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Mexico bans surrogacy for gay couples and foreigners

21 December 2015
Appeared in BioNews 833

The legislature in the Mexican state of Tabasco has voted to prevent foreign couples and gay men from having children via surrogacy.

Mexico had become a popular destination for prospective parents looking for a surrogate because it costs around half as much as in the United States. Although Tabasco is the only state in Mexico to allow surrogacy – on a non-commercial basis – in practice it happens across the country.

The Tabasco state legislature voted 21–9 to restrict the use of surrogates to Mexican couples only, and says that the intended mother must be aged 25 to 40 and will have to present medical proof that she is unable to carry a child herself.

Juan Antonio Filigrana of the state Health Secretariat told Mexico Daily News: 'There are three registered assisted human reproduction agencies in the state, but in reality there are many more we have no record of. The secretariat considers this unregulated practice as amoral.

'We estimate there are about 500 surrogate births per year in the state. Women are hired in other states like Yucatán or Quintana Roo and travel to Tabasco to give birth. The women come from small ranch communities and are paid between $7000 and 8000, but [the unregulated agencies] charge $100,000. This is human trafficking.'

The legislation follows similar laws passed in recent years in Nepal, Thailand and India banning foreigners and same-sex couples from using surrogates (see BioNews 817BioNews 791 and BioNews 824).

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Mexican state votes to ban surrogacy for gay men and foreign people
The Guardian |  15 December 2015
Mexico surrogacy ban for gay men and foreigners
Pink News |  21 December 2015
Tabasco lawmakers end foreign surrogacy
Mexico Daily News |  15 December 2015
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