Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai
Marcia C. Inhorn is William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs in the Department of Anthropology and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. She is the coeditor of Medical Anthropology at the Intersections: Histories, Activisms, and Futures, also published by Duke University Press.
In their desperate quest for conception, thousands of infertile couples from around the world travel to the global in vitro fertilization (IVF) hub of Dubai. In Cosmopolitan Conceptions Marcia C. Inhorn highlights the stories of 220 "reprotravelers" from fifty countries who sought treatment at a “cosmopolitan” IVF clinic in Dubai. These couples cannot find safe, affordable, legal, and effective IVF services in their home countries, and their stories offer a window into the world of infertility—a world that is replete with pain, fear, danger, frustration, and financial burden. These hardships dispel any notion that traveling for IVF treatment is reproductive tourism. The magnitude of reprotravel to Dubai, Inhorn contends, reflects the failure of countries to meet their citizens' reproductive needs, which suggests the necessity of creating new forms of activism that advocate for developing alternate pathways to parenthood, reducing preventable forms of infertility, supporting the infertile, and making safe and low-cost IVF available worldwide.
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