couples

We couldn't afford IVF, so we asked the world for help

Jessica and Sean Haley were shattered when doctors told them they had a less than 1% chance of conceiving a child naturally. The couple were desperate to become parents. They immediately requested IVF treatment, however at $16,000 per cycle, they couldn't afford it.

Refusing to accept that money would decide if they were able to be parents, they decided to ask the world for help.

Meet Landon Haley, the world's first 'crowdfunded' baby.  He is now 18-months-old and has no idea he was conceived after his parents public bid to raise money for IVF treatment became a huge success. The couple chose Indiegogo.com to launch their appeal. It's a site normally reserved for people raising money for business ideas but it has now been used to make a baby, pay for a child's cancer treatment and other health-related appeals.

"If I could have one wish for my birthday, it's to be a mum," Jessica wrote on the site. "A couple of weeks ago, a doctor told me and my husband that we only have a 1 per cent chance of conceiving naturally. We're beyond ready to start the IVF process but finances are holding us back. With your help, we could have a child."

It was a desperate move by desperate people but one that paid off - they ended up raising more than they needed.

Very few of their family and friends knew of their fertility struggle and the couple braced themselves for a backlash. When their profile went life they saw $100 raised in 10 minutes and family and friends were the biggest contributors along with work colleagues and old school friends.

"Looking back, I'm not sure how I had the nerve to ask other people to bankroll my fertility treatment," Jessica confesses.

And now thanks to the Haley's, the site Krowd Kidz has been formed to help all couples seeking funding for IVF or adoption. And Australia isn't far behind.

Here we have peoplepledge.com.au to allow people to donate to loved ones or strangers to help pay for medical bills, surgery, even IVF. Inyourcorner.com.au is another site that is 'crowdfunding' anything from sport, health and even schools to reach their goals.

The Haleys shared every detail of becoming parents with their generous benefactors. Jessica posted on her Twitter feed, shortly after Landon was born:

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He has been home with us for nine days now. We can't stop staring at him. He's really ours, a mix of Sean and I, a sweet, little miracle. He's here because of hundreds of people that believed in us and wanted us to become parents.

Our dream came true. We have a baby, one that comes with an amazing story that we hope and pray inspires others who are facing infertility issues too.

I get teary-eyed just thinking about the number of people who helped us get here. If you have helped us in any way at all, THANK YOU. We cannot say it enough. Your donations have allowed us to do something we never thought we could.

Jessica has now paved the way for numerous couples who had to abandon their baby dreams simply because they couldn't afford the treatment they needed. "In the past year, dozens of women have contacted me through Indiegogo asking for tips. If you have the guts, go for it," Jessica recommends. "I'd donate to a friend, although a stranger would really have to tug on my heartstrings."

The Haleys plan to tell Landon all about his conception when he is old enough to understand. "I just hope he understands that we wanted him so badly we were happy to put our pride aside to welcome him."

And now the Haleys are happy to announce they are expecting their second child, another boy.

This time the couple didn't need to crowdfund for IVF treatment. Instead they are raising money for this:

Would you consider donating to a  'crowdfunding' site to help raise money for fertility treatment?

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