LGBTQ, single prospective parents in Illinois would have access to fertility benefits under proposed law

New York, California and Maryland have already passed laws.

Marcus, who grew up in Prospect Heights, always wanted to be a dad. He felt the calling to be a pediatrician early as well, he said. At age 6 or 7, he accompanied his mother, a pediatrician, to the hospital where she worked. There, he watched as she went down the line in the nursery, examining one baby after another.

“I was like, that. I want to do that,” he recalled.

Marcus and his husband, Gary McDowell, a scientist, are pursuing surrogacy, in which a woman agrees to carry someone else’s baby. The total cost, including IVF, is about $100,000 to $200,000. Compensation for the surrogate, as well as the cost of egg donation and travel costs often aren’t covered by insurance. Croke’s bill does not include surrogacy coverage.

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IVF, which costs about $20,000 and may need to be repeated, would be covered under Croke’s bill.

Marcus was not particularly surprised to find out that he would not receive the same fertility benefits as heterosexuals at his workplace; when he applied for jobs in the Chicago area in 2018, he checked on benefits and found LGBTQ fertility-coverage exclusions were common, he said.

He reached out to Croke before she was even elected, based on her strong stand on LGBTQ issues, and she did some research. The essential problem, she said, was an outdated definition of infertility.


April 4, 2021 at 02:36PM

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