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October 01, 2021

How much would you spend to have a child?

How much would you spend for the chance to have a child?

Fertility treatments are an often expensive gamble but one that a growing number of would-be parents are willing to take -- in some cases, spending as much on family building as most people drop on a cruise or a car.

A single course of in vitro fertilization costs $4,500 to $8,000, plus $2,000 to $7,000 for required medication, the Financial Post reports. Donor sperm costs $3,000 to $4,500 for six inseminations.

A portion of the fees may be covered by medical insurance at work or provincial health care plans but, for the most part, you're on your own.

One Toronto couple recently spent $13,500 for one cycle of IVF, including drug costs; but the treatment  wasn't successful and they decided not to repeat it. Happily, after shelling out for six intrauterine insemination treatments at a total cost of $2,400, they're now pregnant.

Many others, of course, aren't so fortunate. For them, the struggle to have children can lead to strained relationships, depression, anxiety and very real financial hardship.

When looking at any sort of treatment, the first thing you have to do is to talk with your partner and establish limits, say Evelina Weidman Sterling and Angie Best-Boss, co-authors of Budgeting for Infertility: How to Bring Home a Baby Without Breaking the Bank. 

Although difficult, don't fall into a costly 'It's going to happen the next time' mentality', they warn.

"A lot of people want to think the sky's the limit when they want a child. It's important after each cycle to think about it, and talk about it with your partner.

"We've talked to a lot of people who exhaust all their resources and are left with no baby and no financial resources. It's important to make a plan, write it down, be concrete about it, and after each cycle evaluate where you are," they suggest.

Have you struggled with infertility issues? How much do you think you've spent so far? Do you have a limit in mind?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...