, Volume 287, Issue 3, pp 599-606
Date: 20 Oct 2012

German guidelines for psychosocial counselling in the area of “cross border reproductive services”

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An increasing number of couples and individuals with a desire for a child travel abroad for assisted reproductive technologies that are not available in their home country. This trend has been coined “cross border reproductive services” (CBRS), often comprising third party reproduction. In order to respect the welfare of all parties involved, the German Society for Fertility Counselling has developed guidelines for psychosocial counselling in this area in 2010. The following article raises some of the controversies in CBRS and introduces these guidelines.

Preliminary note

The following article is based on the “Guidelines for psychosocial counselling in the area of cross border reproductive services” published by the German Society for Fertility Counselling in Germany in 2010 (We would like thank the Journal für Reproduktionsmedizin und Endokrinologie where this article appeared originally for the rights to summarize and re-publish it in English); it has been updated as this subject has received increasing attention. Although it refers to the legal situation in Germany, many issues raise similar debates in other countries. It describes diagnostic and therapeutic interventions of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) which are prohibited in Germany. Describing these interventions does not imply that the authors support the legalization of these procedures or encourage travelling abroad (The term “abroad” is used for any country that is not the country of residence of the intended parents) for ART. Furthermore, the ethical significance and implications of these procedures are specifically not addressed in this article.