Cross-border reproductive care: A review of the literature

Nicky Hudson*, Lorraine Culley, Eric Blyth, Wendy Norton, Frances Rapport, Allan Pacey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Cross-border reproductive care (CBRC) has attracted considerable attention in media and professional publications. The aim of this review is to present a critical narrative overview of the published evidence on CBRC. A systematic search of key academic databases was undertaken with no time restrictions set for publication. This was supplemented by additional searches of key websites, reference chaining and enquiries to people working in the field. A total of 54 items are included in the review, including both empirical research studies (18) and debate papers (36). The key themes discussed are: terminology and definitions; incidence; experiences; explanations; implications; and policy responses. Significant methodological limitations and gaps in the literature are identified. Evidence on incidence is scant, though it suggests that CBRC is increasing. The literature suggests legal, social and political drivers, which vary in importance geographically and between individuals. Limited findings on patient perceptions suggest a broadly positive patient experience. Suggested policy responses include prohibition, regulatory harmonization and harm minimization. There is a need for better international data collection tools and both quantitative and qualitative work which encompasses views of patients, donors, surrogates and professionals and which explores the implications for healthcare services in sending countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-685
Number of pages13
JournalReproductive BioMedicine Online
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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