Is Mexican Surrogacy Legal and Safe?
Surrogacy in Mexico may seem like an attractive choice from a cost perspective. Here's what mothers should expect when considering surrogacy options south of the border.
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Is Mexican surrogacy even legal?
Today, only two states in Mexico have explicitly passed surrogacy laws: Sinaloa and Tabasco. But anywhere else in Mexico, state governments outright banned surrogacy, or they don't have any regulations at all.
We want you to understand that just because there's no law forbidding surrogacy, that doesn't make it safe and ethical. It merely means that there aren't any laws in place addressing the topic.
For many years, Mexican surrogacy was strictly forbidden across the country. However, the state of Tabasco passed surrogacy laws in 1997 to regulate the process. At the time, international intended parents were flocking to Mexican surrogacy clinics in droves which created a severe need for new laws to govern the process and protect everyone's rights.
But after the law passed, the exact opposite happened: more international intended parents flooded the market for surrogacy in Mexico. The result was that newborn success rates fell. There were more complications for surrogates during pregnancy, and many unethical business practices began to target intended parents with false promises.
Those claimed that surrogacy processes in Mexico were cheap and easy.
As a response, Tabasco updated their regulations in 2016 to specify that international intended parents do not have the same rights as Mexican citizens. In fact, internationally intended parents are now outright banned in Tabasco.
Also, only Mexican heterosexual couples can legally enter into surrogacy agreements. Single individuals or LGBTQ couples cannot legally pursue surrogacy in Mexico.
Aside from being in a heterosexual marriage, the intended mother must not be more than 40-years old; however, the surrogate must be 25-30 years old.
From an American perspective, those are pretty strict and narrow prerequisites!
Also, the law in Tabasco demands that the intended parents provide surrogates with health insurance and that they also provide Mexican authorities with proof of their inability to have children naturally.
If all of those qualifications aren't met, then Mexican surrogacy isn't a legal option.
That's the bottom line we want to stress before you start looking for a Mexican surrogacy firm.
What are the primary ethical considerations?
The question is this: if surrogacy is technically illegal in Mexico, then why is there so much information online that suggests otherwise?
It's a difficult question to answer if you don't think about the ethical considerations of breaking the law.
A common sales pitch for surrogacy in Mexico is that a Mexcian surrogacy firm received special waivers from the government that allows them to proceed; this isn't necessariliy telling the whole truth!
A highly questionable surrogacy clinic in Mexico doesn't have to provide intended parents with any legal protection whatsoever. In fact, they essentially tell the international intended parents to "smuggle" the baby back home without filing any legal paperwork.
This process isn't surrogacy; it's human trafficking. It's nefarious because it takes advantage of intended parents' desire to start a family.
What's the cost of surrogacy in Mexico?
While many international intended parents think Mexico is a good option, it's not necessarily the least expensive choice. It's easy for the cost of surrogacy in Mexico to skyrocket, considering the amount of travel required and the potential of a custody battle.
So if the actual price of the surrogacy, including all incidental costs, isn't cheaper, why take the risk?
Still, the general rule of thumb is that Mexican surrogacy can cost about half as much as it does in the United States. Yet, there is no accurate data online to give an actual average price – because surrogacy is illegal in Mexico for international intended parents!
Since surrogacy in Mexico is illegal for international intended parents, poorly regulated, and too risky from a health perspective, contact us to learn more about how our firm can provide you with a safe alternative.
At SurrogateFirst, we're a boutique surrogate agency specializing in quickly matching intended parents around the world with our fully-vetted, exceptional surrogates.
We help individuals and couples build their families through the miracle of surrogacy.
Every team member at SurrogateFirst is either a former intended parent or an experienced surrogate herself. We also have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to have an incredible, successful surrogate journey.