"In order to become parents we needed fertility treatments. I thought that our health insurance would cover the fertility treatments so I went back to the gynecologist to begin the process. I was distraught when the doctor told me that our health insurance would not cover the treatment. We stopped the process not because we lacked the desire to be parents but because we lacked the money." – excerpt from IVF scholarship application.
You can’t get something for nothing, right?
Maybe, maybe not. A couple of infertility non-profits offer scholarships toward infertility treatment costs. There are strings, of course and your odds of getting one are low.
But then again, your odds of getting one are nil if you don’t apply.
$10,000 Fertile Dreams Scholarships
The costs associated with fertility treatments may be quite expensive and, in most cases, insurance companies do not provide coverage for the care. Fertile Dreams was established as a resource for those individuals without insurance for fertility treatment. The grant program, established in 2006, will select several individuals based on review of their application and financial need and grant a $10,000 award toward an IVF cycle at any program in the United States.
Grants will be awarded as selected by the Embracing Hope Grant Committee. Applicants will be asked to complete a confidential application. They will also be asked to write a short essay describing their infertility history, personal situation and financial need. Proof of income and other supporting financial documentation will be required.
The Embracing Hope Grant Process
Applicants are reviewed and selected by a volunteer advisory board comprised of former patients and health care professionals. Applicants are asked to provide the following:
- Complete the four page Embracing Hope Grant application
- Written description of their fertility history
- Proof of income with documentation - a copy of the last two IRS tax returns and two most recent pay stubs from both partners
- A signed copyright and media release giving Fertile Dreams full rights to share your story if selected and to be photographed at anytime throughout the treatment process
- If possible, Fertile Dreams would like the award winner to attend the Award ceremony and Gala presentation in Orlando, FL. (See website for dates.)
- Send completed application to the address below.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 321.397.3868 with questions.
InterNational Council for Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID)
INCIID has arranged for a number of respected IVF clinics in the U.S. to donate their expertise and state-of-the-art facilities so that patients who do not have the financial resources may have the opportunity to build a family. The program will cover most of the basic IVF expenses.
Couples with financial and medical need may be eligible for participation in the program. Final committee selections and decisions take cost-of-living in different regions of the country into account Applicants will be required to provide copies of their most recent tax returns and paystubs and supply a letter from their doctor recommending IVF as medically necessary. Those selected will also partner with INCIID and have a small fund raising requirement.
There are a few drawbacks to INCIID’s program. First, you have to pay $55 membership dues to apply and there are income guidelines, but those aren’t publicly released. So, you might pay and go through all the steps and get turned because you make too much money. You might have to travel to a participating program (you can’t usually pick your own) and you may have to pay for own meds.
One final pain – you have to raise $3,000 from family and friends as a “goodwill ambassador” for INCIID. As long as you know the rules before you play, you can choose whether or not to get involved.
Tinina Q. Cade Foundation
Named after an incredible mom who was a surrogate of triplets for her daughter, this is the new kid on the IVF scholarship block. The best part about their family building grant is that the $10K can be used for adoption or infertility.
What’s the catch?
If you get awarded the money, expect to be used for public relations purposes. That can be fine, as long as you know ahead of time that’s what you are signing up for.
The nonprofits want to use the winners for maximum media exposure. As such, they tend to choose married heterosexual couples. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible if you don’t fit in that box, but know it is one factor which may decrease your odds.
The organizations will generally give precedence to couples who have not had children or a tubal ligation or vasectomy. If you haven’t been through Clomid and a few IUI’s and been told by a reproductive endocrinologist that IVF is your best choice for conceiving, then don’t bother to apply.