When people are faced with fertility problems, it can be difficult to decide what steps to take on the journey to growing your family. Whether you are exploring infertility treatments or creating an adoption plan, we gathered together some resources for you that will hopefully help!
Accessing Infertility Insurance Benefits via Fertility Within Reach
There are many options infertility patients can pursue and resources they have access to. Some important things you need to keep in mind before gaining insurance benefits include:
- Consider all of your options in terms of accessing insurance benefits to treat infertility
- Think strategically, determine what your needs are, what works for you and make sure you are prepared
- Practice optimizing communication with employers and insurance companies
Gaining Insurance Benefits through your Insurer
- If you have been denied benefits before, you can file an appeal with your insurer
- If that appeal is denied, you can request an external appeal through the state in which you live
- With an external appeal, a medical professional who is not associated with your insurance company will review your claim
- If your insurance company lacks infertility benefits entirely, they can request a predetermination of benefits from the insurer
- This means they will acknowledge that you don’t have benefits, but that you would like them and hope for them to make an exception in your case and explain why
- If patients believe the insurer has made an error in denying benefits based on reasoning that goes against the state’s insurance regulations, they can file an official complaint against the insurance company.
Gaining Insurance Benefits through your Employer
- The human relations department can help you understand the benefits your employer offers and you can share with them information to help them realize while offering IVF insurance coverage is in their best interest.
- HR can then discuss with an insurance broker if there are additional policy options that cover infertility treatments including IVF and prescriptions
- With knowledge of the different options available, some employers may be willing to write a letter to your insurer on your behalf, pay for your care themselves, or change benefits offered to all of their employees.
With all of these options, it is important to think strategically about which option best suits you and prepare accordingly. Communication may come easier to some and not to others, but it is important to have the conversation and have research to support what you are explaining. Perhaps after going through infertility, treatments, and the potential struggle with insurance companies will lead you to considering other options to grow your family.
Adopting after Infertility
The decision to adopt does not happen overnight in most cases. For some, they have always prepared themselves for adoption and for others it can take time, a lot of time to transition from infertility treatments to adoption. There are a lot of questions that one will ask themselves when pursing fertility treatments and then when the decision is made to pursue adoption. Some of these questions don’t really have easy answers either. We pulled together some of the most common questions families ask and have some answers we hope will help!
How long do you pursue infertility treatments? How far do you allow technology to enter into the business of conceiving a child?
To answer these questions it really depends on the people who are asking. For some it might come down to money, if your insurer doesn’t cover treatments despite your attempts, like the ones we outlined earlier, it might be a deciding factor. An article on Adoption.com explained that although some people may view halting fertility treatments as “giving up,” others will see it as the push needed to move on to another chapter of life. When they stop fertility treatments and begin actively pursuing adoption, many couples report feeling unburdened, as if by focusing on adoption they are once again focused on the positive instead of constantly ruminating on the negative outcome of their fertility treatments.
Have you moved on from infertility treatments?
Adoption needs to be a decision that is agreed upon by all involved. Sometimes, people grieve and handle hard situations in different ways and that includes infertility. It is not uncommon for one person to be ready to move forward with adoption and their partner to remain a little uncertain. Everyone should be able to grieve and process the loss at their own pace. Coming to terms that one won’t have a biological child can be a huge loss to some, so it is important for time to be taken to really come to terms with that. If adoption is pursed when one partner isn’t ready, it can lead to complications in the process down the road and no one wants to feel pressured into make a decision that impacts the rest of their life. American Adoptions suggests that couples or singles who struggle to move on from infertility are encouraged to see an infertility counselor or a marriage and family counselor.
Do you and your spouse have similar adoption plans?
Similarly to the previous question we investigated, it is important to have similar adoption plans with your partner when moving forward with the process. Discussing aspects of your adoption plan, like the following, will help you to evaluate if you are on the same page.
- Do you want to adopt domestically, internationally or through the state foster care system?
- Do you want to adopt a newborn or an older child?
- Do you want to adopt a baby of a particular gender?
- Do you want to adopt a baby of a particular race or races?
- Will you want to have contact with the birth parents, and how much?
Just like it can be helpful to speak with counselor after infertility, American Adoptions suggests speaking with an Adoption Specialist will help you and your spouse better understand certain aspects of the adoption plan and may help you ultimately agree to pursue the same adoption plan.
Are you financially prepared for adoption?
Infertility treatments are expensive and fees for adopting can be too, so it is important to be prepared for that when choosing to purse adoption. Whether you are adopting domestically or internationally, there are expenses that should be carefully researched so you can create an adoption budget of sorts for your family. Take some time to research different opportunities that could help to offset the cost of adoption, including the federal tax credit and specific adoption grants and loans (Resources 4 Adoption is a great tool for this). If moving forward with adoption will put a strain on your finances, you might consider waiting until your situation is more stable. Also keep in mind that a lot families fund raise for their adoption, we even wrote a blog post about it.
How much do you tell your child about adoption and attempts to conceive? Will your adopted child see himself or herself as your second choice, as second best?
It is natural for adopted children to ask questions as they get older. They want to know about where they came from, why you wanted to adopt them. If struggling with infertility played a part in bringing your child into your life, it is okay to be honest and say so. As you are about to read, parents who build a family through adoption, and they will say they couldn’t imagine their lives without the children they adopted.
Adoptive Parents Weigh in on Adopting after Infertility
“When we started on the adoption journey, I questioned what type of love I would feel for my daughter. Would it be different from the love of my birth boys, would it be like loving the next door neighbor’s kids – what kind of love would it be?” After she adopted her daughter she found the answer to her questions. “Now I know what kind of love it is and I would shout it from the mountain tops to everyone if I could. It is the SAME kind of love that I experience with my boys. There is absolutely no difference!” Sue A.via Come Unity
“When we first started having trouble getting pregnant we said we would do ‘whatever it took’ to get pregnant. At that time we had no idea it would go on for 4 years and have such an effect on us – physically and mentally… We realized we had lost sight of our goal which was to parent a child, not necessarily become pregnant. When we decided to adopt it was like a weight had been lifted off our shoulders. Our social worker also asked us if we had resolved our infertility issues. Although I don’t know if you ever resolve anything major like that, I had finally gotten to the point where I could say, “I’ll probably never get pregnant and that’s OK.” I remember how good it felt when I was able to actually say that out loud for the first time.” Cindy D. via Come Unity
The moral of the story is that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to growing your family. You need to do what is right for you and find support along the way. Please feel free to leave questions or comments about this post and visit any of these support sites for more information.