More couples heading to Argentina for ‘fertility tourism’

Global Business

Photo by Margus Kulden on Flickr.

Faced with the exorbitant costs of in vitro fertilization, many couples hoping to conceive are turning to Argentina as a less-expensive and less-restrictive option. CCTV America’s Joel Richards reports from Buenos Aires.


The millions that are affected by infertility around the world have turned to “fertility tourism” — traveling to countries with less restrictive laws and more affordable options to conceive.

The global fertility services market is estimated at $30 billon to $40 billion, according to data from Harris Williams.

For years, many couples have turned to span Spain, and now many are heading to Argentina for IVF treatment due to its high success rates.

More couples heading to Argentina for \'fertility tourism\'

More couples heading to Argentina for \'fertility tourism\'

Faced with the exorbitant costs of in vitro fertilization, many couples hoping to conceive are turning to Argentina as a less-expensive and less-restrictive option. CCTV America's Joel Richards reports from Buenos Aires.

Argentina is also one of the few countries in the world that has a fertilization law that subsidizes IVF for its citizens. Rights groups in Argentina that campaigned for the law that was passed three years ago estimate that one in six couples are affected by infertility.

Australian couple Merinda and Cameron Forster tried in vitro fertilization in their home country – it was expensive and emotionally draining. After seven failed IVF treatments, they opted for egg donation to increase their chances of success, but the process was far from straightforward.

“In Australia you either have to know somebody, maybe a family or friend, or you go onto a very long waiting list. Potentially you are looking for years,” Merinda Forster said.

Prevalence of infertility among women (2010)


Percent of infertility among women 20–44 years old. (Source: National, Regional, and Global Trends in Infertility Prevalence Since 1990: A Systematic Analysis of 277 Health Surveys, PLOS Medical journal)

Percent of infertility among women 20–44 years old. (Source: National, Regional, and Global Trends in Infertility Prevalence Since 1990: A Systematic Analysis of 277 Health Surveys, PLOS Medical journal)

After researching other options, they traveled from their hometown of Brisbane to Argentina two years ago.

“From the time that we decided that this is what we wanted to do, and to actually getting here, it was approximately three months,” Merinda Forster said.

Source: Fertility Market Overview, ASRM

Their treatment in Buenos Aires was successful. In May, they returned to Argentina with their two-year-old daughter, Eliana, hoping to concieve a second child.

Physician Demian Glujovsky’s office is filled with photographs of success stories. He said he is increasingly treating couples from abroad.

“In Argentina due to several economic things that happened here costs are lower than in a lot of countries. We have the combination of low cost, and high success rates,” Glujovsky said. “Our rates are at the same level as the average in U.S. or even higher, and if you compare to reports from Latin America and Europe we are above that.”

Source: CDC, Fertility Market Overview

Success rates in Argentina are now well over 60 percent.

Despite Argentina’s fertilization law, many provinces have not adhered to the legislation, and treatment is not easy to find. The law also faces an uphill battle in finding financing to back it.

Source: Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Harris Williams, May 2015 Fertility Market Overview

“We have few labs and few hospitals with facilities to perform IVF, and we have problems with medical insurance that try to block or to avoid the coverage of this kind of treatment,” President of the Argentina Reproductive Medicine Society Gustavo Marintez said.

Lauri Berger de Brito on the global fertility market

CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Lauri Berger de Brito, the co-Founder of Global IVF and co-director for the Agency for Surrogacy Solutions, Inc. about the global fertility market.

  • Molly

    Of course, medical treatment in the USA is on the high quality. But we are talking about infertility. Nobody can give you 100 % guarantees that if you pay double more you will definitely get a child. I would prefer to go to the East Europe. It is even cheaper than Argentina. So why we should pay more if you can less. Anybody here used surrogate mother service in the East Europe? East Europe can frighten a little. Some people are afraid to go to some countries in the East Europe. Thus for example Russia or Ukraine. But maybe it can be not so bad in fact. I read a lot about Ukrainian surrogacy and ART in general. There is some negative news. But on the other had there are many positive comments as well.

