Blyth, Eric, Thorn, Petra and Wischmann, Tewes (2011) CBRC and psychosocial counselling: assessing needs and developing an ethical framework for practice. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 23 (5). pp. 642-651. ISSN 1472-6483

Encountering infertility and involuntary childlessness and undergoing infertility treatment are acknowledged as stressful experiences that impact on individuals’ psychological and emotional health – and for which access to psychosocial counselling by a skilled mental health professional may be beneficial. Evidence of patients’, gamete donors’ and surrogates’ experiences indicates that utilization of infertility treatment in another country may not only exacerbate these psychosocial adversities, but may also pose additional risks to the psychological or physical health of participants, thus further emphasizing the need for competent psychosocial counselling services in cross-border reproductive care. However, this is a largely neglected topic in recent discussions of both CBRC itself and of infertility counselling practice. This paper extends the previous work undertaken by two of the authors to begin to map out practice issues within an ethical framework for counsellors when working with clients, donors, surrogates, individuals conceived following infertility treatment and existing children in clients’, donor’s and surrogates’ families where cross-border reproductive treatment is considered or undertaken.

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