Questions For Reflection: WHO GETS TO PARENT?

In their docuseries, Timmia and Pere DeRoy tell the story of their IVF journey and the additional challenges they faced as a queer, multiracial couple. Anyone who has gone through the IVF process could likely relate to Timmia and Pere’s struggle to raise the money necessary for even one cycle of IVF.

For those not familiar with the process, our resident medical expert Dr. Julia has reflected on the episodes below and shared some cold, hart facts about the process.

  • According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, a single cycle of IVF ranges in cost from $12,000-25,000.
  • A recent study at a fertility clinic tracked all out-of-pocket expenses over a period of 18 months, including the IVF, medications, and necessary monitoring. The average couple spent $19,234. 
  • Currently, approximately 40% of employers provide some type of fertility benefit. Some insurance programs limit the number of cycles covered (often to three cycles), some do not cover required medications (which can cost thousands), and others place a lifetime cap on coverage. The cap could be as low as $15,000, which may not fully cover one cycle. 
  • Success rates are typically in the range of 25-30% per cycle.
  • Most patients undergo two to three cycles. 

What do you think? Questions for reflection:

Should a reproductive justice framework include assisted reproductive technologies (ART)? Should all insurers have to include ART as an integral part of health care coverage? Is it ethical or fair that IVF is essentially limited to those wealthy enough to afford it or fortunate enough to have insurance that covers it?

How did you experience Pere’s description of her initial reluctance to use her eggs for the IVF process? Did her concerns about bringing a child of color into the world resonate with you? Why or why not?

When Pere and Timmia tell their close friends and family of their intention to conceive via IVF, they receive significant pushback. In a nation where half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it seems ironic that this queer couple who spent years carefully considering their options and making the decision to proceed with thoughtful intention receives scrutiny, skepticism and judgement from the people closest to them.  Do you think heterosexual couples experience the same questioning of their intent? 

As a physician, I cringed when Timmia revealed her doctor’s racial biases and false beliefs that Pere had better “child-bearing hips” and higher pain tolerance. Sadly, racially based physiologic myths still influence the practice of medicine. In a study as recent as 2016, a shocking 50% of medical students and residents held false beliefs about Black patients. These false beliefs contribute to the health disparities that exist in this country. If you found yourself in Timmia and Pere’s position, what would factor into your decision to speak up? To remain silent?

Our resident expert Dr. Julia Arnold VanRooyen is here to answer all of your rePRO questions!

Simply fill out the form below - you may remain anonymous if you choose - and she'll answer them in our bi-monthly Periodical emails and social media channels. Leave your question below!