What To Do Before You Go
1. As the AFA states, due diligence is key. Be scrupulously thorough in your homework.
2. Make sure the hospital or clinic is accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the same body that accredits American hospitals, or that it is certified by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) or by the country’s own government.
3. Know the resumes of the physicians and whether the lab staff are properly qualified, and get procedure success rates.
4. Ask which procedures are legal in your country of choice, the upper age limit for treatment, and, if applicable, whether a clinic will work with single people or same-sex couples.
5. Request referrals to American couples who have used the foreign facility, and write up questions before you talk to them.
6. Consider taking out specialized medical tourism insurance with a company such as Global Protective Solutions (customassurance.com), which covers both individuals and employers sending personnel abroad for medical care.
7. When using surrogates abroad, make sure you know how to get your brand-new baby a birth certificate, a passport so you can bring him/her home, and if needed, an exit visa. In India, for example, DNA testing is required to prove the baby has a biological link to at least one of you, and the U.S. embassy/consulate has to approve the same. Accredited facilities and experienced facilitators are aware of this, and know the ropes.
8. Before you leave the U.S., make sure you have a physician near home for follow-up care.
9. The newly revised edition of the book Patients Beyond Borders: Everybody’s Guide to Affordable, World-Class Medical Travel by Josef Woodman (Healthy Travel Media, 2008), now has expanded content on fertility/IVF, and includes detailed descriptions of clinics in half a dozen countries.
10. Fed Ex and UPS will ship sperm abroad, but not eggs or embryos. DHL, which is headquartered in Bonn, Germany, will ship eggs and embryos. Kynisi Courier Systems in London actually specializes in this kind of transport worldwide. Kynisi-couriered samples are hand-carried in cryogenic canisters from the U.S. to the foreign clinic/hospital to avoid X-ray damage and other hazards. Telephone from the U.S. is 011-44-20-7357-0001 or e-mail email@example.com.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of Conceive.
Planes, Trains, and Fertility Clinics|
Mar 04, 2010
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