Thanks in part to social media, more and more women are coming out about their struggles to have a baby. I think society is getting better at understanding infertility, both in terms of the different treatments and the emotional impact. But imagine for one second, betting $60,000 on one numbered slot in a game of roulette. There are no guarantees, but the payout is huge. Everyone would think you had lost your mind. How could you throw away that much money on a chance?
The financial burden of infertility is rarely talked about. Couples spend tens of thousands of dollars for a baby that may not come. Adoptions can be just as expensive. It’s crazy, isn’t? My husband and I have a beautiful daughter that came after five rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF), and over $40,000 of our own money. I had a chance to talk to other women who have similar stories as mine. It’s sobering, spending so much on what most women get for free: the chance to have a family.
"We traveled out of state twice and spent weeks in a hotel once we started IVF. We had no insurance coverage. After all the procedures, money and emotions, we are still empty handed." -Jennifer
"We went through four rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) before moving on to IVF. Luckily, we had some assets we were able to sell off so that we didn't have to take out any loans. But over the course of three years it cost us $23,000 to become pregnant with our now two-and-a-half year old." -Brittany
"After 12 years, five IUIs and two IVFs and no infertility coverage, we still don't have our miracle, but we’re on a forced break because we’re tapped out financially." -Kristy
"I live in Bangkok and have been trying to get pregnant for six years now. I’ve done three IVFs—all failures. In Thailand, insurance doesn’t cover infertility and I had to max out my credit card. It hurts that we still don’t have a baby." -Mai*
I never thought after finally getting our baby I wouldn't be able to put a bunch of presents under the tree for his first Christmas.
"All the treatments, tears, and anguish gave us the family we always dreamed of. What most of our family and friends don't know? We are four years into our bankruptcy settlement. Infertility broke us. We were so focused on getting to our ultimate goal that we put treatments on credit cards, cashed out IRAs, and drained our savings. Everyone sees that we got the family we wanted, but they don't necessarily see the lengths we had to go to." - Jessica
"We attempted seven IVFs, which were all negative and paid $60,000 out of pocket. After a break from treatments, we adopted our son. The agency failed to comply with our state laws and our attorney felt the documentation needed to be redone so we paid the legal aspect of the adoption twice. All in all, the adoption was $30,000." - Susan
"We got pregnant on our first IVF. Though we are beyond blessed to have him in our lives, the financial burden weighs on us. We have $60,000 in IVF costs. I never thought after finally getting our baby I wouldn't be able to put a bunch of presents under the tree for his first Christmas." - Bridget
"Our five IVFs cost us $70,000. Most of it was our life savings, but we felt on top of the world to finally be having a baby. We are doing a second IVF this month to try for another. If it fails, we are done. It hurts as much as it did the first time I went through it." - Misty
"I donated my eggs twice to help cover the expense of our own IVF. We sold everything that wasn't nailed down on eBay, and took out a loan. Ultimately, we spent over $80,000. We did finally get our miracles, but we came close to losing our house." -Tonya
"Not having a baby was the hardest, but feeling like I was drowning in financial debt was terrible. We spent close to $40,000. Medication was the hardest. It was in high demand and the price tripled from one round to the next. Now I wonder if I can send my child to college." - Marisa
"We did four years of numerous tests, four IUIs and an IVF. We probably spent $40,000 to $50,000 out of pocket." -Staci
"Most of my daughter’s clothes are hand-me-downs from her cousin. We do cloth diapers to save on costs and pushed through with breastfeeding as we couldn't afford formula. We did four IVFs which maxed out our lifetime prescription coverage. We used the money we saved from selling our home in addition to maxing out a credit card to get the $32,000." - Amanda
"We had to make a choice between IVF and adoption because we couldn't afford both. We chose adoption and it's costing us about $20,000. We've had to have a fundraiser, take loans out, and live paycheck to paycheck. But my daughter is worth it." -Dawn
*Name has been changed.