Measuring reproductive tourism through an analysis of Indian ART clinic Websites
Raywat Deonandan, Mirhad Loncar, Prinon Rahman, Sabrina Omar
Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
Objectives: India is fast becoming the most prominent player in the global industry of reproductive tourism, in which infertile people cross international borders to seek assisted reproduction technologies. This study was conducted to better understand the extent and manner in which Indian clinics seek foreign clients.
Methods: A systematic search of official Indian assisted reproduction technologies clinic Websites was undertaken, and instances noted where foreign clients were overtly targeted, and where maternal surrogacy was overtly offered.
Results: A total of 159 clinics with Web addresses were identified, though only 78 had functioning Websites. All were published in English, with the majority clustered in the states of Maharashtra (14) and Gujarat (9). Of the 78 functioning Websites, 53 (68%) featured some mention of maternal surrogacy services, and 42 (54%) made overt overtures to foreign clients. Qualitative appeals to foreigners included instructions for international adoption, visa application, and the legal parental disposition of the surrogate. All Maharashtran clinic Websites that mentioned surrogacy also overtly featured reproductive tourism. Preimplantation diagnosis services were not offered disproportionately by clinics mentioning reproductive tourism.
Conclusions: Based upon clinic online profiles, reproductive tourism comprises a substantial fraction of India’s assisted reproduction technologies clinics’ business focus, clustering around its most tourist-friendly locales, and surrogacy may be a strong motivator for international clientele.
Keywords: assisted reproduction, global health, social media, marketing, development, IVF, surrogacy, PGD
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