Desperate couples ask the Internet to Kickstart pregnancy

GoFundMe/Alby Family

 (GoFundMe/Alby Family)

Carefully packing up the signed Patti LuPone CD, Deirdre Alby includes a heartfelt note to thank the latest person who has contributed to her cause.

The enterprising marketing director has been offering the autographed discs as a reward at the $30 level of donation — $150 buys a pair of tickets to the off-Broadway show “Stomp!” — as part of a slick fund-raising campaign with the kind of incentives you’d expect from a PBS pledge drive.

But Alby’s effort is a lot more personal than financing an upcoming season of “Downton Abbey” — the 40-year-old and her husband, Harold, 34, are asking people to pay for in vitro fertilization treatments so they can fulfill their dream of having a baby.

“We are longing to start a family,” says Alby, of Manhattan, who launched the $32,000 crowd-funding project on the Web site GoFundMe two months ago. “It’s been a hard decision to put ourselves out there like this, but if we can finally bring home a child of our own, it will be worth it.”

The Albys, battling infertility for more than two years, are among an increasing number of couples using online crowd-funding platforms such as Indiegogo, GiveForward and YouCaring to raise thousands of dollars for IVF or adoption fees.

GoFundMe reports that the total value of donations made to people seeking IVF funding in its “Babies, Kids and Family” category worldwide stands at $1.1 million since its 2010 launch. And those numbers are growing: The amount donated between January and July of 2014 is already a third higher than that collected for the entirety of 2013.

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