Man Choosing 'Expensive' Vacation Over Funding Sister's IVF Sparks Debate

A man who decided to go on an "expensive" vacation to Europe instead of helping his sister fund in vitro fertilization (IVF) has sparked an intense debate online.

The 30-year-old revealed his sibling, 34, has been trying to conceive with her husband "for a few years" with no luck, as he posted their situation to Reddit under username WorldlyReading7199.

After going to the doctors, the couple were told it was unlikely they'd be able to have a baby without IVF, which came with a 25,000 price tag, although WorldlyReading7199 didn't confirm which currency it was.

He claims their insurance doesn't cover the procedure, adding: "Idk their exact financial situation but she and her husband are both teachers at private schools.

"There is no guarantee of success and it could be 25k and no positive result. They asked me and my parents if we could help pitch in and my parents objected due to it being against their religious beliefs."

According to the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS): "During IVF, an egg is removed from the woman's ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory.

"The fertilized egg, called an embryo, is then returned to the woman's womb to grow and develop. It can be carried out using your eggs and your partner's sperm, or eggs and sperm from donors."

The man declined his sister's request to contribute to costs, as he explained: "I'm not religious at all and don't have any ethical objections but that's just a lot of money with no guarantee so it seems like a bad idea and I'm just not comfortable with giving that amount to a family member.

"My wife and I work hard and we don't want to potentially throw many [money] away if it doesn't succeed so we told them no. She was upset but left it at that (at the time) when we told her."

IVF has varying degrees of success, with the percentage of live births resulting from IVF in 2019 at 32 percent for women under 35, according to the NHS.

This drops to 25 percent for those aged between 35 and 37, 19 percent for women aged 38 to 39, 11 percent for those aged 40 to 42 and five percent for women between 43 and 44. It drops to just four percent for women over 44.

The man seemingly didn't think anything more of it, as he went on to say now travel has resumed after the pandemic, he and his wife had always wanted to visit Europe so booked a vacation.

But that angered his sister after she found out. The man continued: "I don't use social media but my wife does and she got excited and posted on her story a confirmation of our flight being booked.

"Well my sister saw that and then texted me saying how I was an a**hole for spending all this money on a vacation but not helping my own sister have a family. At first I brushed it off as her just being upset at her situation but then today I got another mean text from her."

The post, shared to the site's Am I The A**hole forum, amassed more than 10,000 upvotes and comments since being posted on Wednesday, and can read here.

He shared more information in the comments, claiming their trip was costing around 5,000, saying: "I was definitely shocked at how she seemed to just expect us to contribute. She's made comments before about us making more and living higher than them but until this they never felt with malice."

While he sought to clarify: "If it were a life saving medical treatment that'd be different. I sympathize with her, but IVF isn't going to save her life or anything.

"In general I've always had the mindset not to give/lend money to family unless it's an absolute emergency. And this, while it sucks, just doesn't feel like an emergency to me and I fear it could breed resentment down the line."

It sparked an intense debate, although the man was ultimately branded not the a**hole of the situation.

Mis_Bee_Have simply wrote: "NTA. It's not your job to fund her dreams."

Although Elenaleecurtis thought: "That's not true. Just because I don't have $25k doesn't mean I don't have enough money to support a kid. Yes kids cost a lot but this is not a fair statement imo."

Pkma2 pointed out: "The thing is. She asked OP to pitch in. Not lend. Which is even worse in my eyes. She has no intention of paying back the money."

But Dragon-queen said: "It might take three years to save up that much money! OP's sister is 34 and fertility starts decreasing in a woman's late 30s."

KraftyLikeAFox reckoned: "This!!!! Very sad she hasn't been able to conceive naturally, but that doesn't mean OP is required to bankroll her. It's been a really hard two years for everyone, and if OP wants to spend money on a nice family vacation then that's his call. Firm NTA."

While SodaButteWolf added: "This. Why do so many people insist that others are obligated to pay for their IVF, their house, their niece's wedding, etc.? We are an entitled species. NTA."

And sharing some sound advice, Callmecookie88 revealed: "Lots of companies these days have programs to support family planning and IVF. If they want financial help for that then they can look at a career change if their employers at the private school don't have assistance for that.

"OP if you see this tell your sis to review #showusyourleave on LinkedIn. A bunch of companies listed their parental benefits and many of them offer between $10K and like $50K annually for family planning."

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

File photo of plane tickets and IVF.
File photo of plane tickets and IVF. A man has sparked debate after going on an "expensive" vacation, over funding his sister's IVF. Polina Miloslavova / Scanrail/Getty Images