Fertility Tourists or Global Consumers? A Sociological Agenda for Exploring Cross-border Reproductive Travel

By Lorraine Culley and Nicky Hudson.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) raise significant issues at the interface of bodies, technologies and societies and as such there is an extensive literature devoted to infertility and ARTs within psychology, sociology, bioethics and the law. Little of this work however, has addressed the transnational aspects of reproductive technologies. The use of ARTs is subject to the specific contexts of national states, but at the same time global interaction is evident in both the development of the technologies, and in their clinical application. As such, there are indications that, for a variety of reasons, individuals and couples are increasingly travelling abroad from the UK in their quest for a child. Drawing on work from an ESRC funded research project exploring the experiences of couples who are engaged in what is popularly known as ‘fertility tourism’ (RES 000-22-33900), this paper examines key debates and proposes a sociological agenda for exploring the growing phenomenon of the cross-border use of ARTs.

Keywords: Infertility, Assisted Reproduction Technologies, Fertility Tourism, Cross Border Reproductive Care, Transnational Reproduction

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 10, pp.139-150. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.220MB).

Prof. Lorraine Culley

Professor of Social Science and Health, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK

Lorraine Culley is Professor of Social Science and Health and Associate Director of the Mary Seacole Research Centre in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

Dr. Nicky Hudson

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK

Nicky Hudson is Senior Research Fellow in the School of Applied Social Sciences at De Montfort University, UK.

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