You know the times are getting strange when a business known as “fertility tourism” makes the major media. The Guardian [London] reports that Britain’s new law requiring the identification of egg and sperm donors has led (surprisingly enough) to a big fall-off in donors. Added to this, several European countries place ethical and legal limits on reproductive technologies, unlike the United States. In the U.S., the limits are more financial than legal.
From the article:
Spain has become the destination of choice for childless, infertile British couples driven to seek help abroad by a dramatic fall in the number of people prepared to donate eggs or sperm at home. Fertility clinics in Spain have told the Guardian that numbers have increased by between 50% and 100% since Britain passed a law in April last year that gave children the right to know the identity of their biological parents.
Some British donors have even offered to travel to Spain, where anonymity is guaranteed, to give eggs that could later be used by infertile women.
Spanish clinics have begun to advertise among eastern European immigrant communities for potential egg donors to help meet the leap in demand from British fertility tourists.
One clinic has distributed ads in Russian and Polish as they seek tall, fair-skinned or fair-haired European donors who look similar to their clients. They show a young woman with a pierced belly-button and a tattoo peeking out from above the belt of her jeans. “You are young and you have thousands of them,” they say. “Become an egg donor.”
Here, friends, is a picture of the future. Organ transplant tourism and sexual tourism are now joined by fertility tourism. This is one legacy of globalization — somewhere, somehow, some one will be ready to sell whatever service you seek.