Paying for medical treatments via crowdfunding sites is nothing new. When diagnosed with a devastating illness, families use platforms like GoFundMe in order to state their case, share updates, and receive waves of support from both friends and strangers, monetarily or otherwise, in trying times. Recent trends, though, have shown a new uptick in a very particular type of medical treatment and now couples who can't afford IVF are turning to crowdfunding to support their dreams of becoming parents.
IVF procedures are expensive and are covered by only 26 percent of insurance providers. Conservative estimates put IVF costs at $20,000, taking into account the doctor visits, medications, and repeated treatment cycles needed throughout a lengthy timeline. Couples looking to lessen this load are thus creating IVF donation accounts on GoFundMe, sharing their fertility struggles on YouCaring, and collecting money on GiveForward. Josh Chapman, GiveForward's CEO, notes that donation pages within the IVF and adoption category have skyrocketed 429 percent in the last year.
Boasting cheery, eager couples and solemn, woeful ones alike, these crowdfunding pages have amassed some serious wealth. Whereas some couples ask for partial assistance, seeking a couple grand of aid, others are capping it at the $20,000 mark, with some even asking for as much as $35,000. The couples at hand often give insight to their particular struggle, and, in many cases, let donors know what other health issues might have made it so difficult for the two to conceive. With such a high price tag, any donated amount is helpful.
Plenty of women have found success crowdfunding IVF treatments. Jessica Melcher justified her experience, according to the Huffington Post:
Right now, there are people who want to help us. Family and friends who know how much I want to carry a child of my own and what great parents we will be someday. Family and friends who want this as badly for us as we want it for ourselves.
Infertility can be a deeply personal and painful endeavor for a couple, especially those who have been looking forward to conceiving for some time, and crowdfunding the procedure can definitely ease the financial burden. For the thousands of IVF funds, though, are the thousands of adoption stories and pleas. Though adoptions can be costly, sometimes even costing more than IVF treatments, they're another route to consider. Flush with happy stories of newly-formed families, adoption could provide an alternative solution. In the same way that family, friends, and strangers can contribute funds and well-wishes in an IVF-scenario, adoption crowdfunding accounts offer similar access.