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Is there ever a right time to interfere in someone else’s finances?

Money magazine has a great article this month about a family trying to conceive a child through IVF. This article could not have shown up at a better time. A very good friend of mine was diagnosed with a genetic disorder a few years ago. I met her during our freshman year of college, and even back then she seemed a little bit shaky, she had trouble concentrating, and she absolutely despised making decisions. A few years after we got out of college she visited a doctor who confirmed the disorder. Her father had passed away from the genetic abnormality when she was just eight.

Thankfully before receiving the diagnosis my friend had met a new man. And even more fortunately he decided to stay with her and care for her as her illness progresses. So last fall my friend mentioned her desire for a baby. Of course, they couldn’t conceive naturally. The baby would have a 50/50 chance of having the chromosomal defect. Which means they will turn to IVF. In addition, to the added costs of IVF treatment my friend will probably require a surrogate to carry the child, because she is already quite symptomatic. And once the child is born she will also require round-the-clock nanny care. I fear that my friend will not be able to care for the baby without the assistance of others.

So once you add up all of the costs of conceiving and caring for the child, not to mention buying diapers and formula and saving for it’s college education. You have to add on more money for the medical expenses my friend will ultimately require, because she is facing a not-so-distant future of 24 hour care.

So I clipped the article from Money magazine. Which highlighted the costs of IVF procedures. I know that just clipping the article is probably overstepping my boundaries. But I worry that her desire to lead a happy life today, involving children, may ultimately affect her quality of life in the future. After all, if they spend all of this money on having a child, and she gets sick in the next five years, where will they find the money to pay for her own medical care.

So how do I show concern for my friend without overstepping my boundaries?

Miserly Bastard

Tuesday 25th of April 2006

I just read this article today on the bus. My heart goes out to those people. (My wife and I got pregnant after 2 weeks.) My view is that you should keep it to yourself. Even with close friends, interfering in such personal matters is just a recipe for disaster.