It’s Not Right, But I Understand…

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BBCThis story: Man sold drugs to ‘pay for IVF’ on the BBC News website caught my eye and left me sympathetic toward the offending party.

His defender had this to say: “This is a most unusual case. The reason he committed the offences was to fund fertility treatment for his wife. He didn’t think before he acted and at its lowest level was extremely foolish.”

Not surprisingly, the man was sentenced to both a nine-month jail term (how ironic, no?) and community service.

Those of us who’ve had to pony up for the privilege of being poked, prodded, medicated and harvested know all too well how much the IVF drug portion alone costs — my protocol for one round of meds was $5,000. Throw in the doctor visits, ultrasounds, harvest, fertilization and transfer and assorted other grab bag items and you’re looking at a total of $16,000 or more for one round of IVF with absolutely no guarantee of success.

So, can you blame the guy for looking to fund the IVF anyway he could? I’m guessing a second job at minimum wage would have taken quite a bit longer to accumulate the funds. Now add an impatient wife tormented by babies, pregnant women and the like who’s vocalizing her unhappiness day and night, and he was probably willing to take any chance he could to get on with the IVF. When IVF is all out of pocket, as it was for us and so many others, the procedure and related meds needless to say makes a significant dent in the family finances.

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Note to the fertile community: yes, yes, delivering and raising children is expensive, but tack on a few more years of trying and trying and trying with huge associated price tags. Now do you begin to understand how frustrated we infertiles get when you moan about the cost and hardships of raising children? At least you conceived them free of charge and have them to brag on to your family and friends.

I can’t help but wonder: what in the world is this poor man’s wife going to do waiting another year or more to get things started…


Writer, blogger and, oh, yeah, infertility survivor. My memoir, Silent Sorority, tells the whole story. There's a movie in there somewhere. I'm thinking Jennifer Lawrence plays me.

15 Replies to “It’s Not Right, But I Understand…

  1. Wow, that’s a wild story — and very unfortunate. We are also out of pocket for IVF; the RE quoted it at about $14K assuming our drug protocol is normal. There are less expensive clinics in town but they are known for playing looser ethically, with higher-than-average transfer guidelines.

  2. I can totally understand this man’s predicament. But drugs? He must’ve been beyond desperate. Thanks for the visit on my blog today, it’s always so nice to see your name there! 🙂

  3. Wow. I guess it was bound to happen at some point, no? I agree with you… what he did is wrong… but I understand what must be desperation behind his actions. There just has to be a better way…

  4. OMG. That poor couple. i remember wondering what we were going to do to pay for IF treatments and it was terrible.
    Those poor people.

  5. While I don’t condone it, there’s totally a parable about that (parable, fable, story, whatever). All about the dying woman, and how her husband stole the drugs from the pharmacist to save her life.

    Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it and all. Personally, I can’t WAIT until Sicko comes out.

  6. It makes you want to rob a bank anyway.

    I hate when fertiles (smugly) tell me how expensive kids are. Duh! But they get theirs for free. I will be out about 75K just getting to parenthood. And I will still have to buy diapers by the truckload and worry about how to send my child to a good college, etc.

    (That’s one of my pet peeves, can you tell?)

  7. It breaks the heart to think what level of despair would cause someone to take such drastic action. We who are fortunate enough to be parents see yet another reason to be grateful.

  8. Mmm, sad, pitiful,moronic, hard to say. If someone had told me I had to run naked downtown during a full moon to get pregnant, I probably would have done that. Now the guy has no job and a criminal record to boot. The costs of infertility are more than just monetary, aren’t they?

    We spent the money we had saved towards a downpayment for a home because we wouldn’t really need a 3 bedroom home if we didn’t have kids. Now we’ve decided to adopt – don’t get me started about how much that costs…..

  9. I too was thinking, “9 months–what will her eggs look like in 9 months?” My frustration with the lack of coverage is endless.

  10. The worst thing about this story is all the anti-IVF folks out there will be gearing up to blame the reproductive industry and label infertile couples as selfish and desperate, when the blame rightly lies with the insurance/public healthcare systems.

    I won’t say he shouldn’t have been charged, but yes, I have sympathy.


  11. Conjugal visits? 😐

    Man, I understand why he did it and it’s a terrible that people are forced to such desperate acts.

  12. Wow what desperation can make some people do (but I understand why as well). I thought the same thing, the poor wife who has to wait 9 months for anything to get started again..!

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