For many intended parents, the hardest part about pursuing surrogacy or egg donation is making the choice to do it. Many spend years playing with the idea, but for many, once they’ve emotionally committed to moving forward with surrogacy and egg donation, it’s full speed ahead!
All of the excitement can hit a brick wall when we start talking about realistic budgeting and costs though. We understand that this is an expensive process. It is our mission to help you find ways to save money during your process in ways that are ethical, smart, and practical. While it might be tempting to sell a kidney on the black market, that’s neither ethical, smart, or practical.
Here are three options that are.
Look into Insurance
Believe it or not, your personal health insurance may offer some help in your journey. In some states, carriers are required to offer coverage to families or individuals under a doctor’s care for fertility treatments. You can research your home state here, but understand that you may still need to call your insurance provider to ensure that your plan is currently set up to cover these expenses. Just because the state is required to offer this type of coverage does not guarantee that every plan offers it. You may need to get a new plan, or request these coverages be added to your existing plan. As you can imagine, you’ll want to have that proper plan in place before you start incurring expenses. Some plans will also have a mandatory waiting period between when the coverage is added and when it may begin to be used. Be sure to ask about this.
Since the law only requires coverage be extended to those undergoing fertility treatments, this will not help same-sex intended parents where both parents are male. In these instances, you may want to consider looking into your FSA for related expenses.
Federal Grants for Egg Donation
Yes, that’s a thing. Many people are surprised to learn that grant money may be available to help offset the cost of egg donation. As you can imagine, the line of people applying for these grants are long, and sometimes the waiting period for consideration can be well over a year. If you’ve got the patience though, this is a great option for saving money on your journey. You can explore this link to see if you’re eligible for any of the grant money out there.
Again, we’re not talking about looking for ATM machines with loose hinges. We want you to LITERALLY get creative. Host a fundraiser for your journey, and offer a creative skill or product that only you can. With infertility impacting one out of every ten couples, you’ll be surprised at how many of your friends, family, and wider social network will be sensitive to your struggles. By opening the door to your journey and inviting them to be a part of it, many people in your network will be willing to either donate to your cause through a fundraising event or by buying a hand made item from you (for a big mark up, of course).
While you certainly can create a crowd-sourced donation site like GoFund Me, fundraisers with a personal interaction tend to yield better results. When you’re giving people something in exchange for their money, they feel more engaged and appreciated. Popular options include:
Work with a local business to host a night out at a local restaurant, where they’ll donate a portion of sales back to you.
Talk with a travel agent. Many are set up to help you create, for example, a group cruise. You’ll do none of the work, your contributors get a value-priced vacation with you, and at the end of the trip, you’ll get a check to put towards your fertility needs. (And we happen to know a travel agent who can help with this, too.)
Open an Etsy shop to offer handmade goods for purchase. Be sure to brand the site and explain what people are REALLY spending their money on. It’s not just something you made, they’re also playing a role in the creation story of your family.
Shop Around for the Best Price on Fertility Medications
Consider looking for discounts on the (often pricey) medications that come along with fertility treatments. You may just be surprised at how wide the price gap is between competing pharmacies for the exact same medications. Don’t forget to shop online and physical pharmacies, and don’t be afraid to shop out of state. Often shipping from another state is cheaper than buying in your own hometown. GoodRX.com is a great place to begin seeking out better prices on medications. Just don’t solicit unused drugs from other intended parents. Fertility medications are still controlled substances, and asking for them openly and publicly isn’t a smart idea.
Check out our other blog post – “12 Ways You Can Save Money on Your Egg Donation Journey” – for more ideas on making your egg donation journey a budget-friendly one.