I got this from My Lady of the Lantern and found it to be incredibly interesting food for thought. Before TTC issues, I never realized how much financial issues could/would affect my family building choices. We are by no means out of the woods in this issue, and I have no idea what we’ll do if/when we try for #2, but these questions were definitely interesting for me to ponder…
1. Consider your now or future children as adults, and consider the fact that you had to spend money to either conceive them or make them part of your family. What effect do you think the latter will have on the former one day? What, do you think, your grown children might feel about the funds it took to create your family?
Hm, I don’t honestly think it will make a difference. Sadly, IF issues are becoming so prevalent that it will probably sound almost “normal” to be told that you were conceived while daddy was out of town thanks to thousands of dollars and lots of shots and doctors. I hope Rockstar will know that s/he was just wanted that much that we were willing to go to more extremes to have him/her in our lives.
2. How did/would you handle it if your child asks you, “Mom, how much did I cost?” How would you answer at age 7? At age 18?
At age 7, I think money amounts have no reality to kids. I mean, c’mon, $1 allowance was huge back then. Probably something along the lines of “lots of time and love.” At age 18 I’d be more likely to tell the whole story, if for no reason other than to educate him/her about reproductive issues and (especially if it’s a girl) how to spot/deal with issues before you’re in the TTC part of your life.
3. When calculating the costs of your family building, what do you include? The direct costs are easy (such as RE fees for a cycle or homestudy fees), but what about fees that didn’t directly lead to your child’s existence in your life, such as cycles that didn’t work, adoption outreach avenues that didn’t work, failed adoptions, avenues that were explored (and that cost something) but not pursued, etc.?
I included the meds (western and eastern), the doc/chiro/acupuncture appointments, the diagnostic work, etc. I guess I didn’t include the cost of all of the extra beer I drank after every failed cycle. 🙂
4. If two children in a family “cost” different amounts, should that have any significance?
No way. If we ever decide to try for another, I hope and pray that the kid costs no more than a case of beer and a drunken night of sex, and I would love him/her no less!
5. To what extent have finances determined the family-building decisions you have made? How have you able to balance financial considerations against other factors such as medical, ethical, emotional…?
Financial constraints definitely kept us at the OB longer than I’d have liked before making the leap to an RE. Because of all of the travel and OOP expenses involved, it was a big decision to officially say “something is wrong with me” and take that step. Ethics didn’t really come into consideration for me – I truly don’t believe God takes issue with people doing everything in their power to become loving parents. Emotionally, yeah, the financial strain caused definitely issues in our marriage, but I suppose it was just another learning experience/building block for us as a couple. I wish we wouldn’t have had to struggle with fertility issues, but I suppose it has changed us for the better as people and as a couple as well.
6. Has institutional and governmental support for certain family-building paths impacted your choices? For example, ART being covered by insurance, tax deductions for adoption expenses, etc.
I wish ART was covered under my insurance. No such luck. I don’t know what we’d have done if IUI#1 hadn’t worked for us, because we definitely do not have the money for multiple $5k attempts, not to mention IVF. Tax deductions for adoption expenses is a great program – there are so many loving people wanting to be parents and create families with children that need them, but the expenses are so high… it’s good that the government is trying to help to get those people together somehow. C and I have talked about adoption off and on for years (since well before TTC), but I’m not sure if it’s something we can afford to do. How sad is that? My heart goes out to my friends who have spent so much time and emotion and money TTC – both through ART and adoption, and probably especially to those who have had to pay for both.
7. Have you considered having ART treatments abroad, either due to lower cost or due to certain methods being unavailable or illegal in your own country? In your decision-making, how did you balance the financial savings against issues like the unknowns of the country, perhaps not speaking the language, and medical practices that may differ from those of your home country? If you did travel abroad for treatments, what was your experience? Would you do it again?
If we would have had to try IVF, I would have definitely done research on doing the procedure abroad. I have no fear of travel, and depending on the country, I think a lot of places have very reputable hospitals and practices, without a lot of the price markup that the US is able to pass on to patients. Even insofar as ordering my meds for the IUI, I purchased my meds from Europe because the price per vial was so much lower, even with paying for international shipping. How crazy is that?!
Thanks to St. Elsewhere for some great food for thought. What are your opinions on these matters?