'A lot of love': Gay couple turn to crowdfunding to raise $25,000 for IVF

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

While same-sex couples in New Zealand were legally allowed to marry ahead of Australians, our Kiwi cousins are lagging behind when it comes to equal access to IVF.

A married gay couple has resorted to crowdfunding to raise the $25,000 needed to start a family, because they say same-sex couples in their country cannot access publicly funded fertility treatment.

Ryan Curran, 27, and Jerome Pacquing, 25, from Tauranga on the North Island, have been married for more than a year. Now they are desperate to become parents to complete their family.

Jerome Pacquing (left) and Ryan Curran will not have access subsidised IVF as the rebate is not available to same-sex couples in New Zealand. Source: Almost Dad’s Ryan & Jerome / Facebook

“We love our life and we love our house,” the pair wrote on their Almost Dads Facebook page, set up to follow their parental journey.

“The only thing is, our house is awfully quiet and we would love to fill it with a couple of children of our own!

“We have so much love to give and we created this page for 2 reasons, 1. We would love it if you donating [sic] some funds to afford to do IVF as it’s extremely expensive and 2. We want you to journey with us as we go through the IVF process and the pregnancy of this already loved child,” they wrote.

The couple have already arranged for an egg donor and surrogate. The only thing stopping them is the funding, so they have set up a crowdfunding page for financial assistance.

“We have a lot of love and we are ready to bring our special bundle of Joy home,” they wrote on their Givealittle page.

The $25,000 goal is the estimate the pair has been quoted, to cover everything needed for one cycle of IVF and embryo transfer.

Jerome Pacquing (left) and Ryan Curran married more than a year ago, but now they are desperate to have a baby. Source: Almost Dad’s Ryan & Jerome / Facebook

Ms Curran and Mr Pacquing say they have professional jobs in New Zealand’s health care and tourism Industries, and will save up the money if their fundraising attempt falls short - it will just take longer. Last year they bought a house together.

As of Monday morning they have raised $605 of their $25,000 Givealittle goal after seven weeks.

Medical director for fertility clinic Repromed, Dr Guy Gudex told Stuff.xo.nz the country’s publicly-funded IVF excluded same-sex couples, unless they can demonstrate an underlying fertility issue.

IVF medicare rebate for Australians

In Australia, the majority of fertility treatment costs are covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) regardless of sexuality.

Aussie heterosexual and gay couples alike have access to fertility treatments through Federal Government funding.

Rebates are not means tested and are available to all holders of a current Medicare card, however most people will still have to pay some of the costs themselves.

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