Accepted Paper:

Destination pregnancy: Moved to conceive, naturally  

Author:

Susan Frohlick (University of British Columbia)

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at how tourism mobilities affect Euro-American women's ideas around cross-border interracial conception, pregnancy, childbearing, and kinship in a ecotourism destination, Costa Rica. Place mobilizes the championing of natural conception over assisted reproduction technologies.

Paper long abstract:

While the draw of affordable and accessible reproductive technologies in the global south providing fertility and procreative solutions for consumers in the global north has been well documented, the draw of non-medically assisted reproduction has not yet received much attention. ARTs can be thought of as reproduction outcomes that generate mobilities, that is, ART clients travel to locales where reproductive care service is available. But in a "mobility era," the mobility of women tourists has also generated new reproductive practices. This paper looks specifically at how touristic travel to particular destinations in the global south affect ideas around cross-border interracial conception, pregnancy, childbearing, and kinship. I examine Costa Rica through the lens of reproductive mobilities to raise questions about links between destination imaginaries and reproductive imaginaries. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, stories of never imagining having children or only wanting children related through "blood" are situated in narratives about an ecologically utopic destination where it became possible to conceive naturally. Here, place moves or mobilizes the championing of natural conception over assisted reproduction technologies. Furthermore, complications over staying in Costa Rica rather than returning to home in the global north emerge, complications that are linked to privilege of nationality and whiteness but also illusory aspirations for the perfect family.

Panel P071
Reproductive aspirations and trajectories within movement/settlement across borders