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Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care

Progress Educational Trust
Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH
24 November 2010

Sarah Norcross and Professor Sally Sheldon speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

Left to right: Sarah Norcross, Sally Sheldon
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts
See other photographs of this event below


The 2010 annual conference of the Progress Educational Trust (PET), supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Merck Serono.

Cross-border reproductive care - popularly referred to as 'fertility tourism' - is the booming phenomenon of individuals and couples travelling overseas for fertility treatment.

One motivation for this is the UK's acute shortage of donor sperm and eggs, resulting in long waiting lists for treatment at home. Another factor is the ability to circumvent UK fertility regulation in favour of more permissive regimes, which allow the use of sperm and eggs from anonymous donors (prohibited in the UK since 2005) or the transfer of multiple embryos to fertility patients (deprecated in the UK). There may also be more mundane reasons for receiving fertility treatment abroad, such as better quality of service, or the simple possibility of combining treatment with a holiday.

This PET discussion conference will explore every aspect of cross-border reproductive care. Researchers investigating the scale and causes of the phenomenon will present their findings, while experts from various disciplines will offer contrasting perspectives on the ethical, practical and legal ramifications. In the PET tradition, following introductory presentations the bulk of each session's running time will be devoted to soliciting questions and comments from the audience.

Ultimately, the conference will ask whether cross-border reproductive care is best understood as a problem, or as a solution to a problem.


Session 1

The Evidence Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care



Session 2

Who Oversees Overseas?



Session 3

Having a Child: How Far Should You Go?



Session 4

Cross-Border Reproductive Care: A Problem or a Solution?

The conference will conclude with a discussion that recapitulates points from earlier sessions, and asks whether cross-border reproductive care is best thought of a problem, or as a solution to a problem.


Professor Marcus Pembrey speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

At lectern: Professor Marcus Pembrey
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Professor Lorraine Culley speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

At lectern: Professor Lorraine Culley
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Dr Françoise Shenfield speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

At lectern: Dr Françoise Shenfield
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Professor Sally Sheldon speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

Professor Sally Sheldon
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Natalie Gamble and Sarah Norcross at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

Left to right: Natalie Gamble, Sarah Norcross
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Zeynep Gürtin-Broadbent speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

At lectern: Zeynep Gürtin-Broadbent
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


James Lawford-Davies speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

At lectern: James Lawford-Davies
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Juliet Tizzard speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

At lectern: Juliet Tizzard
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Natalie Gamble, Dr Evan Harris and James Lawford-Davies speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

Left to right: Natalie Gamble, Dr Evan Harris and James Lawford-Davies
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Stuart Lavery speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

Stuart Lavery
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Professor Janet Radcliffe Richards speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

At lectern: Professor Janet Radcliffe Richards
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Lord Naren Patel speaking at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

Lord Naren Patel
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Dr Allan Pacey at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

Dr Allan Pacey
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Danielle Hamm and Dr Tessa Homfray at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

Left to right: Danielle Hamm, Dr Tessa Homfray
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts


Professor Marcus Pembrey, John Parsons and Sarah Norcross at the Progress Educational Trust's 2010 annual conference 'Passport to Parenthood: The Evidence and Ethics Behind Cross-Border Reproductive Care' (photograph by MacKenna Roberts)

Left to right: Professor Marcus Pembrey, John Parsons, Sarah Norcross
Photograph by MacKenna Roberts

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