Jun 15, 2023

Everyone Deserves to be a Proud Parent

From the desk of Claire Tomkins, CEO at Future Family.

It’s no secret that fertility treatment can be expensive.  But for those who identify as LBGTQ+, the costs are compounded since insurance mandates nationwide typically define infertility in heterosexual terms.

Couples must try to conceive through sexual intercourse for a year before being covered. In most states, a woman without a male partner is mandated to attempt IUI (intrauterine insemination) up to a dozen times before a plan covers egg donation.

For same-sex male couples, their lack of a viable egg isn’t typically viewed as a medical problem. As a result, they likely have to pay out of pocket for egg retrieval and prescriptions for their donor.

Transgender individuals commonly go through egg or sperm freezing prior to transitioning, but a single cycle of egg retrieval and freezing can start between $7,000 and $12,000, not including the storage fees of $300+ per year.

$60,000 can be the starting dollar amount for surrogacy, a very common path to parenthood for LGBTQ+ families.

As we celebrate Pride Month, I’d like to tell you about a couple I’ve come to know.  Sarah and her wife are both military veterans.  After serving their country, they decided to start building a family through reciprocal IVF.  

Reciprocal IVF is a variation of in vitro fertilization that allows both partners to contribute to creating a child together.  One partner goes through testing and egg retrieval so an egg can be fertilized before the other partner receives the embryo into their uterus and carries the pregnancy.  This process allows for both partners to be involved in the creation of their child in a way that traditional IVF does not.  

On average, a single cycle of reciprocal IVF costs between $10,000–$15,000. The exact price depends on insurance coverage, the couple’s health, and the treatment center.

Add on medication costs, which can range between $7,000–$10,000. During reciprocal IVF, the gestational partner and the partner providing eggs use fertility drugs to prepare the eggs and uterus for implantation.

All in all, couples undergoing reciprocal IVF can expect a bill of approximately $20,000.

When a spot opened up at the fertility clinic, Sarah and her wife were shocked to learn that the clinic required the full cost of treatment upfront.  They had an idea of how much everything would cost but believed the total could be spread out over the course of the treatment.  Understandably, Sarah and her wife were dismayed by the prospect of parting with the majority of their savings on such short notice.

This is not how Americans pay for homes, this is not how Americans pay for cars; these days, you can even buy a shirt online with buy now, pay later options.  

Low-interest loans with a set monthly payment can simplify the fertility process and eliminate financial stress.  

Sarah knew it was best to feel calm heading into fertility treatment.  By discovering a tailored fertility financing solution, Sarah was able to relax and focus on her well-being and her future baby.  As an added bonus, she gained the support of a nurse and a team of experts who helped guide her as she embarked on the path to parenthood.

She hopes that sharing her story can raise awareness about the challenges that same-sex couples face when it comes to starting a family.  

Having a family is a fundamental human right.  Connection and love are at the core of our humanity.  While we wait for changes in the insurance industry and society at large, It’s important that everyone has access to financing solutions that make the dream of growing a family possible.

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