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Posted By YouMeMine on 12/03/2020

Tips for International Fertility Tourism During COVID-19

Tips for International Fertility Tourism During COVID-19

By Robin Newman, Founder & Director of Global Egg Donors

There are many reasons why people pursue fertility tourism as a family building option. In some instances, it may be hard, or even not legal, to work with donors in your home country. Cost can be a huge factor, particularly for U.S. citizens who are looking to build their families with the help of egg donors, gestational surrogates, or both. And, of course, donor availability is a huge concern. It may be much easier to find the best donor for you, if the net you cast is global, rather than national. 

Many people were counting on starting cycles at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Others were caught mid-cycle or later, scrambling to get newborns into the arms of their intended parents. 

At the start of COVID, travel was impacted, nobody knew what was going on. I still use extreme caution, and only travel when I have to. Now, thankfully, you can pretty much go anywhere, provided you’re willing to work within the guidelines established by that country or state. For example, you may have to quarantine for a certain number of days upon arrival in a new location. 

Whether you’re an intended parent or a donor, you may have difficulty getting out of your own country or state. We’ve found that the IVF clinics can be very helpful here, by writing medical letters of necessity, stating that a patient is needed elsewhere for an embryo transfer. These letters have helped get egg donors from other countries into the U.S., and intended parents into places like Cyprus. Take these letters with you when you apply for a VISA.

If you are considering a specific geographic location for treatment, and the website of that country’s embassy warns you away due to COVID or for other reasons, double check with your current clinic. They may have had someone travel there, and can provide you with tips and information. For example, in some instances, travel by land may not be permitted, but travel by air will be. In other instances, the reverse may be true, especially between states. 

Safety during travel is very important. Follow these tips for safely and efficiently continuing your international fertility journey.

Destinations and ensuring your sample’s safe arrival:

  • It’s not only which countries are open, its which countries are safe -  the U.S., as far as COVID goes, may be one of the least safe locations currently. We have a list that we update weekly on our website under the Destinations tab.
  • Worried about a rollback or border shutdown? As a failsafe, ship your sperm or embryos. This will ease your mind, and alleviate the fear of missing a reproductive deadline. 


  • Have a pre-purchased, at-home test for COVID, or get tested at a facility, before you go. Ensure you are tested within the stated timeline of your destination country, if applicable, and that you are tested within the guidelines (some destinations accept results from only pre-approved testing facilities).

Flights and airports:

  • Check the airlines to see who is booking every seat and who is booking spaced-out seats (safer) either in rows, or between rows. 
  • Buy COVID flight insurance.
  • Have a plan B – you don’t always know when the donor will be flying or ready, and anything can happen -  so book several refundable flights on varying days. 
  • As early as possible, apply for TSA precheck several weeks before your flight, so you can avoid standing on long lines and touching lots of surfaces during pre-boarding. 
  • If a TSA attendant wants to pat you down during the pre-boarding process, ask them to pleases put on fresh gloves first.
  • Bring a supply of masks with you on the plane, so you can change into a new mask frequently during a long flight. 
  • You can bring 12 ounces of hand sanitizer with you onto a plane rather than the standard six. Make sure to use some to wipe off your luggage, when you retrieve it.  
  • Form-fitting eyeglasses may be beneficial, since they eliminate or reduce the potential of droplets getting into your eyes. These might be great to wear with a mask on the plane and in the airport.


Robin Newman is the Founder and Director of Global Egg Donors, an egg donor agency which started in South Africa, 19 years ago. Robin’s goal was to have four children. Now, she assists intended parents around the world, and has helped bring forth a small city of children. Robin turned the difficulty of her own infertility into assisting others through theirs. When not traveling internationally visiting clinics, she can be found working in her large vegetable and flower garden. She lives a full life of adventure: camping, horseback riding, hiking, cooking and hanging out with friends. She lives with her dog, Maverick, and two chickens in Santa Barbara, California. 

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