Life Grant FAQs

Please read all FAQs before contacting The Life Foundation. If you cannot find an answer below, please send an email to We are an all-volunteer organization, and responses via email may be delayed.

Grant Questions

What types of grants does the Life Foundation offer?

The Life Foundation offers two types of grants. You can only apply for ONE type of grant.

  • Financial Assistance Grants: The Life Foundation offers cash grants (maximum award is $10,000) for eligible costs towards family building. You should apply for this grant if you require third party reproduction, donor eggs, donor sperm or use of a gestational carrier. Funds will be paid directly to the service provider(s) and not to the individual receiving the grant.
  • IVF cycle grant: The Life Foundation is a collaborative foundation of over 75% of all medical practices in the Chicagoland area and Central IL. If you receive an IVF cycle grant you will receive an IVF cycle from one of our partner practices. You should apply for this grant if you are planning on pursuing IVF with your own eggs. Please note that we try to align services with the practice where you have already established care, but there is no guarantee that a Donated Services Grant will be with the applicant’s current provider.

What does an IVF Cycle Grant cover?

A donated services grant for IVF covers the following:

  • All professional medical fees for patient's initial consultation, pre-cycle physical exam (if required and usually done by REI office), ovulation monitoring, egg retrieval, laboratory services (oocyte ID, ICSI, embryo prep), embryo transfer
  • Unless otherwise covered by insurance, laboratory fees for hormonal monitoring (E2, P4, HCG up to four tests each)

The donated IVF cycle EXCLUDES the following:

  • FDA testing for patient and spouse, and for gamete donors or surrogates
  • Anesthesia for egg retrieval
  • Genetic screening / testing of intended parents
  • PGD / PGS
  • Cryopreservation and storage fees for gametes and/or embryos
  • Medication

Which grants should I apply for?

If you are 41 or less and planning to pursue IVF with your own eggs then you should apply for an IVF cycle grant. If you need assistance to cover the cost of IUI, frozen embryo transfer, donor sperm, donor egg or gestational carrier then apply for a financial services grant

What do the Financial Assistance Grants cover?

Financial Assistance Grants can be used for the following expenses:

  • medications
  • embryo cryopreservation (embryo freezing)
  • embryo donation
  • pre-implantation genetic screening/diagnosis (PGS/PGD)
  • third party reproduction (costs of securing donor egg, donor sperm, and gestational carrier)
  • egg freezing due to cancer, medical diseases that impair infertility
  • vasectomy reversal
  • TESE
  • adoption fees from any licensed adoption agency
  • attorney fees for adoption or third party reproductive cases

The cost of my IVF cycle, legal costs, donor fees, etc. exceed $10,000. Can I apply for more money in a Financial Assistance grant?

No, the Life Foundation will not accept applications requesting more than $10,000.

Will Life Grants cover the cost of future child-rearing expenses, such as diapers or daycare costs?

No. Life Grants will only cover the expenses listed above.

What other Donated Services Grants do you offer besides IVF?

Donated Services Grants are dependent on generous donations from the Kevin J. Lederer Life Foundation’s Partners. In addition to IVF cycles, we may offer PGS/PGD and legal services for third party reproduction. Applications will be reviewed by the medical advisory board and recommendations for additional services will be made by the board. You cannot apply for additional services but please describe your needs accurately in your personal statement to help guide the board

How will the grant monies for Financial Assistance Grants be distributed?

The Kevin J. Lederer Life Foundation will work with the grant recipient in organizing payments to your fertility clinic, adoption or third party agency in the United States. Grants are unable to be used for international treatment. No payments will be made to grant recipients.

I need to do PGS/PGD on my embryos. Do I apply for IVF or a Frozen Embryo Transfer?

If you need to undergo an egg retrieval, then conduct PGS/PGD and then undergo a frozen embryo transfer, then please apply for an IVF grant if you have no insurance coverage (IVF cycle is the most expensive part of this process). However, if you have insurance coverage for IVF but are hoping to have additional funds to help cover the cost of PGS/PGD then apply for a financial assistance grant.

How long do I have to use the Life Grant?

Life Grants – both Financial Assistance and Donated Service Grants – must be used within twelve months from the date of the award.

When will I be notified whether I receive a grant?

We anticipate notifying applicants of grant decisions in July 2020. The entire grant process is managed by volunteer staff, and we take these decisions very seriously. Therefore, we do not rush this process. Recipients who are awarded grants will receive an email and a phone call. Please include the best number to reach you at on your application. Applicants that did not receive a grant will be notified by email.

Do I have to share my story publicly if I win a grant?

We do require grant recipients be willing to share their story via Facebook, our web page and other social media outlets. We will be respectful of your privacy to the degree that you are comfortable, but we do publish our success stories to inspire others and share our mission.

What else is required of me if I win a grant?

We ask our recipients to attend the Run for Life and hope that you will join us in our fundraising efforts by forming a fundraising team. You are not required to raise a specific amount of money but please know, every dollar helps!

Eligibility Questions

What are the eligibility criteria for a Life Grant?

