Cross-border fertility care: “Tell me who you are and I will tell you where to go”

Virginie Rozée Gomez, INED/INSERM/CREDAL

There are legal and medical disparities in access to assisted reproductive technologies (ART) between various countries of the world, including of Europe, resulting in true cross-border fertility care. This presentation is part of an ongoing survey on this new social, demographic and medical phenomenon. It here uses quantitative data (80 self-administrated questionnaires) and qualitative data (65 interviews) collected among French cross-border patients using ART in four countries: Belgium, Greece, Denmark and Spain from 2010 to 2011. Through a preliminary research, we identified these countries as being among the main European destinations of French nationals. Here we show the main legislative differences relating to access and offer of ART in the world. We identified three groups of countries: a first set of countries with particularly restrictive law; another set of countries with more liberal laws; and finally a group of countries with a lack of legal framework at the national level. We also show the major transnational paths used by French women, men and couples in order to resort to ART abroad: sperm donation paths, oocyte donation paths and surrogacy paths. These transnational ART paths are largely determined by the socio-demographic characteristics of the intended parents (age of the women, marital status, and sexual orientation) and the medical care required. They concern both excluded people from ART and French people who could legitimately use ART in France. This study allows collecting new empirical data (socio-demographic characteristics and personal histories) on a new phenomenon related to advances in reproductive medicine and increasing globalization. It also sheds light unsatisfied demands in terms of infertility care and new expectations as new ways of wanting children and creating family in France.

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Presented in Poster Session 3