective way to not only cover the costs of treatments or medications, but also of empowering themselves and taking ownership of their story. 

From merch like self-designed t-shirts or experiences like virtual paint parties, hopeful parents-to-be are taking their talents and funneling them towards their goals. One especially unique idea that some have considered is a hosting a pre-baby shower, where family and friends can support the dream of parenthood by partying with a purpose.  

The financial and emotional impact of fertility has far-reaching effects on couples and individuals even beyond their family goals. Many are weighing their desire to grow or expand their families against other monumental decisions such as home ownership and career. The stakes seem incredibly high and often insurmountable, but every day, people are finding new ways through the mire and towards their dreams.

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