All turned around

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just when I thought we were seriously going in one direction, we are all turned around again.

We wanted to do embryo donation / adoption through a well-known well-reviewed national agency. However, they charge $4k to be in their program, and that doesn't include any costs associated with the actual transfer (medical or medicines), or any charges that the donor couple would like reimbursed. They also require a homestudy. Maybe I am naive (and to be sure, I had never inquired as to the cost), but I though the homestudy would be maybe $1500.

So, without the homestudy, we are up to at least $8500, not including meds or reimbursment costs.

Enter the homestudy cost. Take a guess what it is.

FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Okay, maybe you aren't surprised, but it knocked the wind out of us. We had already scheduled an appt for Mr. A at a family practice to get his medical approval form filled out, and I had called my RE to get our infectious disease testing results sent to me. After we had already watched the preliminary info materials for this agency, all of a sudden, this embryo adoption is going to cost us around $15k.

We were upset. We felt gilted, nickeled-and-dimed. They should be more upfront with even average homestudy costs. And all of a sudden, we were throwing ideas around such as "why dont we just save an extra $5k and do the IVF three tries money back program ($20k)?"

Which of course, is something I never ever ever thought we'd ever do, and especially not this year. Not because I'm opposed to the money back program (I think it's great, actually, and if we decide to go that route, I pray I am accepted!), but because like I've said before, in a crazy way, I had really looked to 2011 as a med-free intervention-free infertility-accepting year.

I am still interested in embie adoption, but with the success rates of FET's around 30%, and the success rates of fresh cycles around 50%, Mr. A (mister logical) feels like it would be a smarter use of whatever we save for this to just do another fresh cycle, if an embryo donation / adoption is going to cost us nearly twice of what a single fresh cycle would be.

I know you don't have to use an agency with embryo donation / adoption. We have not taken it off the table. But it is so disappointing to be here after feeling like it was the direction to go just a few days ago.

Maybe some people would tell me to not worry about the cost, but we can't deny that part of us. It is just who we are to be careful about our finances and not overextend ourselves if we don't have the money available. I was thinking we could save enough by the end of this year to really (actively) pursue embryo adoption, but now I don't think we can, and if we are going to have to save up $15k, I sort of agree with Mr. A about just saving some more and trying to get into the money back program and try to have a biological child.

I think another part of why I'm still interested in embryo adoption is that it feels safer for me. I know my lining has always been good. But it's the stimming that perhaps I'm not so good at, and if we try IVF again, I'm afraid of failing. I know we would get our money back, but I just don't know if I'm ready to set myself up for that again. Of course this is all moot, because we don't have the money saved up yet (unless we pull from our savings, which I doubt is going to happen). And I know that embryo donation / adoption is not without its pressures, either....

So anyway, here we are, with our vision of how to expand our family as clear as mud. I wish that we were one of those couples who had this clear shift from trying to conceive on their own to whatever path that was going to expand their family, but it's not looking like that is what we have. (Who am I kidding? I wish we were one of those couples who got pregnant on their own!!!) Oh well.

For now, we haven't really talked about it in a couple nights. I think we are both bummed, and I think we both are back to square one- not honestly interested in starting anything else right now and just trying to enjoy each other. Maybe someday we will get a clear kick in the pants!!

20 comments:

Johanna said...

What a disappointment! I know that took the wind right out of your sails. I agree with Mr. A; it sounds like a good option (shared risk cycles) if you decide to go in that direction. Praying for you!

Jenny said...

Is it a "special" home study??? That's a LOT for a home study...

callmemama said...

Ummm...do they require you to use their agency for a home study? Because you can shop around for those! We paid $1,650 for our home study, and there was another agency that charged $1,300 (but we preferred to work with the one we chose b/c most likely we'll use them for a second adoption).

Rach said...

Wow, a Kansas homestudy is only $1,000. Yeah, might as well do IVF for that price.

You might try

http://miracleswaiting.org/

It's a one time fee of $100. Then of course you'll need to pay some lawyer fees and the FET fees. So, it might lower the price to around $8,000.

Coco said...

What!!! That's an outrageous home study fee! Is that through the embryo agency or just a home study agency? I'd look for more options home study wise. My sister is adopting, and her home study was barely $1k. Ridiculous!

Praying for you to know which path God wants you to take. I don't know, with those figures, I'd tend to agree with Mr.A and go for the IVF again. Sorry this all stinks so bad. *hugs*

Bridget said...

I agree with everyone else- so sad for you. I would shop around at different agencies to find a better price or do the IVF again. I am doing a shared risk program right now and if it doesn't work for us then we are going to use the money we get back for adoption. Good luck to you!

TeeJay said...

Oh man, that stinks. I really wish the medical community could work with us IF girls a little more. It really seems outrageous to charge that much for a home study. You will find the window that opened when God (seemingly) closed this door. I'm so sorry that this turned into such an ordeal for you.

Anna said...

That's why we didn't go with an agency for our EA. We got on the waiting list at our RE's clinic. There was no home study requirement, just a 6-12 month wait. However, we ended up finding our own donor (somewhat on accident) and were able to get our transfer much faster. The entire cost of our EA was about $5500. It would have been a flat $5000 if we had stuck to the clinic's wait list, but because we got our own donor, we had to use an attorney for the legal paperwork. That's where the additional 500 came from. I also looked at doing Miracles Waiting, but didn't end up doing it because I felt like people were sort of selling their embryos (since most of them wanted reimbursement for their storage costs). Something about their website didn't feel right to me....it didn't seem very professional. But I know a lot of people use it, so it's a personal decision.

The Wife said...

