Crowdfunding is a popular way to raise money for almost everything including funerals. But on some of the big online fundraising sites, you’ll find public pleas for something on the other end of the spectrum and far more personal — infertility treatments.
Asking for IVF assistance is becoming one of the fastest growing crowdfunding categories, according to Josh Chapman, CEO of GiveForward. It has outpaced all categories except adoption in 2016. “We believe this trend will continue into 2017,” Chapman said.
Most health insurance doesn’t cover infertility treatments. Many couples look toward alternatives to get their IVF at a lower price such as medical travel. They go overseas for more affordable treatments, but travel costs may gobble up any savings. Also, would you really want your child conceived in a laboratory in a country where you can’t drink the water? It’s not an alternative I would recommend.
Still, crowdfunding is hard for a lot of people, says Rachel Gurevich, who writes about fertility issues.
“I wouldn’t do it unless you have a lot of social connections,” she said. “A lot of people think that it’s automatic — they’re going to put it up and raise a bunch of money. And they’re not — and that can be really disappointing.” Indeed, dozens of IVF campaigns on these sites show $0 raised. Some couples receive money from friends, family and some acquaintances, which is more typical for these crowdfunds, Gurevich said. Most donations range between $20 and $100.
So what is the alternative. First go to a center with good success rates to lessen the chances you will need multiple cycles to achieve the desired result. Secondly, look for ways to get the most opportunity for your money. For example, at Reproductive Partners you have a number of alternatives. If you pay the full global fee for two cycles of IVF and do not achieve a viable 12-week pregnancy, your third cycle is free. And that is important because if you are a tough case, it may take that third cycle to achieve success and you do not want to miss that chance because of the expense. So if we can’t get you pregnant in two cycles, the third one is on us. It’s called the Success Program.
Another possibility is the Attain program which gives you multiple cycle opportunities at a discount and some programs even give a refund if you do not have a baby.
So before you take another step, check out all the financial options at RPMG which are summarized on the website under Financial Resources.