Updated: Feb 19
With all this talk about Mothers & Mother Figures Day, I'm extremely sensitive to the fact that there are many people who struggle with infertility. In fact, 1 in 8 couples struggle to get pregnant or sustain a pregnancy, making it a more common issue than people realize. As you scroll through social media, remember this statistic - you know someone battling infertility. For many struggling to conceive, the hope to one day realize the dream of parenthood is what keeps them on their fertility journey.
I always 100% thought that I would have children. I'd meet the man that I manifested after learning about myself and spending a couple years nurturing myself and my needs as a woman. Don't get me wrong, I still have hope though as I'm not the only fabulous and forty single gal out there! There are so many of us, plus we're in good company....Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron....I can go on. And look at Charlize, she adopted! That is something I've always considered as well.
The thing is....I don't even know where I stand as far as how many "good eggs" I have left. But, that honestly doesn't affect me personally or rush my in any way. I would be more than thrilled to adopt as well. But, I am curious about the "good egg situation" so I may find out on my next OBGYN appointment just to see where I am with that. The other thing I debate is that I'm not sure I should have kids so late in life as I will be 44 this summer. So with that, this decision is to be continued.....
As I ponder this idea and decision, I also think about those struggling with infertility so I started reading more about it and I wanted to share some information and resources that I've found.
Diagnosis + IVF
There are many medical conditions that impact both men and women's fertility. 1 in 5 couples are diagnosed with "unexplained infertility", meaning there is no straightforward cause to infertility. While sometimes we want to explain away and define cause, unexplained infertility is in fact a medical diagnosis. While there are many ways to treat infertility, IVF statistically offers the highest success rates. Read more via RESOLVE
What is The Stork Foundation for Infertility?
At The Stork Foundation for Infertility, they are committed to not just raising awareness for infertility, but also raising their collective voices to break through the stigma. The Stork Foundation empowers others to start and change the conversation surrounding infertility.
Every single dollar donated to The Stork Foundation for Infertility makes a difference. No path on this journey is straightforward. The cost of infertility is HIGH, which is why the support of others is critical to their existence.
Anyone who has faced infertility knows that this breakdown is an oversimplification of the actual intricate medical costs. The average cost of an IVF cycle can range from $12,000 - $20,000.
Every patient is unique so every care plan or "protocol" varies significantly. This breakdown does not list every procedure or medication that are part of this long, arduous process to becoming a parent.
Fertility Benefits Coverage
The National Infertility Association celebrates one million covered lives through its Coverage at Work program. This free program empowers people, whose health insurance is provided by their employer, to talk to their HR benefits managers about adding benefits & coverage that help them build their family.
This program launched in 2016, and since then RESOLVE has tracked more than 45 companies who because their employee used RESOLVE’s program, have added family building benefits, the biggest being insurance coverage for medically necessary treatments like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The total number of these employees with new or expanded healthcare benefits for family building options reached 1 million in April 2022.
“Adding family building benefits is a win-win for employers and employees. Employers often don’t realize there is a gap in benefits until their employees point it out. Satisfying employee requests is a top reason cited by employers for adding these benefits. RESOLVE looks forward to working with employees and employers alike to welcome the next one million employees with new or improved family building benefits, but let’s not wait another 6 years to reach that milestone, as family building can’t wait,” said Betsy Campbell, Chief Engagement Officer for RESOLVE.
The 2021 Survey on Fertility Benefits from Mercer and commissioned by RESOLVE, found that 97% of employers who added coverage for IVF did not see a significant increase in costs. In fact, this report finds this highly valued benefit is both affordable and beneficial to companies in terms of attracting and retaining talent, being recognized as a family friendly employer, and supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts.
2022 Stork Foundation Fertility Grants
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I need to submit medical forms?
Yes. A medical evaluation form must be completed by your doctor.
Can I submit an application for someone else?
No. You cannot submit an application on behalf of another individual.
Is there an age limit on who can apply?
Yes. Applicants must be 18 or older.
Can I reapply next year?
Yes. The Stork Foundation reviews each application individually each cycle. You are welcomed to re-apply then.
Is a paper application available?
At this time The Stork Foundation does not offer a paper application, but they are willing to make accommodations for those needing assistance. You may email them at: Stork@storkfoundation.org
What type of information should I include in my personal story?
The Stork Foundation would love to learn more about your personal fertility journey. Feel free to include past treatment, your own personal sentiment about your journey, and a little about yourself and partner if applicable.
Stork Foundation Board Member Spotlight
Meet Maria Braham. Maria is a founding board member who resides in Chicago, Illinois. The Stork Foundation for Infertility means so much to Maria, as the mission so deeply resonates with her own experience. Her strength and resiliency is awe-inspiring after experiencing six miscarriages during her 6+ year journey to become a Mom.
Maria is a certified financial planner by day and enjoys vacations with her husband and family. She truly celebrates women and works to empower them in her involvement. Maria is a member of many organizations including National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), National Association of Female Executives (NAFE), Professional Women's Club of Chicago (PWCC) and many others. The Stork Foundation is very lucky to have Maria and her pure dedication to their grants committee.
Maria never gave up her fight and never takes for granted that two sweet boys call her Mom.
The Stork Foundation For Infertility
LITTLE WORDS PROJECT
Both the founder and VP of Marketing at Little Words Project had their own experiences with infertility, and were brought together by openly sharing their journeys with each other. The more stories like these are shared, the lesser the stigma becomes.
I am very honored to be collaborating with Little Words Project. LWP aims to inspire and encourage people to be kind to themselves and to pay that forward, one bracelet at a time.
During World Infertility Awareness Month, 25% of proceeds from Little Words Project will benefit The Stork Foundation, helping to provide financial assistance for low resource individuals needing infertility treatments.