There are no words powerful enough to describe what it is, what it feels like, to wonder if you will ever get to be a family. When I think about all the years we waited, then tried to conceive, all the health care ups and downs, and misery we endured before we formed our family, I am humble, grateful, and a wee bit in awe that we eventually were chosen to be our girl’s parents. When I watch this video of Rachel and Brandon, I am reminded of that again. Whether your path to becoming a family is adoption or IVF, families sometimes need help.
I recently had an opportunity to speak to some politicians about infertility and the need to fund in vitro fertilization. The politicians asked a few questions after my speech. One said to me: “Some might ask well if you can’t afford the money to become a family, then how can you afford to RAISE a family?” I have been working as community manager for Generations of Hope, Conceivable Dreams and IVF4BC for many months now. I have been supporting families formed through adoption for 12 years. Every week I meet a new couple like Rachel and Brandon, or Danielle Xavier in Toronto, or Joanne Horibe, founder of Conceivable Dreams, or Brooke Berry, one of the brightest storytellers on the Alberta Generations of Hope Team. Every week I hear a new heart-wrenching story of families struggling to become family by IVF, who cannot afford the costs. Many work three jobs and liquidate all assets, remortgage homes to try and have a baby. Every week I hear a new story of families struggling to stay family by adoption because of the costs of raising a child with special needs. Our paths are slightly different, but each is worthy of support.
I told the politicians something to the effect of this: “I have met families that are willing to go to the ends of the earth just to become a family.” Do they make good families? They, in my opinion, often make better families because of the hardship and struggle they have endured. They will often go into debt, or remortgage houses just for the chance to have a child. The issue isn’t whether families can afford to raise a child, it’s that no family should have to start their journey with $15,000 to $50,000 debt.
In Alberta, Generations of Hope gives the gift of family. They give the gift of miracles and future and hope. Government policy makers are very often fond of stating they need partnerships and in tight fiscal times I absolutely believe that is true. In Alberta, Generations of Hope is the best example of a partner already created, ready and willing to do what it takes to support families. Now, a little help from the government would go the distance to build a healthier future for the province.
What do you think? Who bears responsibility for the price of IVF? Aren’t healthy families in everyone’s best interest for a stronger province?