By Robin von Halle

When most of us hear the phrase, “fertility vacation,” we think of a tropical destination where couples can get away from stress, relax for a week or two, and come home pregnant.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about another kind of fertility vacation, where intended parents travel to a more surrogacy- or egg donation-friendly state, or sometimes, to another country for in-vitro solutions to creating families. A CBC News article describes how a Canadian law prohibiting compensation for egg donors is driving couples across the border, taking their vacation time to work with agencies in the U.S.

In Canada, it’s not against the law for women to sell their eggs, only to buy them. That really limits a couple’s options: if in-vitro doesn’t work, and they can’t find a relative or friend to donate eggs without compensation, they are only left with adoption as a legal option.

Certainly, the U.S. isn’t perfect – several states don’t allow compensation for gestational surrogacy, including Indiana, Michigan and New York. Illinois, on the other hand, is especially surrogacy-friendly because, among other reasons, it allows intended parents to be on the baby’s birth certificate immediately following birth.

Until the overall environment becomes friendlier to egg donation and gestational surrogacy, a fertility vacation is an intriguing solution. Interestingly, we also are starting to get calls from couples from Australia and European countries with restrictive laws on both fronts who are looking to “vacation” in Chicago to get their fertility treatment underway.