Man Praised for Refusing To Allow His Parents To Pay for Sister's IVF Again

The internet is backing a man who stopped his parents from paying for his sister's IVF treatment.

IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a type of fertility treatment where eggs are combined with sperm outside of the body in a lab. After fertilization, the egg—now called an embryo—is placed inside a uterus and pregnancy occurs when this embryo implants itself into the uterine wall.

Based on the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were more than 330,000 ART (assisted reproductive technology, of which the main type is IVF) cycles performed in the U.S. during 2019, resulting in 77,998 live births.

Research shows that for women less than 35 years old, over 47 percent of IVF cycles resulted in the birth of a single baby, while for women over 40 using their own eggs, 7.2 percent of IVF cycles resulted in a live birth.

In a Reddit post, which now has more than 11,000 upvotes, user Easy_Ice8277 explained: "I am 23, my sister is 28, married to her husband for 6 years. My sister has been trying for a baby for about 3 years now, without success. 18 months ago, she and her husband came to my parents and asked if we'd finance an IVF treatment."

He explained that his parents have some savings separate from their retirement fund and agreed to pay for it. The brother himself even pitched in a few hundred dollars to show support.

Unfortunately, the IVF failed, and when his sister and brother-in-law came for dinner again recently, they announced they would like to try another round of IVF and asked if her parents would pay for it again.

IVF and family argument
A close-up picture of an IVF procedure being performed in a lab, left, and a picture of adult children arguing with their mother, right. The internet has sided with a brother for telling his parents not to pay for another round of IVF for his sister. abezikus/JackF/Getty Images

"My parents looked hesitant, but they agreed because my sister was crying," wrote the Redditor.

It is not common for medical insurance to cover IVF treatments, and the average cost of in vitro fertilization treatment in the U.S. is currently around $11,000 to $12,000 when taking into account specialist visits, tests, and additional drugs required.

But when his parents agreed to pay for another round of the treatment, the Redditor stood up and spoke.

"[I said] it's not right for her to ask again for our parents' money for something that didn't work before and may not work again," explained the poster: "We argued a bit and I admit that things got heated and we had a big fight. She yelled at me and said that it was none of my business. I told her if she can't pay for the IVF she needs then she needs to accept she can't afford a kid."

Before long, the parents were involved too: "My mom started telling me that it's not my money, to which I replied that it's basically a gift to one child and not the other and that it was only fair that I be given a similar amount of money as what they would spend on my sister," he explained.

But his sister disagreed, complaining that it was for a medical condition, and suggesting that if she had cancer her parents would be paying for treatment. "I told her not being able to have a kid poses no threat to her life the way cancer does and it's a completely disingenuous comparison," explained the brother.

After some time spent arguing, the children's father finally stood up and told both children to stop. "Then he told my sister that they already paid for one and I had a point that continuing to pay for it would be unfair. He said he's very sorry for what she's going through but they need to accept things how they are," explained the Reddit user: "My sister started crying again and her husband took her and left. Today, my sister sent me some texts calling me an a**hole for sticking my nose in her business and keeping her from having a baby."

After explaining the situation, he turned to the internet to ask: "AITA [am I the a**hole??"

With more than 3,000 comments, Redditors were quick to jump in and share their thoughts on the situation, with the majority siding with the brother and agreeing he was correct to share his disapproval.

"The way you said it was harsh, bordering on asshole territory," said one commenter: "But your parents were about to just hand over tens of thousands of dollars that they probably need for their retirement years because your sister was crying. Your sister is only 28. There's time for her and her husband to save the money to have IVF again in a few years."

Another reply said: "I get that infertility is hard but comparing IVF to chemo?" While another Reddit user wrote: "​​Not being able to afford IVF doesn't necessarily mean someone can't afford a kid, but your sister sounds extremely entitled and almost panicked, so perhaps you're right."

"It sounds like her body is keeping her from having a baby not you," pointed out another reply: "All you're doing is stopping her from making her physical issues the whole family's problem."

But not everyone agreed that the Redditor was right. Some commenters were quick to tell the brother that he was the a**hole. One reply said: "What right do you have to control your parent's money?! You don't think your parents would be thrilled with a grandbaby? I'm sure if [your] sister was successful this time they would totally think it was worth every penny."

Meanwhile, another commenter asked: "Why can't they now ask the husband's parents? Seems fair that way."

Newsweek reached out to u/Easy_Ice8277 for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

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