Not everyone can have children in the traditional way. About 12% of women of childbearing age have received fertility assistance,2 sometimes at a staggering expense. And same-sex couples must pursue an alternative — and costlier — path to parenthood in almost all cases.
Along with the high emotions and stresses that can come with creating a family in non-traditional ways, there can also be some high expenses. If you and your partner find yourself in this situation, no matter how you intend to create your family — be it through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), adoption or surrogacy — here’s how to plan for the costs.
Understand what you’ll pay
The average cost of intrauterine insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, is $865.3 However, one cycle of IVF can run between $10,000 and $15,000, depending on where you live, and that doesn’t include the medicines you’ll need for the procedure. Plus, many patients undergo the procedure more than once.
Unfortunately, only 15 states currently require insurers to either cover or offer coverage for infertility; so, for many families, treatments such as IVF or the less invasive IUI are an out-of-pocket expense. If you don’t happen to live in one of those 15 states, you have some options to pay for the procedure.
First, consider applying for an IVF grant or scholarship provided by a non-profit organization to help defray the cost. Do an online search for “IVF grants” for a list of options. You can also check with fertility clinics near you to see if they have a payment plan that helps you spread out the cost over time. The more you can lower your monthly cost and reduce any interest you might face, the easier time you will have in paying down the balance of the procedures.
Surrogacy, meanwhile, is a whole other cost universe. The procedure involves implanting either your own eggs and sperm or a donor’s in a woman who carries the baby to term. It can run as high as $150,000, including the expenses of IVF, payment to the surrogate and hefty legal bills.4
Adoption is generally less costly. The least expensive option is to go through the foster care system, which often provides subsidies to parents who foster a child until adoption. Your financial outlay may only be $1,000 to $3,000. But adopting a newborn domestically can run between $35,000 and $45,000. International adoptions can raise the tab beyond $45,000, given the extra legal and travel expenses involved.5 Do an online search for “help with adoption” to find organizations that assist with this life-altering process.