Do Ambivalent Would-be Moms Deserve A Chance?

September 15, 2009

I just wanted to put out there this because I find it’s an issue that constantly creeps up whenever there is a public discussion about infertility treatments. It’s natural that if a woman is ambivalent about motherhood, she is going to wait longer to try to conceive. Clearly, as most of us know, the longer she waits, the slimmer her chances. But does she deserve to be penalized for this?

Why penalized? Well, we’re having a health care debate up here in Canada about covering IVF treatments. Some members of the public — actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a significant percentage given the number of times I hear or read this comment — feel that 35 should be the cut off age.

Yet why shouldn’t a woman feel ambivalent? There is no right time to have a child. Maybe she’s got a demanding career. Or maybe she’s the primary income earner. Or maybe she’s trying to still find herself. Perhaps she has not met the man she’d like to be the father of her children.  There are so many reasons and they are each valid.

I believe that if IVF becomes publicly funded, there should be no cut off age. I don’t know what the situation is in the US with private insurance but I would love to hear about the age issue.

Furthermore, 35 is the magic age up until which women still have a good chance. By necessity, this means that IVF should be covered after 35. Thirty-five is not old by today’s standards. In the long term perspective our schooling has lengthened; hey, women actually started going to school and entering the workforce relatively recently given my timeline.

I don’t know about you, but I feel resentment and a mild anger whenever I hear people that know nothing about infertility calling into talk shows to say, Oh, why don’t they just adopt? Or, Why should we cover IVF for over 35-year-olds? Well, because those 35 yr olds’ kids will be covering your health care, for one. But you know, I’ve always been somewhat ambivalent, so why should I suffer physically, emotionally and financially in order to provide for some curmudgeon’s health care in his or her old age?

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