How much is a baby worth to a couple trying to get pregnant? It’s likely priceless, but to the lending industry, it’s worth millions. Apparently, because of the steep cost of fertility treatments, some couples are turning to financing to get enough money to improve their odds of having a child.
One couple in Rockville, Md, Jill and Tom Clinton, tried desperately to get pregnant, but after a heartbreaking miscarriage, they decided to try a fertility clinic. Unfortunately, the cost of the average in-vitro fertilization cycle is about $12,000 and their insurance wouldn’t cover any of it. Additionally, it often takes several cycles to get good enough odds for a successful pregnancy. In order to make it happen, they drained their savings and were happy to receive a baby boy from that investment. When they wanted a second child though, there was no money left for fertility treatments, so their doctor told them about the possibility of getting financing. After more research, they found that fertility financing companies are being created around the country and the industry is growing fast. It’s so popular in fact, that Capex MD, the company the Clintons decided to use, funds a whopping one million dollars in fertility loans each month and that number is rising steadily.
It appears unclear as to why this new industry is growing so fast. Some speculate that more couples are trying to get pregnant later in life and so are more likely to need fertility treatments, while others believe it’s simply the new option that is giving rise to the results. Couples who previously couldn’t afford in vitro fertilization now have the option to get financing and so they do. Either way, it is causing concern among medical ethics committees like the one at Langone Medical Center. They wonder if lending companies aren’t taking advantage of the desperate nature of couples in this situation, seemingly holding a miracle right in from of them. Arthur Caplan, head of the Langone Medical Center Ethics Division worries that couples are “not going to hear the failure and success rate, the interest rate, and what the risks are of the treatments.” Instead, couples may only pay attention to the idea that there is one more opportunity to allow them to give pregnancy another try.
- Yvonne S. Thornton, M. D., M. P. H.