Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 35, Issue 7, pp 1277–1288 | Cite as

Cross border reproductive care (CBRC): a growing global phenomenon with multidimensional implications (a systematic and critical review)

  • Mahmoud SalamaEmail author
  • Vladimir Isachenko
  • Evgenia Isachenko
  • Gohar Rahimi
  • Peter Mallmann
  • Lynn M. Westphal
  • Marcia C. Inhorn
  • Pasquale Patrizio
Assisted Reproduction Technologies



Many people travel abroad to access fertility treatments. This growing phenomenon is known as cross border reproductive care (CBRC) or fertility tourism. Due to its complex nature and implications worldwide, CBRC has become an emerging dilemma deserving more attention on the global healthcare agenda.


According to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic review of the literature was performed for all relevant full-text articles published in PubMed in English during the past 18 years to explore CBRC phenomenon in the new millennium.


Little is known about the accurate magnitude and scope of CBRC around the globe. In this systematic and critical review, we identify three major dimensions of CBRC: legal, economic, and ethical. We analyze each of these dimensions from clinical and practical perspectives.


CBRC is a growing reality worldwide with potential benefits and risks. Therefore, it is very crucial to regulate the global market of CBRC on legal, economic, and ethical bases in order to increase harmonization and reduce any forms of exploitation. Establishment of accurate international statistics and a global registry will help diminish the current information gap surrounding the CBRC phenomenon.


Cross border reproductive care Fertility tourism Sperm donation Oocyte donation Embryo donation Surrogacy Fertility preservation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical FacultyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Department of Reproductive MedicineNational Research CenterCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Reproductive Endocrinology and InfertilityStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  4. 4.Department of AnthropologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Department of Reproductive Endocrinology and InfertilityYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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