THERE WAS a time when couples who could not have children accepted their fate and either gave up the notion of having a child, or they adopted a child. Certainly, adopting a child is sometimes a wise and often a noble choice. But for those of us who have held our newborn and experienced that unquestionable link to millennia of previous generations, that feeling of biological parenthood is a powerful one.
Advances in the technology of pregnancy resulted in programs which helped previously infertile couples get pregnant and maintain that pregnancy until it resulted in the birth of a child. Through in vitro fertilization, the woman's egg and the man's sperm are united in a lab, and the resulting fertilized egg is implanted into the woman for gestation. With the assistance of careful watching, instructions, and medications, a woman who might otherwise remain barren can become pregnant, carry that pregnancy to term or near term, and produce a bouncing baby for the couple.
For the past several decades, the in vitro fertilization process has advanced to the point where many couples have been able to achieve their goal of having a child who is theirs by DNA. I know some of the children who resulted from such a process - fine adults whose presence on the planet enhances daily life here. Their parents were pioneers in the process of in vitro fertilization. They marched through the long, tedious, often painful process. They made sacrifices most never imagine in the reproduction process.
How would you like to give yourself a shot every day so you won't lose that precious fertilized egg you are carrying? And suppose you had an allergic reaction to the medications they were giving you to help your baby's early fetus? Suppose you broke out in hives from that part? Those are merely some of the things these expectant mothers may experience in their quest to do what most of us take for granted: carry and bear a precious child.
This process is expensive. It's not standard medical treatment. It may not be covered by insurance. It may require a couple to go into debt. As the in vitro process evolved, so did the economics of helping couples find a way to finance their quest for a child. In order to meet that need, a system of providing loans evolved for couples who wished to have their own baby. These loans are unsecured. Because they are unsecured, they often carry a higher interest rate than those seen for purchases of a house or a car.
Unsurprisingly, those who benefit financially from the in vitro fertilization industry were most likely to provide financing for such. This is to be expected. Many forms of consumer activities are aided by financing provided by those who market such activities. It is therefore to be expected that specialty financing such as in vitro fertilization would be provided by the same people who provide those services.
When it comes to having children, apparently that reliance on such financing is offensive to some. A recent news column seemed to find it unethical that those in the industry who benefit might have some connection to the financing. If we are to believe such critics, it is fine for a couple to finance a BMW or a McMansion, but financing a child's creation and birth is over the line.
The choice should belong to the couple which wants a child and those who would help them achieve that goal. As with any consumer loan, the interest rate and terms reflect the overall business trade. It is to be expected that the loans will come from those who will benefit from the business side of the event, and it is to be expected that interest rates for such unsecured loans would be higher than other forms of consumer finance.
Couples who have made the sacrifices and gotten the loans to help them have a family know it is the best money they ever spent. It's not a boat, or a car, or a house, or a wave runner, or a trip to Europe, or any of the other many legitimate reasons to get consumer financing. It's a child, and it is here to rain down love and sunshine on those who call it their own.
© 2012, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved.
Jim “Pappy” Moore is a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his email@example.com