And an operation it is — far more difficult and far more expensive than the traditional way to which virtually all of us (98 percent or more) have become accustomed.
We had fantastic support through our local IVF clinic, (SIVF Canberra) and were the first lesbian couple at the clinic at that time to request using eggs from one woman to use in the other. We did it this way for a number of reasons: Tanya would be more included in the process and would be the biological mother of our daughter, and I did not want to pass on any autoimmune diseases to our child, as many women in my family (father’s side) have lupus, thyroid problems or other autoimmune diseases.
It was not considered surrogacy or anything other than a couple trying to have a baby together. We were very lucky that it worked first go and we even had three embryos left to use in the future.
The “couple” made an attempt to have another baby:
Last month we started the process for adding to our family, using one of our frozen embryos. Unfortunately it didn’t take, so we will have a break over Christmas and try again next year. We have two embryos left and will put them back in one at a time.
I have no information on the costs of IVF procedures in Australia. It all depends on success rates:
IVF success [in the US] rates are much higher than shown here for women under age 35
SART and CDC Data
Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology
Centers for Disease Control
Year Percentage of IVF cycles
resulting in a live birth
1985 5.3 1987 8.3 1989 11.3 1991 12.9 1993 15.8 1995 18.7 1997 24.0 1999 25.2 2001 27.0 2003 28.3 2005 27.8
|How much does IVF cost?|
IVF cost per single cycle (without ICSI) with all monitoring included
Medications not included
|Cost of IVF||$8,800|
IVF with ICSI cost per single cycle with all monitoring included ($1200 for ICSI)
Medications not included
|Cost of IVF with ICSI||$10,000|
$1400 discount given for the IVF stimulation monitoring done out of town (or if monitoring cost covered by insurance)
Optional IVF medications cost package plan
|Additional cost $2700 per fresh cycle|
|Otherwise, meds are purchased by the couple from a pharmac|
It’s not cheap, neither if the individual has to pay nor if “it’s covered by insurance” and we all pay, but what price is happiness for a couple or three new parents, right? Who knows. If the couple works at it long enough, and if neither the money nor the will run out, and if the ability exists, in the end there will be a baby who,
…will grow up to be a doctor, plumber or public servant; gay like her mums or straight like her dad; a wrestler like her uncle, an adult entertainer like her aunt (we are not voting for this one!) or a paramedic like her mummy’s cousin.
It appears that nothing is mentioned about the half of the child’s abilities and inclinations that come from her “dad’s” side, but one thing is certain, if the child is a girl, she will not be a sperm donor, not yet, anyway.
Update June 7, 2008:
Current total fertility rates (TFRs) for countries in the world – Rank Order. The web page accessible through the preceding link lists the rank order from highest to lowest, with a TFR of about 2.2 indicating a stable population. The TFR required to maintain a given country’s population varies a little from country to country, depending on the life expectancy for the average resident in that country. (Source: CIA World Factbook)
As of June 2008, the CIA World Factbook showed 104 countries (generally the richest and most developed) to have TFRs of less than 2.2. In other words, in those countries the population is in the process of shrinking. (Related Articles at Fathers for Life)