IVF and adoption costs in Canada

Generations of Hope is an organization that helps fund IVF or other fertility treatment for those who may not otherwise be able to afford it. Some clinics offer financing arrangements as well.

Tax treatment of fertility costs

Fertility costs are an eligible medical expense. Tax refunds for medical expenses range from 19% to 26% of expenses exceeding 3% of net income, depending on the province or territory of residence. 

Some group or private insurance plans provide partial coverage for fertility expenses. For business owners, a Health Spending Account (HSA) may present a very tax-efficient opportunity to fund those costs for employees. 

Non-medical alternatives

If medical options are unsuccessful, there are other options. Adoption timelines and costs can vary from months to years. Although public adoptions for little to no cost are possible, the wait list is long. As a result, private adoptions are more common, and for a child born in Canada can cost $10,000 to $25,000, including mandatory training courses in some provinces. An international adoption can cost $25,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the country. 

Surrogacy is another option available to aspiring parents. It is a legal process in Canada that can cost up to $75,000 or more. Interestingly, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act prevents a surrogate from being paid for carrying a baby, but the surrogate can be reimbursed for certain expenses, including loss of work-related income. 

There may also be provincial or territorial subsidies and grants available for adoptive parents, and there can be additional help for those adopting a child who is older or has been in foster care. 

Adoption expenses may be eligible for a federal tax credit refund of up to $2,509. Several provinces and territories, including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Yukon provide adoption expense tax credits that can refund between $670 to $1,325 as well. 

National Bank offers adoption loans—a type of personal loan specifically intended to finance adoption. Adoptive parents might also consider lower-cost borrowing solutions like a secured home equity line of credit (HELOC). Another alternative is to use investment vehicles like tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), to save money in a tax-sheltered environment. 

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