Shared Responsibility Regulation Model for Cross-Border Reproductive Transactions

The term “cross-border reproductive transactions” refers to the movement of tens of thousands of people, who travel from one country to purchase reproductive services from suppliers in other countries, in order to have a child.2 It is estimated that between eleven and fourteen thousand patients in Europe alone engage in this practice annually.3 Historically, the phrase ‘medical tourism’ used to refer to the travel of patients from less-affluent countries seeking better healthcare in countries with superior healthcare standards. Today, the journey is just as likely to flow in the opposite direction, as patients travel from industrialized to less affluent countries seeking more affordable, high-quality treatment or alternative medicine. Globalization has changed the challenges involved in, and promises fueling, fertility services markets. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate provided both an egg and a womb. With the advancement of technology, gestational surrogacy enables the transportation of 100 percent of the genetic material, which will determine the physical and bodily characteristics of the child, from anywhere in the world. Fertilized eggs can be transferred from anywhere in the world, and any healthy woman can carry the pregnancy to term, regardless of the child’s genetic characteristics.