You gotta love our girl, Teresa. Best known for her insatiable love of drama, the reality TV star and controversial centerpiece of the Bravo hit, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Giudice along with husband Joe has made headlines recently due to their much publicized, grand mal financial woes and 39-count indictment for federal fraud charges. What’s got some fans rolling their eyes is the revelation that, among their vast, let’s-pay-some-and-not-pay-others debt, the Giudices decided to opt out of a $12,000 bill to a Garden State infertility specialist. The couple are already parents to four, lovely and highly televised daughters and, unlike most people who seek out the services of infertility docs, were hoping not just to conceive a healthy, much-wanted baby of any sex but instead, to conceive a baby boy.
Too much pink or too many rumors?
An ongoing theme of this season’s “Housewives” has been an undercurrent of speculation about Joe Giudice’s alleged infidelity. As reported by Radaronline, Teresa was hoping to please Joe by giving him the son they have not yet had.
Unlike the multitude of infertility patients who look for creative, yet ethical solutions to provide the elusive, much-needed dollars for services such as in vitro fertilization, the Giudices allegedly chose not to pay for the procedure because it didn’t yield them the male heir they had hoped for and blithely walked away. For a couple with a proven track record of easy-breezy, let’s-just-use-the-same-bar-of-soap fertility, this type of blatant and apparent selfishness hits many within the infertility community as particularly heinous, since infertility, despite being a disease, is rarely covered by insurance and many people simply cannot afford it remaining instead, childless.
Living a (family) balancing act
The type of procedure required for the Giudices to conceive a boy instead of a girl is typically referred to as family balancing. Requiring in vitro fertilization and an ancillary procedure known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), family balancing requires more than just a whole lot of cash. It also relies upon the genetic analysis of embryos prior to implantation in the hopeful mother’s uterus. XX embryos assure a girl and XY embryos assure a boy.
The procedure is often used not for the purpose of sex selection but rather, to screen for genetic anomalies. For many people, PGD has meant the difference between having a healthy baby of either sex or not having one at all. While many individuals do utilize this procedure for the purpose of family balancing, Dr. Mark Hughes, the scientist responsible for developing the procedure, has stated his disapproval of its use for this purpose.
Happily never after?
The long-term feud between Teresa and her brother Joe has fans questioning her commitment to family values and their meaning. Despite the clear love between the two siblings, too much never seems to be enough for either one, with arguments and even physical brawls predictably occurring after each tear-filled, heartfelt sit-down has taken place. Perhaps Teresa would be better served by opting to balance out her current family feuds, rather than taking on an expensive procedure she cannot pay for simply to have a fifth, albeit male, child.
Deadbeats ever after
One could argue that folks like the Giudices affect the bottom line for all of us, by forcing providers of all kinds of goods and services to build in non-payments to the bills the rest of us are too ethical to default on. Ironically, many individuals are forced to legitimately file for bankruptcy due to the astronomical costs associated with all sorts of health care, including infertility.
While Joe and Teresa’s troubles are only a drop in the karmic bucket, the dreams of people who truly need IVF and PGD are not. Services like these are expensive and unattainable for many, many individuals who would never dream of having them done if they were unable to pay for them, despite their desperate desire for a healthy baby. One can only hope the Giudices give a fleeting thought to the childless and financially hopeless the next time they walk into court. Based upon their on-screen personas, however, that is as unlikely a scenario as their having a happily-ever-after life.