Crowdfunding A BABY? It’s Happening

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shutterstock_127393325__1373809138_142.196.156.251Crowdfunding is a collective effort of people who donate money, usually via the Internet, to support the projects of other people or organizations. All sorts of things can be crowdfunded – from indie film and music projects to book publishing to restaurants. If it works so well for artists and small businesses, why shouldn’t parents try it? A new trend in crowdfunding is parents who need help with their dream of starting a family.

Sites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and GoFundMe have enabled a lot of projects that would never have seen the light of day get their funding. Potential parents are trying to tap into this market. Here’s an example of a couple from Portland trying to source money to fund their IVF treatment:

Did you know that most insurance companies do not help couples with fertility issues? We are trying to start a family, but my doctor told me that in order to have a baby I will need IVF and a donor egg. The cost? $37,000. When I looked into financing, I was offered a $6,000 loan with a 24% interest rate. However, if this campaign helps us spread the word, and if 2000 compassionate people donate just $20 each, we will be able to go through with this procedure. Please consider helping us out with as little or as much as you can afford.

So far, no one has helped them with their cause.

A little browsing through the IndieGoGo site revealed a bunch of families trying to get help; IVF treatments, preparing for baby, adoption – these are just a few of the things people are seeking financial support for.

If you have a network of people with disposable income who are willing to help you, it will work. If you don’t, it probably won’t. It may get a little awkward, petitioning the people in your life for financial help. They may feel imposed upon by such a request, and you may feel let down if none of the people in your network want to help you. I have a hard time imagining how an endeavor like this could be successful, but apparently it can. From The Huffington Post:

Since May 2010, GoFundMe has helped raise nearly $1.1 million for couples looking to cover the costs of infertility treatments and adoption. Currently, about 100 couples are looking to do the same on GiveForward.

The first “crowdfunded baby,” Landon Haley, was born after his parents conducted a campaign in 2011 that raised $8,050 to help fund infertility treatments.

With fertility treatments and adoption being as restrictively expensive as they are, maybe crowdfunding will be the thing that makes them accesible for more parents.

(photo: Alan Bailey/ Shutterstock)