The LGBTQ community has many more family-building options these days than they did 20+ years ago. Non-traditional families and same-sex couples have a better chance of starting a family when they want. Still, despite the ease of access and accessibility, the process can be tedious, overwhelming and costly.
What are some methods that an LGBTQ person/couple can use to start their family?
Fertility costs can vary significantly, and it’s the same with sperm donation. Most people wouldn’t think sperm donation would cost a lot, but even at-home insemination will cost you about $1,000. However, if an IVF or IUI clinic is needed, the cost can surpass $50,000. The costs include:
- Clinic fees
- Egg retrieval
- Embryo creation
- Embryo transfer
The costs can be debilitating for some, but it doesn’t have to be. Talking with an experienced fertility doctor can help you decide what you actually need.
Egg Donation & Surrogacy
Couples may choose an egg donor or surrogate to help them conceive a child (usually more common in two-male households). There are various costs associated with this method, differing based on need, what you want and the insurance coverage allowed.
- Egg Donation – This financing will include clinic costs, donor costs, legal fees, insurance plans, medical and psychological evaluations, etc., with costs that can be tens of thousands of dollars (at least $20,000 minimum).
- Surrogacy – Egg donation and surrogacy are often tied together, but this can be complicated because of how much is involved. Plus, the costs associated with LGBTQ surrogacy can quickly exceed $100,000 and top $200,000.
- Agency fees – up to $40,000
- Surrogacy compensation – up to $60,000 (all depends on location and experience)
- Surrogate insurance – up to $30,000
- IVF transfer – between $7,000 and $9,000 per cycle
- Medication – can run hundreds to thousands of dollars
- Attorney & escrow fees – $15,000
- Surrogacy allowance – for things they may need such as clothing, shoes, etc.
And you can lower these costs by finding a family member or friends who don’t mind donating their eggs or being a surrogate. Some people don’t have that option, and financing is always possible for those who don’t.
How To Finance Your Fertility Treatments
If you need help paying for your fertility treatments, reach out to your health insurance company. Texas and California have enacted laws that require these companies to help with infertility treatments, with other states enacting laws centered on infertility diagnosis and treatment coverage.
Many of the more prominent companies provide fertility benefits with the insurance, so reach out to the HR department to learn if they are any benefits for you.
You can also look into fertility loans, but they have high-interest rates. Be sure to do your homework before agreeing to one. You can also look into surrogacy and fertility grants, which have grown in popularity over the last few years.
There is a range of options available to people who want to conceive and start a family!
Prospective parents may also use unconventional means to find egg donors or surrogates, using personal connections, fundraising and comparing medication costs from other countries. This DIY approach might come across as less expensive, but you must be mindful that cheap doesn’t mean better. On top of that, reproductive doctors and attorneys know how you can save money without cutting corners to get what you want.
If you attempt this venture yourself, do your homework.
What To Know…
People with fertility problems have more options than in the past to become parents. Although cost can be prohibitive, speaking with experts in the field can help you with the research and answer any questions you have. DIY options can save you money, but it’s better to work with an organization or agency to help you with the journey.
The utmost critical thing is to talk with professionals and doctors about what you’re looking for. Also, turn to your support system to help you go through this process. All the information you are provided will help you to decide what direction is best. The LGBTQ community can offer prospective parents the advice and resources necessary to begin the parental journey.
The most crucial point is to know that you don’t have to go through this process alone. There are so many others struggling to become parents too, and there are experts and doctors throughout the nation and world that can help you with your fertility issues.