Assisted Reproduction on Treacherous Terrain: The Legal Hazards of Cross-Border Reproductive Travel
Reproductive Biomedicine Online, Vol. 23, pp. 538-545, 2011
Posted: 20 Oct 2011
Date Written: October 13, 2011
The growing phenomenon of cross-border reproductive travel has four significant legal dimensions. First, laws that ban or inhibit access to assisted reproductive procedures in one country lead patients and physicians to travel to other countries to acquire, to contribute to or to provide assisted reproductive services. Such laws may include provisions that criminalize those who assist or advise patients to undertake such travel. Second, the law may expressly criminalize crossing borders to obtain, to be a donor for or to perform certain procedures. Third, the law may interfere with the ultimate goal of reproductive travellers by refusing to recognize them as the parents of the child they have crossed borders to conceive. Finally, facilitating cross-border reproductive travel may expose physicians, attorneys and brokers to malpractice or other civil liability. This article explores these legal dimensions of cross-border reproductive care and uses the legal doctrines of proportionality, extraterritoriality and comity to assess the legality and normative validity of governmental efforts to curb or limit assisted reproductive practices.
Keywords: comity, cross-border reproductive care, extraterritoriality, malpractice, proportionality, reproductive tourism
JEL Classification: I11, I18, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation