What are the advantages and disadvantages for going abroad for infertility treatment? What are the ethical considerations? Can you save money? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. Glen Cohen, Harvard professor and author of Patients With Passports: Medical Tourism, Law & Ethics.

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Hit the Highlights
  • We think of fertility tourism in terms of US intended parents going abroad to save money on infertility treatment, but much of the demand is from other countries: foreign intended parents coming to the US for infertility treatment.
  • Why do people come to the US for fertility treatment?
  • What procedures bring people to the US?
  • What procedures draw US citizen abroad for fertility treatment?
  • Do US citizens often go abroad for IVF if they aren’t also doing egg donation or surrogacy?
  • Differences in prices for egg donation in the US and abroad.
  • Differences in prices for surrogacy in the US and abroad.
  • What are major countries for egg donation?
  • What are major countries for surrogacy?
  • Is surrogacy a form of exploitation?
  • Are the ethical questions different if we are talking about fertility tourism to the US vs. fertility tourism to a developing country?
  • Immigration issues. What is the current status of getting the child born of a surrogate in another country back into the US?
  • What should US intended parents do to prevent immigration issues if no genetic connection? With genetic connection?
  • Is there a legal problem or ethical problem when the procedure being done in the foreign country is not allowed in the country of the intended parents?
  • Quality of reproductive medicine in other countries. How big of an issue should this be for those considering fertility tourism?
  • Current status of law in India and Thailand on surrogacy.
  • What happens if intended parents back away and do not want to take custody of the baby?
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Image credit: Kenneth Lu
Show originally aired in 2016.