Hey Girl! Sorry I've been so absent from commenting lately. Didn't mean to turn into a lurker. I'm excited that you're looking to embie adoption. Which agency are you looking into? I've only ever heard of Snowflake.

HatCreekGal said...

$5K for a home study does seem very high - the highest I have heard is $2.5K. When you are working through an agency you do pay a fee, but the fee is for legitimate services - if it is a legitimate agency. The Snowflakes agency fee is $8K and that includes the legal (proven solid) contracts, matching with a donor, medical testing the donor may still need to complete to meet FDA requirements, shipping of embryos and management of the transfer of embryos between multiple clinics. Some people don't think it takes that much effort to do all of the above things, but the truth is the agency has experience and will help you navigate the waters. Do-it-yourself embryo donation and adoption is certainly an option, but you assume all of the inherent risks. The Snowflake fee does not include the cost of the FET nor the home study, but they can recommend clinics and agencies to work with to have those completed at a reasonable cost. It really is important to explore all of your options and all of the costs before you choose who to work with or not. Just like with most important expeditures you get what you pay for. Best wishes as you seek to build your family. Have you ever visited embryoadoption.org for information? They have some great videos and a comprehensive FAQ section, including info regarding expected costs for embryo adoption.

the misfit said...

Good grief. I hear people explaining all the services you get for all that money (and I will here restrain myself from pointing out the line-item difference between distributing overhead and raking in profits), but I cannot but believe that these embryo adoption people are just plain profiteering off of others' hardship. They paint it as money for a baby (and babies are great, right?), but let's be honest: most of the population doesn't equate those costs with "baby." Those costs are for people who have already gone through heartache, headache, and significant expense. And the embryos available aren't random embryos - the biological parents of those babies are other infertiles, who have already paid through the nose for everything. They get you coming and going. (I have very similar opinions about ex utero adption, except they're not financially exploiting the birth parents - that's their precious source of saleable goods, so they have to keep them happy.) I'm sorry to be a cynic, but in the mean, nasty nineteenth century when life was hard and everyone was pure evil, finding homes for orphaned children (and children to raise for childless couples) was considered CHARITY work and was done FREE OF CHARGE. I'm not saying that those of us who can afford it should be unwilling to take on any cost, but it was once understood that taking on the cost of raising a child who otherwise would have no home was a pretty generous sacrifice in itself. Now, it's an industry, and I think the whole thing (except for the intentions of the adoptive parents, who are not the target of any of my criticism, I note) is very very ugly.

...just my cynical $.02.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

That is highway robbery! When I was pursuing infant adoption (we changed our mind), my home study was going to be $850! I highly recommend doing the donor embryo way, or using Miracles Waiting.

Jess said...

All these costs are so overwhelming! I knew I was in over my head the moment I walked into an infertility clinic and was shown their prices, and I know adoption, IVF, etc. is so much more expensive. And, how can one NOT think about it? We must. I pray you find a source for finances and hope for your options.

JC said...

I'm so sorry! I had no idea it was that expensive either. But that does sound like a lot of $ for a homestudy. I've heard of them being much less expensive, around $1,500. I'd shop around if you guys are still interested in it. But I like Mr A's idea on saving $5k more for the shared risk. Anyways, I'm praying for you!

hollytraveling said...

Wow, that's a lot of dough.

I think your doing the absolute right thing in saving up the money and making sure you're investing it in the best possible way. I know it sucks you don't have the answers yet and again you're facing obstacles, but you're on the right path. Keep on researching and discussing it. There's got to be another option available for the embryo adoption that you're both more comfortable with.

You will find a way to make your dream come true.

rebecca said...

I'm so sorry, what an immense disappointment! Those costs are outrageous! You're right a home study should cost anywhere between $1,000-1,500...definitely not $5,000, that is insane! A friend of a friend did our home study and only charged us $500. We went through Miracles Waiting, our cost for legal fees was $1,500 for the contract, then the actual FET was $2,500, medications and monitoring appointments were another $1,500 or so. Hoping you guys are able to find the path that is best for you. It's understandable you're reevaluating your options given this agencies costs.

One Who Understands said...

Ok we are so in the same boat right now. We were thinking adoption would be cheaper and then the more we look into the more "fees" there seems to be. Now it looks like it would cost about the same to do another IVF, 2 cycle package, as it would for adoption. To me $5k sounds like A LOT for a home study. It is so hard to be totally on board with a new path to family building and then have it taken away. Know you aren't alone. Praying for you.

Craig R. Sweet, M.D. said...

We have priced home studies out in the region. I am certain the prices vary but they were around $600 here. Someone is taking advantage of your situation. It is unfortunate but it is not uncommon. There are still some ethical and economical embryo donation facilities out there. Try to Google "embryo donation" and see what you get. I hope you won't mind a post from a physician but I just couldn't ignore your post. Good luck in all that you do. Craig R. Sweet, M.D.

Hillary said...

"I wish that we were one of those couples who had this clear shift from trying to conceive on their own to whatever path that was going to expand their family, but it's not looking like that is what we have. (Who am I kidding? I wish we were one of those couples who got pregnant on their own!!!)"

I couldn't agree more!! Me too, me too!

I didn't get a chance to respond to your last post, but I was going to comment super excitedly at your new direction of EA...but then this just sucks and I'm sorry. DH & I just had a $$ conversation tonight and I cried that we just can't build our family. I'm so sorry and pray that God gives you clear direction.

makingmemom.blogspot.com

callmemama said...

P.S. I should have added to my comment, the only reason we paid $1,650 was that we were not adopting through the agency. If we were working with them on placement, it would have cost us $900.

Just to clarify...