Thursday, May 17, 2012

Financial Aftermath of Infertility

Well, it's done. We have two children and we are a family of four with our dog, Lucy and bird, Gus. The checks have all been written for our latest adoption except for a couple thousand more dollars for the attorney fee and other immigration fees.

We are extremely happy to have Wee home. Big brother, Min is doing great and makes the baby laugh all the time. We are all settled in living life, enjoying each other.

It took 8 years to become the family of 4 we had hoped to be. Eight years have gone by since we first starting trying to conceive. And I am exhausted. Reoccurring thoughts of a potential pregnancy still fade in and out and may be worth writing about at another time, but right now I am resting my soul. It has been a long 8 years.

Even though most of the adoption paperwork has been processed and we hope to have Wee officially adopted by the fall, we are left with the financial ramifications of a second $25,000 adoption. To date we will have spent roughly $75,000 to be a family of four.


And we would be no where without help from family. While we paid for the majority of everything ourselves, the help we received allowed us to continue on in our journey to the family we had hoped for. And it was our choice to do a second adoption and incur the debt. It was our choice to set aside our dreams of remodeling our kitchen, going on vacations, and postponing ventures for a later date to have another child. But it doesn't mean that this choice isn't difficult sometimes.

In the grand scheme of things we are just fine financially, way better off than so many in our country. And this is by no means a complaint post. What I am trying to convey is the financial burden of infertility (which may lead to adoption) that so many face and carries on long after a child comes. In fact, our lack of conceivability may have altered our children's choices for colleges if they don't get big scholarships. And if another major crisis were to occur in our family, we would be in a very difficult spot.

I want people to understand that finances is a huge part of the crisis of infertility. And it's effect can be a huge sacrifice on dreams and future plans just like infertility itself. If a couple decides to do many costly ART procedures without a successful pregnancy, will they be able to move on to adoption?

Or if a couple decides to stop medical intervention and makes the choice to live child-free, how badly have the procedures affected their financial state? On top of a broken heart people are faced with debt. And what is there to show for it?

That's how we felt after the $25,000 we spent out of pocket on IVF with only one terrible ectopic pregnancy.

For us the money we spent on IVF was all worth it because it was part of our journey to adoption. We found our path and along came our two beautiful boys. But it has changed our financial situation along with many other expectations of being (ahem) near mid-thirties. I know we will rebound from our  tight budget. We had that plan in place when we decided to adopt again. We wanted to provide a sibling for Min but it had to be done the right way for us. Luckily we had the capability to adopt two times.

I am so glad that Parenthood for Me is able to provide some financial relief for people. I know it is providing hope. The grant review committee is now reviewing applications and the winners will be announced in early July. Unfortunately there will be many disappointed applicants. But I hope that we continue to grow and receive more donations in order to help more and more people every year.

The one thing people should not have to lay awake at night thinking about is how to afford parenthood.


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