Saturday, June 24, 2017
Much has been made of the high cost of rearing children in the United States, and rightly so. Families spend more than $230,000 on average to raise kids from birth to age 17 — a figure that doesn’t include the cost of college.
But for the 6.9 million women who have turned to fertility services, the bills pile up well before they ever hold a baby in their arms. A single cycle of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, costs more than $12,000 on average in the United States, not counting the cost of medications and travel.
Only 15 states require insurance coverage for fertility treatments. So for many would-be parents, IVF is simply out of reach.
Against that backdrop, the Sher Institute — a network of nine private fertility centers across the country — has run a popular but controversial free IVF contest for the past five years. The institute encourages people who couldn’t otherwise afford IVF to vie for two free rounds by submitting personal and often extremely emotional video pleas about their quest to have a baby.
Documentary filmmaker Amanda Micheli dove into the controversy in her documentary “Vegas Baby” (now available online and playing in select theaters around the country).
Read more here.