Letter: Saving up for an IVF baby

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Sir: Your sympathetic article concerning an accountant who stole pounds 20,000 from her employers to finance IVF treatment ("The baby lottery", 4 April), irritated me.

Thirteen years ago my husband and I were told that our only hope of a family was IVF, paid for privately. We had about pounds 200 in savings and a modest joint income which rarely stretched until the end of the month. However, it struck us that if we had already had a baby, then the three of us would be living on my husband's salary and so we saved everything I earned. It also struck us that if we had a baby, we would be able to spend far less time together as a couple so I took on low-paid evening work and saved what I earned from that. Incredibly, within a year we had saved pounds 9,000, which was enough for six courses of treatment. As a result we have three wonderful children.

A few months ago an elderly friend spent her life savings on having her hip replaced privately because she was in too much pain to endure the NHS waiting list. In a perfect world there would be no waiting lists and IVF would be available free for everyone.

While we wait for the perfect world to arrive might I suggest that childless couples, regardless of their level of income, are in a far better position to save for private treatment than anyone else.

Sally Jackson

Cardiff, South Glamorgan