I Borrowed Money From My Parents To Pay For My IVF
When Sarah and her husband were trying for their first baby, she describes their jobs as “great.” With a combined income that she esteems as “above average,” the family had both a combined savings account and a retirement savings plan. Yet, when the couple was confronted with the cost of infertility treatments, they decided against dipping into their savings and considered a loan instead.
The couple attempted to get pregnant naturally for a year without any luck. Because both hopeful parents were healthy and under the age of 35, doctors soon suggested that they meet with a fertility specialist. After intensive testing, doctors couldn’t discern the reason why Sarah and her husband were not conceiving. No diagnosis was ever concluded, which she suggests that she didn’t lose any sleep over.
“Everyone seemed to agree that getting pregnant shouldn’t have taken us as long as it did.,” Sarah remembers. “That isn’t uncommon. There is a lot of unknown territory in the world of infertility so no one was surprised that we didn’t have anything clearly wrong at that moment.”
Nevertheless, the pair still found themselves considering their next course of action: IUI and IVF. They quickly learned that although their insurance covered the initial diagnostic testing, treatments were not covered at all. Sarah and her husband shelled out $5,000 of their own money to attempt IUI along with an additional $700 for fertility drugs, which failed — twice. Upon reviewing IVF possibilities, husband and wife learned that their clinic had a shared risk program in which parents paid $20,000 for six rounds of IVF. If they were unsuccessful by the sixth round, they would get all their money returned to them. Outside the shared risk program, one round of IVF costed an estimated $11,000.
“We weighed the cost and the value of the shared risk program and ultimately decided that it was worth the risk,” Sarah tells Mommyish. “Worst case scenario was that we paid too much money but we had a baby who was priceless.”
When it came time to budget the cost, Sarah and her husband realized that they were not comfortable scooping from their savings as deeply as they ultimately needed to. They both began considering alternative means to fund their wish for their child, which lead each them to the possibility of a family loan. After talking over the idea with each of their parents separately, both sets of eager grandparents were “happy” to loan their kids the money — and with no interest. The family, or very sympathetic “bank” as Sarah considers them, worked out a monthly payment plan with each couple fronting 50% of the IVF price tag. The real appeal, Sarah recalls, was that they would not risk any significant drainage to their assets, reducing even just a little bit of anxiety from the entire process.
“It just meant that we could pay it back without stress, no interest, no late fees, no impact on our credit, and still have our safety net in the bank in an emergency. In some ways, that was just as valuable as the money itself,” she points out. “While [our parents] were certainly not pressuring us to pay it back ASAP, we didn’t want the debt hanging over our heads — and we didn’t want to have too much of it remaining once the baby came.”