As infertility treatment technology advances, more Americans are turning to assisted reproduction. Here, we look at some of the choices families are making.
After trying for years to have children, Mark and Lucy Johnson* acknowledged a hard fact: Even if they could determine the cause of Lucy’s infertility, her eggs were probably too old to warrant their trying in vitro fertilization (IVF). “I felt like my body had failed me,” she says. They could either pursue adoption or try for a pregnancy using eggs donated by a younger woman.
“I’d heard of sperm banks, but not egg donors,” Lucy remembers. “I didn’t think it was something I’d ever have to do, but I decided that I wanted this child to have some of Mark. It was also important to me to be pregnant.”
The Johnsons faced a few roadblocks. Their up-front expenses — $5,000 to the donor, $12,000 to the fertility clinic, $5,000 for medications, $6,000 for the egg-donation agency’s program fee — were not covered by insurance. After their first donor backed out, it took them eight months to save $8,000 for a second try with a new donor.
Despite their bumpy road to parenthood, today, 45-year-old Lucy is a happy cliché of an expectant mother…