Surrogacy in Mexico

Surrogacy in Mexico substantially changed in late 2021 when the Supreme Court ruled that surrogacy was a protected medical procedure. As a result, in specific jurisdictions in Mexico, intended parents are listed on the birth certificate of their surrogacy babies immediately upon the birth.


Also in the Guide:

Sensible now offers secure programs in Mexico City.

Building on the Supreme Court decision, the SENSIBLE program will name the intended parents on the birth certificate upon delivery of the baby. We recommend the “Guarantee” delivery program, which provides an unlimited number of clinical procedures (IVF cycle, embryo transfers, etc.) until the successful birth of your baby. For the details and budget of the program, check out this page about SENSIBLE services in Mexico.


Is Surrogacy in Mexico Legal?

In 2021 Mexico joined the short list of countries with a legal framework supporting compensated surrogacy for married, single, gay, straight and foreign Intended Parents.

The Supreme Court decision overrode the prohibition against surrogacy by the State of Tabasco. It reversed the ban and returned the regulations to the way they were before the ban was enacted. As a result of the Court’s decision, no Mexican state can prohibit Surrogacy.

The new framework came in an overwhelming majority decision of the Supreme Court. The decision has three important parts:

Surrogacy is a protected Human Right

The court found that the right to a family is found worldwide, in Human Rights declarations in the Americas as well as Europe. Likewise, the right of the child to its family heritage is also a basic human right. Therefore, the Supreme Court recognized Surrogacy as a human reproductive technique approved, and the need to be regulated at the state level.

Given that the right to form a family (and the right of a child to its family heritage) is an acknowledged Human Right, and that all Mexican Courts are obliged to promote and guarantee human rights… the Court’s decision is that all Mexican Courts/Judges now obliged to find that any child born of a surrogacy arrangement is absolutely the legal child of the intended parents if there is a clear agreement with the surrogate.

Intended Parents are the rightful parents of a surrogacy baby

The court found that the main and essential element to establish the family bond is the will of the parties. The parentage is determined by the desire to take on a child as one’s own, even if biologically it is not. Children born through assisted reproduction should be the legal offspring of the “Commissioning Parties”.
The demonstration of a biological link is not an essential requirement to establish parentage over a child, as happens in the application of assisted reproduction techniques, the will to conceive or procreational will operates in this regard. and in the case of Surrogacy, the concurrence of the vice-free will of the surrogate mother is also necessary,
Surrogacy in Mexico must be universally available, regardless of gender, marital status or sexual preference

Surrogacy must be universally accessible

The right to use assisted reproductive techniques to achieve the birth of a child is accessible to all people. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to conceive a family. There is nothing inherently masculine or feminine about this right, and so it applies to both heterosexual and same-sex individuals.

In summary…

Just like in the US, each individual Mexican state regulate Surrogacy in its territory. Following a series of highly visible media scandals in 2016, surrogacy was banned in several Mexican states. The Supreme Court reversed those prohibitions in 2021. As a result, surrogacy is protected across all of Mexico.

Even though surrogacy is protected by the Courts, some states have been slow to implement the mandate. As a result, surrogacy in Mexico is still only secure in select regions. Intended Parents should consider programs in these friendly jurisdictions. These states allow a “pre-birth parentage order” that directs the birth certificate to be issued with the names of the Intended Parents.

Creative Alternatives for Mexican Surrogacy

While Mexico waits for the implications of the new Supreme Court ruling, some creative options still enable surrogacy in Mexico. Three basic options are now available.

The most common Mexican surrogacy options offer local surrogates with American visas. These programs promise to bring the surrogate to the United States during her third trimester for a delivery in Texas or Southern California. While that option is the most common, it also the least secure. We generally advise couples to avoid such programs.

Other more favorable options include “cross-border” options using Mexican clinics and American surrogates. This “cross-border” option is a more secure because the surrogate is an American citizen giving birth in the United States, but the cost savings is minimal.

A new opportunity also uses the Mexican courts to obtain a “pre-birth parental decree” to ensure the legal rights of the Intended Parents. This approach offers some advantages, but also adds cost and time to the typical Mexican surrogacy program.

About the authors

  • Author: William Houghton

    Bill Houghton is the founder of Sensible Surrogacy, author of the Sensible Surrogacy Guide, 2x surrogacy dad, and a dedicated advocate for secure, legal and ethical Gestational Surrogacy. Read Bill's Biography

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