Everyone deserves to experience the gift of parenthood if it’s something they dream of. Unfortunately, fertility struggles can hinder that opportunity, as fertility treatments can be cost-prohibitive for many hopeful parents.
That’s where infertility grants come in.
Infertility grants allow hopeful parents to pursue the reproductive practices needed to grow a family.
There’s no denying the high cost of fertility treatments. The average American family can’t afford to pay for these processes in many situations. Did you know that 33% of Americans have required fertility services or know someone who has?
That’s a significant number of people who depend on these treatments to get pregnant unless they take out a second mortgage on their home or land knee-deep in credit card debt, that is.
The harsh reality is that without necessary fertility treatments, it can be impossible for many people to have a child.
If you’re looking for options regarding the financial aspect of infertility, applying for family-building grants could be the solution you need. Take a look at the information below to learn more about how grants work and which ones you should consider.
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The Average Cost of Infertility Treatments
Something to understand about fertility treatments is how broad their scope can be. Services can be as simple as taking medications, or as complicated as undergoing donor egg IVF.
This said, it’s not surprising that the cost of these protocols also varies greatly.
When discussing various assisted reproductive technologies (ART), specifically in vitro fertilization (IVF), the average cost of treatment ranges between $24,373 and $38,015.
How Much Does Insurance Usually Cover?
Unlike many other medical problems, insurance doesn’t always cover infertility. In fact, while fifteen states require insurance policies to cover at least a portion of treatment costs, the other 35 don’t have any mandates in place. That’s why most infertility patients end up paying out-of-pocket for services like IUI, egg freezing, and IVF.
If you’re unsure about the state you live in or your unique insurance policy, don’t be afraid to contact your provider to ask questions.
Having coverage for at least some of your services is much better than paying for everything on your own.
What are Infertility Grants?
So, you’ve discovered you need treatments to grow a family, and your insurance won’t pay for any of it…what happens next?
Before you hand over your credit card, why not consider alternative payment solutions?
When household income is the most significant hardship in your quest to become a parent, infertility grants exist to alleviate some, if not all, financial burdens.
These programs range from private awards from small non-profit groups to large-scale national operations like the Baby Quest Foundation.
Many existing grant programs award set amounts of money, while others provide discounts on treatment services.
Are You Eligible for an Infertility Grant?
Despite the large-scale need for treatment in the United States, not every person or family will qualify for infertility grants.
One challenging part of finding the “right” infertility or IVF grant is that not all programs use a universal set of qualifications. Each grant program will have its own set of eligibility requirements.
Before you go down the rabbit hole of grant applications, make sure you understand what type of candidate each program is looking for. This will save you a lot of potentially wasted time.
Despite varied requirements, some qualifications tend to pop up time and time again.
For many grant programs, eligibility requires that applicants be:
- At least 18 years old
- A legal citizen of the United States
- Undergoing treatment with a Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) affiliated practitioner or clinic
- Living with low household incomes
Many programs also want their applicants to have already received an official diagnosis of infertility from their doctor.
Questions to Ask Before You Apply for a Fertility Grant
While it might seem like any chance to get money for your IVF or fertility treatments is one worth taking, not every grant might apply to your unique situation.
Before starting the application process, consider the following questions.
1. What Does the Grant Cover?
Infertility grants are not one-in-the-same. While some might cover the full cost of fertility treatments, others might offer smaller amounts of money or pay for particular aspects of the process, such as medications required for IVF treatment.
There’s nothing wrong with being picky about the type of grant you need.
Turn your focus to programs offering the specific incentives and opportunities you’ll need throughout your reproductive health journey.
2. Does the Grant Come from a Legitimate Organization?
I hate to say it, but there’s no denying that some companies try to prey on desperation. Organizations offering infertility grants are no exception.
Make sure to analyze the legitimacy of the grant you’re applying for before submitting any personal information or fees. How do you do this? Ask lots of questions and speak with experts in the field, such as financial advisors at your fertility clinic.
Most importantly, don’t forget to trust your gut on matters like this. If something doesn’t seem right or sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Is There an Application Fee?
Not every infertility grant application comes with a fee, but many do. While this payment is often unavoidable, it’s still a factor worth weighing. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, you might want to consider other options.
However, remember that many organizations that require fees put that money back into the grants themselves, such as Hope for Fertility.
4. Are There Any Fertility Testing Requirements?
Before you receive a fertility diagnosis, there’s a good chance your doctor will require you to undergo an infertility workup. This process involves various tests, such as blood work and transvaginal ultrasounds.
However, during the infertility grant application process, particular organizations might request tests of their own or additional examinations.
5. Do You Have to Use Specific Clinics?
If you’re applying for a fertility or IVF grant run through a particular clinic, it’s reasonably understood that you’ll need to use their facility and financial resources for your treatments.
With other grant programs, you might not have to use a set clinic, but you might need to live in a specific state or area to qualify.
Be sure to look at these specifications before making any decisions to apply.
