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Still, fertility consultants say they are providing a valuable service. Ms. Berkson, founder of Lotus Blossom Consulting, says she has helped produce 192 pregnancies among her hundreds of clients in the past five years. Clients pay several thousand dollars - prices vary depending on services - for Ms. Berkson’s expertise.

“I think the most important asset is my advocacy piece,” says Ms. Berkson, whose office is in Chicago. She specializes in egg-donation cycles. By using a consultant, a couple can make the pool of potential donors much wider. That cuts down waiting time while increasing the likelihood of a couple getting the requested specifics in the donor’s genetic attributes. Ms. Berkson also says she can help patients maximize dollars by reviewing insurance coverage and drug benefits.

Kathy says Ms. Berkson has done all of that.

“Mindy is like a giant encyclopedia of things you need to know about the process,” said Kathy, who has identified an out-of-state clinic, a donor and surrogate and will start the conception process in February. “She has helped me save money by suggesting different insurance options. She found me an acupuncturist and an attorney. She saved me time - how do you weed out what is right and not just by going on the Internet?”