Faced with employee policies that do not provide paid maternity leave, some new parents are turning to crowdfunding sites to help cover the cost of childcare. Buzzfeed reports that a search for “maternity leave” on the site GoFundMe yields more than 1200 results, pointing to a new trend in personal finance campaigns. Crowdfunders have diverse needs: covering the cost of transportation to see a medical specialist, funding emergency childcare, or simply providing subsistence for parents who have taken time off after the birth of a child. Laura and Shawn Lechette, for example, raised $1,500 before their daughter was born. Due to a change in her job’s time-off policies, Laura had only accrued eight hours in paid leave by her due date.
The United States is one of the only industrialized countries that does not federally mandate paid parental leave, and most Americans have less than $1,000 in emergency savings. It is a combination that has prompted some parents to turn to the low-stakes financing options provided by sites like GoFundMe. As Dan Saper, CEO of crowdfunding site YouCaring, put it: “Think of it as a loan you never have to pay back.”
Read the full story at Buzzfeed.