6. Are There Time Frame Restrictions for Treatment?
Many infertility grants come with specific time frames you must use the award within. Be sure to pay attention to these guidelines, so you’re not restricted to something you’re not prepared to do.
7. Does the Grant Only Cover Specific Treatments?
While many grants are geared towards IVF treatment, others are more versatile. That’s why having a fertility diagnosis and a potential treatment plan in mind is helpful before you start applying.
Trustworthy Infertility Grants You Might Want to Consider
Now that you understand what to consider before applying for fertility grants, you’re probably wondering what your options are. We’ve gathered information about various programs that benefit hopeful families the most.
Keep in mind, however, that this is not a definitive list.
Don’t forget to research other local or state opportunities for permanent residents. This includes asking the financial assistants at your fertility clinic if they offer any programs you qualify for.
The Baby Quest Foundation is one of our favorites because of its flexibility. It’s open to all permanent residents of the United States, no matter their gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.
The grant awards range in value from $2,000 to $16,000. This value is a mix between money and medications. The grants are released bi-annually, and the number available depends on how much money is available.
You can apply these grants to many treatment protocols, including IVF, IUI, embryo or sperm donation, gestational surrogacy, and frozen embryo transfers.
The Cade Foundation, a non-profit organization geared towards providing support and financial assistance to hopeful parents, offers two types of infertility grants.
The first is its family building grant which is open to any permanent US residents. The other is exclusively for patients using Shady Grove Fertility Clinics. These grants are available twice yearly and provide up to $10,000 for families requiring fertility treatments.
You can also apply the family building grant to domestic adoption costs.
While this nonprofit group supports a wide range of infertile parents, its primary role is to help people who’ve dealt with recurrent pregnancy loss through fertility scholarships and grief counseling.
In addition to the cost of an IVF cycle, recipients can use this award for any reproductive endocrinology services.
The only condition is that the money will be paid directly to your service provider, and you must use them within 12 months of receipt.
This opportunity is slightly different than many other infertility grants. Instead of focusing on treatments, Livestrong Fertility provides fertility resources and financial assistance to parents who’ve received a cancer diagnosis.
While cancer treatments provide invaluable benefits to patients, they aren’t without risks. One of the most significant side effects of these protocols is diminished fertility.
Various fertility preservation options exist to protect your chances of becoming a parent later in life. Livestrong Fertility works with several clinics to ensure individuals have access to discounts for these practices.
One of the things I love about Starfish Infertility Foundation is that they don’t just offer their own grant for individuals struggling to get pregnant, the Braxton Grants, but they also provide access to other available programs.
Starfish gears many of its awards towards individuals with healthcare insurance but not fertility coverage.
Generally, grants are valued at around $5,000 each. Applicants must pay a $50 non-refundable fee and provide information about their reproductive history and financial status.
Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) is an organization built to assist Jewish families in maintaining financial stability and overcoming personal and familial obstacles. One such challenge is infertility.
The program provides financial aid for IVF treatments, but they also help Jewish citizens overcome reproductive struggles through various loans, which help make affording medical practices more obtainable.
For families in Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin, you have access to the Chicago Coalition of Family Building. This organization provides fertility grants to a wide variety of hopeful parents without restrictions based on marital status or sexual orientation.
Grants will not exceed $10,000 and only go to individuals with a fertility diagnosis from certified fertility clinics.
Tips for Securing the Grant You’re Applying For
Whether you’re preparing for IVF or looking into embryo donation, infertility grants could be the tool required to help you overcome your conception struggles.
That’s why there’s so much at stake when filling out these applications.
If you want to increase your chances of success, please keep the following three tips in mind before submitting your forms.
- Pay special attention to qualifications: Your application will automatically be rejected if you don’t fit the organization’s requirements.
- Fill Out the Application Completely: Make sure all required information is provided before turning in your documents. Not only does this include the application itself, but also any forms from your doctor or lab results you might need.
- Write a Great Personal Statement: Grant organizations receive more applications than you can imagine. Do what you can to make yourself and your family stand out in the crowd. Be specific and write from the heart when telling your fertility story.
Other Options for Affording Fertility Treatments
What happens when these grants don’t work out? After all, not everyone can win, no matter how deserving we all might be. If you’re searching for alternative ways to cover your bill during fertility treatments, there are a couple of things you could try:
- Crowdfunding, i.e., GoFundMe
- Traditional Loans (including low-interest loans such as home equity loans)
- Additional Health Insurance Policies
Don’t forget to speak with your fertility clinic, as well. Many practitioners offer flexible payment plans to alleviate the stress that comes from paying for treatment.
Talk to Your Fertility Specialist to Learn More About Grant Opportunities
Infertility is a heart-wrenching struggle even in the best of circumstances. Add in the challenge of paying for treatment, and the situation can quickly become impossible to handle.
Fertility and IVF grants are an ideal way to help cover the costs of treatments. What’s more, there are tons of great options available. If you’re confused about where to start, don’t forget to utilize the experts at your fertility clinic. They can help you understand the best steps in paying for your reproductive process.
Have you ever used or applied for infertility grants? Which ones?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.