  • Reside in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri or Wisconsin.
  • Have a diagnosis of infertility certified by a medical provider, with the exception of the following:
- Applicants who are single, or part of a same sex couple, are eligible to submit applications for a Life Grant
- Applicants who are applying for a grant for egg freezing for medical indications (cancer, endometriosis, other medical conditions that threaten fertility)
  • Have an annual household income of less than $150,000.
  • For requests for infertility treatment, you MUST have completed all required medical testing within the specified time frames. Applicants who do have this information within required time frames will not be considered.
  • If you are applying for a grant to do IUI, IVF, Gestational Carrier with your own eggs, or Egg Freezing for Medical Indications, you MUST meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • 1) be 41 years or younger by January 1, 2020
    2) have a body mass index (BMI) < 40
    3) have a FSH level of < 15
    4) have an AMH level of > 0.5
  • If you are applying for a grant for IUI, IVF or FET (utilizing your own eggs or donor eggs), you must have a body mass index less than 40.
  • Applicants who do not meet this criteria will not have their applications reviewed.

I recently had (egg vitrification, a IVF cycle, etc.) and my insurance did not cover the cost. Am I eligible to apply for a Life Grant?

Unfortunately, past procedures or previously incurred costs are not eligible for Life Grant funds.

Can I apply for a Life Grant for a vasectomy reversal?

Yes. A Life Grant may be used for a vasectomy reversal.

My partner previously had a vasectomy. Can I apply for a grant to do IVF?

Yes. A Life Grant may be used for IVF in this situation.

We would like to apply for a Life Grant for adoption, but we are just starting the process. Are we eligible to apply?

All applicants requesting support for adoption must provide a letter from their adoption agency that they have completed the home study process. No exceptions will be made.

I will be 42 in November 2020. Am I eligible to apply for a Life Grant to use my own eggs for IVF?

Women must be 41 years or younger by January 1, 2020 to be eligible to apply for a Life Grant to utilize your own eggs.

Is there a maximum annual income to apply?

Yes. Your annual household income must be less than $150,000 (pre-tax) to apply for a Life Grant. We will verify this information from your tax return. In order to be eligible to apply, a tax return must be received from all parties applying for a grant; no exceptions will be made.

I am a student with no income and I did not file a tax return last year. Am I eligible to apply?

No. Without a tax return naming the individuals applying, we are unable verify your income and therefore cannot consider your application.

I am currently moving to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, or Wisconsin after the application deadline. Am I eligible to apply?

No. You must be a resident of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri or Wisconsin at the time of application in order to apply.

Application Questions

Can I submit a paper application instead of using the online application?

No. Only applications submitted through our online system will be reviewed.

What should I write about in my personal statement?

The personal statement is the best way to let the Board know who you are and why you should receive a grant. It is a large part of the scoring process and is a great way to increase your chances of getting a grant. The applications are scored by the medical advisory board and the personal statement accounts for a large number of points. Applications that do not have personal statements will likely not have enough points to secure a grant.

Is my $25 application fee refunded if I do not receive a grant?

No. The application fee covers the cost of using the online application system. We are unable to refund any application fees.

Fertility Test Questions

What kind of testing do I need to submit for a Life Grant?

The following tests MUST be completed within the specific timeframes:

Timeframe VF -
Transfer (FET)
IVF with Donor Eggs IVF with Donor Sperm Gestational
with Intended
Gestational Carrier/
with Donor
Egg Freezing
for Medical
Ovarian Reserve Testing
Day 3 FSH Within the past year Yes N/A N/A Yes Yes N/A Yes
Day 3 LH Yes N/A N/A Yes Yes N/A Yes
Day 3 Estradiol Yes N/A N/A Yes Yes N/A Yes
Antral Follicle Count Yes N/A N/A Yes Yes N/A Yes
AMH Level Yes N/A N/A Yes Yes N/A Yes
Other Testing
Saline Ultrasound or Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) Within past year Yes Yes Yes Yes N/A N/A N/A
Body Mass Index Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes
Semen Analysis Within past 2 years Yes N/A Yes N/A Yes Yes N/a

Do I need to submit lab results if I am applying for funds for adoption or surrogacy?

No, you do not need to submit lab results to apply for Life Grants to cover adoption or surrogacy costs.

I am a single man planning to use my own sperm with a donor egg and a surrogate. Do I need to submit a semen analysis with my Life Grant application?

Yes, a semen analysis is required.

I am part of a same sex couple. We are hoping to have my wife carry the baby with my eggs. What information do you need?

Both women will need a letter from their fertility practice and copy of the required bloodwork and testing. The partner planning to donate eggs needs ovarian reserve testing, FSH, AMH, estradiol, antral follicle count and must meet our age and ovarian reserve criteria. The partner planning to carry must have a documented normal uterine evaluation and meet BMI requirements.

Do I need to provide my Ovarian Reserve Test information if I am planning to use donor eggs?

No, results are not required if you are planning to use donor eggs.

I am planning on using Life Grant funds for a gestational surrogate utilizing previously frozen embryos. Do I need to provide my ovarian reserve testing and blood work results? Does my husband need to provide his semen analysis?

As the embryos have already been created, you do not need to provide ovarian reserve testing, blood work or semen analysis results.

I’d like to apply for a Life Grant to utilize my own eggs with a family member as a gestational surrogate. What information do I need to provide?

The applicant would need to provide the following information: ovarian reserve testing, sperm analysis and a letter certifying that the intended gestational carrier has received medical clearance.