Soaring IVF costs in US fueling lucrative fertility tourism business abroad

| | March 24, 2016
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In 2008, a friend sent me a link to a Czech company called IVF Holiday. Clicking the link, I saw images of quaint European towns. These were accompanied by pictures of smiling white babies – and promises of affordable and safe rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF).

As a medical anthropologist, I knew I had to pursue this topic. Here was a perfect example of patients turning to medicine’s global marketplace when high prices of health care back home block access to treatments.

I subsequently conducted three years of fieldwork in the Czech Republic and North America to trace the fertility journeys of 29 American reproductive tourists. Their stories are in my forthcoming book Fertility Holidays: IVF Tourism and the Reproduction of Whiteness.

Costs to obtain IVF in the United States for IVF can quickly become prohibitively expensive, running in the tens of thousands of dollars.

After looking further into IVF Holiday, I soon learned that it was owned by a married couple named Tom and Hana. Hana, a Czech woman, and Tom, an American from Ohio, learned early in their marriage that they would need IVF. With costs running as high as US$30,000, it was a procedure they simply couldn’t afford in North America.

Read full, original post: A look inside the Czech Republic’s booming fertility holiday industry

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