  • Abigail

    Yes, everything is legal there. We had consultation with lawyer and he assured us that everything is legal there. Moreover, when we were there we suddenly meet a couple who already used surrogate service there. And now they are happy parents. I asked them for details. And they told me that they are glad that they have chosen the clinic in Kiev. Because prices are lower but quality is high. I even couldn’t imagine that in Ukraine it can be possible. My husband and I were thinking about surrogacy. But we were afraid that a child can get biological defects or sth from the surrogate mother. In Kiev doctors work only with those women who already have their own children. In addition, these women are usually well-educated and they sign all necessary documents. All processes are legally conducted. Legality and good price can be good advantages in this issue.

  • Olivia

    Our first child was born by surrogate mother in Argentina. It was 2 years ago. First we were so impressed when we saw the clinic. It was a new building, all equipment was also new. Doctor explained all the details of our agreement and we signed the contract immediately. The cost of program was fixed. It was smaller than in the USA, but bigger than in Second World countries. We were able to pay that sum, which was actually considerable. How shocked we were, then after the first examination we got the check for it. We paid everything. Then during the surrogate mother`s pregnancy sometimes we had to pay for different tests and procedures. So when we decided to have a second child, we chose another, less expensive country. We use service of Ukrainian clinic. We haven’t seen huge difference from clinic in Argentina. We even were more satisfied with service. They offered all-inclusive package so we paid just ones. I recommend not being afraid to travel to East Europe.

  • Amelia

    My first infertility battle we won in the Kiev clinic Biotexcom. For only 30k euros we get all-inclusive package and guarantee that we will get our money back in case of 5 failure attempts. I should as many people said, just be happy to have one child. My doctor told me once that she knew a patient who had a child after 15 years. I should have been relieved. So I just changed my doc, and when he said without that I said something “I can understand your pain, each month again and again…” I just cried. My main pain is the age difference between my first child and a second one. I am afraid they won’t have anything to share. I feel guilty that Anouk is alone… I don’t want to go anymore in families of somebody is pregnant with number 2, 3 or even 4… I cannot. I am happy for them, but it just reminds me that I cannot give a sibling to my own child. I am just trying to focus on something else, to like my life such as it is right now… but it is difficult. I don’t even speak to people anymore, because they said things that I don’t want to hear anymore. Nobody talks about second infertility much.

  • JannaCrm

    My husband and I met and married later in life. I was 34 and he was 35. We wanted to wait a couple years before trying to get pregnant, although we knew our opportunity was a small one, as achieving pregnancy after 35 can be more difficult. After a little over 2 years, we decided we needed to start trying to conceive a baby before we got any older. We were both 37 at the time. I visited my OB, seeking help for infertility issues to find out what our options were. After some labs and medical treatment my doctor advised me to use IVF procedure. And I got pregnant but unfortunately my pregnancy ended with an early loss. It was a real big stress for our family. This situation pushed us to think about surrogacy. We started to look through a list of countries where we could make surrogacy procedure in legal way. And we found perfect place. It was the biotexcom clinic in Ukraine. The surrogacy procedure is costs there around 30k euros. We emailed to this clinic and the manager invited us to come in 5 months. I didn’t expect to receive such high medical treatment and service for such price. The doctors there are the experts in the field of reproduction. And the stuff tries to make your stay comfortable. The surrogacy procedure wasn’t stressful in this clinic. Moreover, the clinic dealt with all paper work in the Embassy. Now we are at home. My newborn daughter is absolutely healthy. I am still can`t believe that we are parents!

  • Iris

    To be honest, I think that it is not so bad. I mean why not? To my mind, each person should have an opportunity to get a child. It should not depend on anything! So if somebody wants to have their kid from the surrogate mother – let them do this! In another way, such people will find some other country that will help them. For example, I know that there are a lot of qualified clinics in Eastern Europe – in Georgia, Russia and even in Ukraine! And sometimes, I should say, they could be even cheaper than in Argentina. Moreover, I know that in Kiev there is one pretty good Center for Human Reproduction, where the whole program costs almost 30k euros! I was there with my sister and I should say that I was surprised! There were a lot of highly-qualified doctors and the center was full of modern technique. So, if Argentina is not the last chance for getting baby.