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Reproductive Tourism

  1. Lauren Jade Martin

Published Online: 29 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670590.wbeog495

The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization

The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization

How to Cite

Martin, L. J. 2012. Reproductive Tourism. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 FEB 2012


Reproductive tourism refers to a contemporary practice in which people cross political and geographic borders – usually national – in order to access assisted fertility services and reproductive technologies. Such services and technologies include in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, surrogacy, sex selection, and the diagnostic technology called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). These services enable people with infertility issues, single people, and gay and lesbian couples to conceive and bear biologically related children with the assistance of medical technologies and third parties. Some of these services also enable intended parents to reduce the chances of having children with genetic conditions, or to select for certain traits such as sex. Technically, reproductive tourism can also refer more broadly to any kind of cross-border reproduction or reproductive health care, including adoption, contraception, and abortion. However, in its most popular usage by scholars and in the mainstream media, it typically refers to services involving medically assisted conception, and is often framed as a subset of medical tourism, or travel to obtain health care.


  • consumerism;
  • globalization;
  • legislation and regulations;
  • livelihoods;
  • travel