Traveling to Spain for egg or sperm donation

By BSc, MSc (embryologist) and BA, MA (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 02/05/2016

Spain is one of the most important countries in the world as regards assisted reproductive technology, not only due to its well-advanced law on Assisted Human Reproduction techniques (henceforth, LAHRT), but also because there exist around 200 private fertility clinics devoted to reproductive medicine and several reproduction units in public hospitals.

Spain’s advanced regulations along with the use of cutting-edge technologies and equipment in the field of reproductive medicine make Spain—an innovative country in the area of assisted reproduction—one of the most visited countries by international patients seeking the solution to their fertility problems.

During their vacation days in Spain, many foreign patients take the opportunity to undergo the fertility treatment that may allow them to make their dream of becoming parents come true.

Spanish law on assisted reproduction

Spain is one of the world’s most popular countries in terms of reproductive medicine, with a flexible, well-regulated legislation on this subject that locates it in a top position among Europe. A great majority of patients from all around the world who visit a Spanish fertility clinic do so in the pursuit of donor gametes, either eggs or sperm.

There exist several countries whose regulations on assisted reproduction do not address egg donation and sperm donation, while many others do allow these treatments but with a number of restrictions that do not fit the needs of the patients. For all these reasons, thousands of foreign patients, specially from European countries, travel to Spain in the pursuit of a definitive reproductive solution.

Spanish LAHRT defines both egg donation and sperm donation as altruistic, anonymous procedures. In any case, both peculiarities allow for:

  • A high number of prospective donors, which translates into higher chances of finding the right donor for each recipient, according to each party’s physical and immunological features.
  • A reduction in the costs of the treatment. Given that gamete donation stands for an altruistic act, fertility treatments with donor conception do not become excessively expensive even though a third party, i.e. the donor, participates in the process, with the subsequent economic compensation he/she gets.

Tourism in Spain

Spain has several tourist attractions: weather, cuisine, beaches, history, a long artistic tradition, reasonable prices… Nonetheless, the main reason why reproductive tourism is increasingly becoming popular in Spain is, as mentioned earlier, its high standard medical care on reproductive medicine together with a comprehensive legal framework.

Moreover, Spain is an easy-to-reach country, whether by air, ground or sea, thanks to its extensive high-speed railway network, several airports across the whole country, and a comfortable highway system that makes it easy for everyone to conveniently enter the country, regardless of the European, African, or Asian country they come from.

Likewise, the friendliness of Spanish people plus the affordable prices that can be found make tourists feel at home during their stay in Spain. This is particularly important when traveling to Spain not only for leisure purposes but also for medical purposes such as undergoing a fertility treatment in this case.

Given that Spain is a member of the European Union (EU) and the Schengen zone, entering the country is easier for European citizens, since almost no bureaucratic procedure is required. Besides, Spain’s official currency is the Euro, which usually translates into fewer understanding problems when it comes to check the cost of fertility treatments.

Finally, it is also worth stressing that the great majority of private fertility clinics have an international department made up of translators and specialists who can speak several languages, not only languages of Europe but also of Africa and Asia. This translates into better patient care and support services, which helps clearing any doubt related to the treatment for which the patient has come to Spain in the best possible way.

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Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information about Andrea Rodrigo
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
BA, MA
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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