HOUSTON - One in eight American couples struggles with fertility.
Now, proposed federal legislation would provide a tax credit to those who choose in vitro fertilization as a way to build a family.
After trying several fertility procedures covered by her insurance, former school teacher Leigh Cook decided to try in vitro fertilization (IVF), which was more expensive.
Cook said, "Within just months, I was able to have a family. So now I have 4-1/2-year-old twins because of the right treatment."
Cook said she would've chosen in vitro right away, had it not been for the high cost -- about $12,000 each treatment.
Dr. Jason Griffith with Houston Fertility Institute has joined other reproductive specialists on Capitol Hill supporting the Family Act tax credit for those who choose IVF.
Griffith told Local 2, "Now one of the things we face is patients will frequently choose a less successful, riskier therapy, in terms of multiples, just based on cost. Once we remove the cost barrier and remove it as a prime driver for treatment decisions, I think we'll be able to get patients pregnant faster and safer."
Modeled after the tax credit for adoption, the Family Act provides up to $13,360 in tax credits. Those eligible must make less than $222,000 a year. It also covers future infertility procedures that might be necessary after chemotherapy.
Griffith explained, "Now we can freeze eggs for fertility preservation for young woman or a couple that faces a cancer diagnosis and potential treatment that could rob her of her fertility. This tax credit also applies to that therapy."
Griffith will be one of the featured speakers at the "A Family of My Own" Fertility and Adoption Conference in Houston on Saturday.
A record number of people have registered for the free seminar.
A Family of My Own - Fertility & Adoption Conference
Date: Saturday, November 3rd
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Renaissance Houston Greenway Plaza Hotel, 6 Greenway Plaza East, Houston, TX 77046
Cost: FREE, pre-register at www.AFamilyofMyOwn.com or call (407) 694-3674.
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