In the latest issue of Money, we meet Carrie and Dan Zampich. Five years ago, the Zampiches visited a fertility clinic after trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for 9 months. The Atlanta couple, then 36 and 41, were shocked by the specialist's diagnosis: they had less than a 1% chance of having a baby naturally.
That moment marked the beginning of the couple's long struggle to conceive which, in addition to exacting an enormous emotional toll, has drained their finances. Money reports:
Over the past 4½ years, Carrie, a media promotions specialist, and Dan, a graphic designer, have seen seven specialists and undergone 11 medical procedures costing more than $80,000; of that total, $55,000 has come from their pockets. Stretched thin by medical bills, the couple have struggled to pay for treatment: They’ve borrowed against Carrie’s 401(k) plan, maxed out their credit cards, taken donations from family and friends, and routinely worked side jobs for extra cash. “We aren’t ready to give up, but if we do,” says Carrie, “it will be because of money, no other reason.”
The Zampich family's story is not unique. One in five couples in the United States has trouble conceiving (make that one in three if the couple is older than 35). A single round of IVF costs $12,600 on average, and it often takes three or four cycles to work. And just 25% of health care plans cover infertility treatments.
As their debt accumulates and their biological clock keeps ticking, the Zampiches remain hopeful. Read more about their infertility journey on Money.com.