Popping in on a random day to add my 2 cents (is that a pun?) to Write Mind Open Heart's Dollars and $ense discussion.
Consider your now or future children as adults, and consider the fact that you had to spend money to either conceive them or make them part of your family. What effect do you think the latter will have on the former one day? What, do you think, your grown children might feel about the funds it took to create your family?
I don't think it will matter to them. It's like telling your children, "Hey! I changed your diapers!" We know that was a way to communicate love, they see it as just your job. I suspect it will be a running joke, but even that is hard to say. We don't really talk about it now, but I imagine things like, "Sorry, we would love to help out with college, but we spent your college fund on your conception."
That said, it has impacted our lifestyle so that may have a long term impact on who they are. We would have had more money for something if we didn't spend $70,000 plus on conceptions.
How did/would you handle it if your child asks you, “Mom, how much did I cost?” How would you answer at age 7? At age 18?
I suppose at age 7 I would give the conception cost, but at 18 I imagine rolling my eyes and just answering "Thousands and thousands" since I am sure the cost of raising them will still be more than the conception. Gosh, I hope not, but I think I have seen statistics to show that is true.
When calculating the costs of your family building, what do you include? The direct costs are easy (such as RE fees for a cycle or homestudy fees), but what about fees that didn’t directly lead to your child’s existence in your life, such as cycles that didn’t work, adoption outreach avenues that didn’t work, failed adoptions, avenues that were explored (and that cost something) but not pursued, etc.?
I included everything we paid for directly: testing, IUI's, counseling, acupuncture, supplements. I didn't include births, but I may have included the cost of Ernest's birth. I did not include the cost of lost wages which due to a job change around the time of our son's death lead me to be unemployed for awhile and then marginally employed and then unemployed again (job was NOT compatible with a grieving, childless mother).
If two children in a family “cost” different amounts, should that have any significance?
No, I see it as a total cost. I do expect to have some fun with it however. Perhaps referring to number 2 as our '$5,000 bonus baby'.
To what extent have finances determined the family-building decisions you have made? How have you able to balance financial considerations against other factors such as medical, ethical, emotional…?
With #1 (or #2 if you count the one that died) we were in the mode of "whatever it takes!" and I think the emotional impact would have stopped us before the financial. We are still in our 'starter' house, so the financial impact has been a huge part, but I think we could have ran up a lot more debt before we called it quits.
Thankfully, or second and last was born from an FET and we don't want more. Still, there are times when I think I might have had another kid it was free. Doubtful, but just maybe.