Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Baby Steps: Dollars and sense

Posted February 10, 2011

My husband and I are not wealthy. In fact, we’re not even well off.

We have what we need and we try to stick to a budget. I mostly handle the bills because I am a nutcase and must pay them immediately as they come through the front door. Unfortunately, most months we are not able to put a lot of money aside.

Bottom line – we do not have thousands of dollars just sitting around waiting for something to do.

Now that we are looking at spending several thousand for something that many people can accomplish for free, the question is: How do we afford it? My attitude is – we find a way.

From what I’ve learned so far, adoption and IVF cost almost the same amount and both can vary quite a bit. Brochures and websites list the cost for adoption all totaled up around $12,000. That’s with travel expenses, attorneys and administrative fees all added together. Though, all those prices are subject to change based on the kind of adoption and where the baby is.

In vitro is much the same in that there are several costs that pile on top of each other. From drugs, to removing the eggs, to implanting them again and so on can cost up to $15,000.

The good news for us – as I touched on last week – is that the cost for IVF is actually predicted to be much less for us because of my age. The doctor does not expect that I will need to use as many drugs, for example, as a woman in her forties might.

The numbers are still hard to swallow. Essentially having to buy a baby will put us in debt as much as buying another car! But I know someday down the road I will have thousands of dollars in the bank and, by that time I suspect, my baby-making days will have passed.

We’re still far from making a decision, but it’s time to consider the good, the bad and the expensive!

Christine is a news producer at WRAL-TV, which includes research for 5 On Your Side and producing the 10 p.m. weekend newscasts on Fox50. She lives with her husband and three dogs. Christine is chronicling her experience as she and her husband struggle with infertility. Find her here on Fridays.

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  • howdiditgettothis Feb 12, 2011

    A friend gave me this information:

    I found out about a North Carolina Organization that educates and provides funding to individuals struggling with fertility issues and cannot afford the treatments. The name, Pay it Forward Fertility Foundation, was perfect. This really struck home to me - imagine being able to pay it forward to a family who desire to have a family was
    just as heartfelt as mine.

    The Foundation is a non-profit 501c 3 organization that was started in December 2008 to educate individuals with various circumstances around fertility options, issues and expensive fertility treatments that are not covered by health insurance. Their website is www.payitforwardfertility.org. The Founder, Lori Moscato was blessed to have fertility options and, upon receiving her first born, wanted every woman/couple to receive the joy, love and reward of their own family by relieving the financial burden. That’s how Pay it Forward works.

    Prayers & hugs to you for sharing your journ

  • oneconservativemom Feb 12, 2011

    Yours is a really tough & personal decision. I pray you will have wisdom on this journey. DH & I went through 3 rounds of IVF w/no success. (Thankfully, ins did cover most of that at the time.) I was in my 30's at the time & fairly good health - none of that mattered in the end. We ultimately adopted a beautiful girl from China. The fees, travel & such weren't cheap by any means. We were able to reach out to folks for help through our church & other areas. Also, there are grants out there to help people w/adoption expenses. Don't forget the tax credit that's available also - it paid back much of the $ we spent up front. Bottom line: weigh all your options - IVF, domestic adoption, international adoption. Look at the pros/cons of each (especially that IVF can eat a big chunk of $ w/no baby at the end). In the end, you & your DH have to make the choice that's right for you - your comfort level, willingness to deal w/uncertainity of outcome w/IVF or bureaucracy of adoption.

  • brentsara Feb 11, 2011

    When we were planning on IVF and our insurance didn't cover it - we decided to save up b/c I couldn't bear the thought of having a loan I would pay later for something that failed. Now we don't believe in debt and would save up anyway b/c we don't want to be slave to the lender. Best wishes on this journey!

  • righthere1234 Feb 11, 2011

    Just so you know $12,000 for adoption is a very conservative amount. We have a friend in the process of adopting and have spent close to $30k already, and they haven't even been chosen yet by a birth mom with their agency. I would plan for the worst and hope for the best, and remember the costs don't stop once you get pregnant. We spent close to $1500 last year on hopsital bills for my c-section with my 2nd baby.

  • snowl Feb 11, 2011

    FYI - If you do borrow from your 401K...it must be paid back within 5 years. Even then you should compare other available lines of credit and turn to your 401(k) only if it offers a substantially better deal. Since interest on a home equity loan is tax-deductible, that's usually the best way to access credit.

  • OIBKat Feb 11, 2011

    Christine, just know that there are others out there going through this right along with you! I've been dealing with infertility for over two years (after a year of trying, so really three years), just got pregnant on IUI but found out that it was ectopic. So now we have to decide whether to try IUI again (since it technically worked) or move on to IVF, which is 6x the cost of IUI. Insurance doesn't cover any of this, so now we're stuck trying to figure out how to pay for it (and of course we can't qualify for one of the grants because we do have some savings, but IVF would all but deplete it). They're tough decisions...just know you're not alone! Whatever decision you make, it will all pay off in the end.

  • jdawnmarion Feb 11, 2011

    My husband had to go through some surgery before we could have kids that wasn't covered by insurance. We borrowed against his 401K and it worked great. We had the money instantly and began paying the loan back (and interest to ourselves) monthly. It took us 3 months to get pregnant and I call my son our "expensive little miracle". Good luck. I enjoy reading your blog!

  • grannybam07 Feb 11, 2011

    It's ALL good and you have the right attitude 'we find a way'! Looks like others have already given you ideas about how to find money or save. Focus on wants vs. needs - you'll be amazed at how much difference it makes. My husband hasn't been able to work for a year and a half due to health reasons. We are down to my paycheck, a teacher's frozen salary but that's a whole different blog, and you find what you thought was a need is truly a want. Learning to live simply is actually very freeing! Good luck!

  • Twittyfan Feb 11, 2011

    You and your husband will make the right decision I am sure... My mother always told me that if you worry about money you will never have a child. Kids are expensive but well worth the sacrafices you do.. My husband and I lived pay check to paycheck and provided we learned how to cut cost. Best of Luck to you and your husband in whatever you decide..

  • JAT Feb 11, 2011

    Aren't there tax advantages to adoption where there isn't for IVF? Also, some employers offer financial adoption help.

    Bottom line - few people can truly afford a child, either naturally, IVF or adopted. But somehow, once the kid is here, you just find a way to make it work. When we look at all we spent and continue to spend on junk for our family, we wonder where all that money was before. We were paycheck to paycheck then and we're paycheck to paycheck now, so it really doesn't matter. If you totally can't afford a child (which I don't think is your case), then yes, wait till you can. But don't think that just because you don't have "extra" money now that you'll suddenly be broke. You won't. You'll make it work.

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