The Fight to Make Fertility Treatments Financially Accessible for Same-Sex Couples

May 12, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Image: Getty Images

One couple, who is having a baby via surrogate, is fighting to limit the costs associated with fertility treatments.

After realizing that in Hawaii in vitro fertilization is covered by health insurances for heterosexual couples, Sean Smith and his husband, started a movement to afford same-sex couples the same privilege.

More: How to navigate IVF as a same-sex couple

Currently, only eight states, including Hawaii, cover these costs for heterosexual couples, but even that is a major savings. Smith and his husband were set back about $20,000 through the in vitro process.

“At the end of the visit, I would be going into the office and pulling out my credit card, and other people are probably just walking out and insurance is picking up the tab,” explained Smith according to NBC. “We had to borrow money, refinance a second mortgage, and I’m sure there are people who don’t even explore the option because the expenses are too great.”

The awareness campaign that Smith and his husband have sparked is especially relevant as the week of April 23 to 29 is National Infertility Awareness Week.

According to the CDC, of women between the ages of 15 and 55, 12 percent will have difficulty getting pregnant. For men, of 3.3 to 4.7 million who have reported seeing a fertility doctor, 18 percent were diagnosed with a male-related infertility problem.

More: I'm freezing my eggs now because I'm afraid to disappoint my partner later

“Now that marriage equality is the law of the land and is accepted, now let’s turn to family building, and let’s figure out how we fix all these inequities that exist,” said Barbara Collura, president and CEO of Resolve, a national organization that advocates for access to fertility treatments, to NBC.

By Vivian Nunez

Originally published on HelloFlo.