Nicole Lawson and her husband desperately wanted biological children, but in 2009, after several attempts to conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF) ended in miscarriages, Lawson's mother suggested the couple consider surrogacy.
Between attorney and agency fees and medical and insurance costs, gestational surrogacy can range in cost from about $70,000 to well over six figures, which Lawson and her husband didn't have after paying for several rounds of IVF. Fortunately, the couple's parents agreed to help, and the Lawsons now have a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
Lawson says she and her husband wouldn't be parents without financial help from their own parents. Paying for fertility treatments is an obstacle that countless other couples face.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 6.1 million women in the United States between ages 15 and 44 have difficulty getting or staying pregnant. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine lists the average cost of an IVF cycle in the United States to be $12,400. Surrogacy, as mentioned above, costs even more. Here's a look at several ways to pay for fertility treatments.
Consult your OB first. Some work can be performed in your obstetrician's office, so do as much of the diagnostic and blood work as you can before stepping foot inside a fertility clinic. "For the lower-end services, like artificial insemination, a lot of OBs do perform those services," says Leticia Uribe, the business office supervisor at Reproductive Science Center of the San Francisco Bay Area. "There are times that I advise patients to go to their regular OB office, because the way they're coding it, your insurance would cover it under OB."