Germany is on the verge of providing a curious solution for its sharply declining birthrate: paying couples to have IVF treatment.
Germany is on the verge of providing a curious solution for its sharply declining birthrate: paying couples to have IVF treatment. Family minister Kristina Schröder also promised to cut red tape for people seeking to adopt. Pregnant herself and expecting a child in June, Mrs Schröder said it was “intolerable” that couples sought to have children but couldn’t afford medical treatment.
Germany has one of the lowest birthrates in Europe — about 1.46 children per woman, far lower than the replacement level of 2.1. Parts of the depressed former Communist areas have the world’s lowest birthrates. Mrs Schröder promised more financial assistance for treatments such as IVF and increased opportunities for adoption.
“I find it intolerable if the hope for children is dashed because of money,” she went on. “I get many letters from couples who tell me how they scrape together the money, then despair when it doesn’t work, and start saving again – all that with the pressure of the biological clock ticking.” IVF treatments cost between US$5,000 and $7,500, with age barriers set in Germany at 40 years for women. Statistics suggest that on average every fourth attempt is successful.
The Rand population and aging think tank in Europe wrote in 2006, however, that heavily subsidising IVF boosts the birth rate slightly – but when it is not subsidised, it actually depresses it. Women in their fertile years balance the cost of having a child against the additional income they could earn from their career, and postpone having children. IVF serves as a seeming safety net. If IVF is heavily subsidised, some lucky few women will have successful treatments and give birth, but for most, their fertility disappears as the years tick on and they give up the dream of having children. ~ Daily Mail, May 10
Germany to start paying families to use IVF to reverse shrinking birthrate
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