An American couple, Haseeb and Christy Amireh, traveled to the Mexican state of Tabasco in order to have a child through surrogacy. The problem was the couple did not inform themselves about the laws there. Tabasco now has regulations that provide for the refusal of birth certificates if a child is born through surrogacy. Also, it does not give out to the family the documentation that is needed to return to the United States with the child. The couple is hopeful, however, saying that there is a resolution going through the Governor’s office that would allow them to receive the right documentation and the birth certificate for their child.
While they wait, the couple has been fundraising in order to pay off the legal costs of fighting the law in Tabasco. Their representative to the United States Congress, Eric Swalwell, has stated that the couple should have been better informed about the health care laws of the country before making a decision. Tabasco created the regulations on surrogacy in 1993, twelve years before their son was born.
Many federal lawmakers in Mexico have pushed for federal regulations opposing surrogacy. Lately, the Congress of Mexico has published a book explaining how surrogacy exploits and abuses women. Over the past few years, even with new regulations, there has been an increase in people coming down to certain states for surrogacy services. According to the executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society in California, the cost of surrogacy in the United States is so high that it encourages people to go down to Mexico. In states like Tabasco, there are many brokerage companies that put couples in touch with surrogate mothers. They advertise that it is cheap and intended parents can have a vacation while they are visiting, creating more incentive to come to these Mexican states.
Unfortunately, the legal peril of pursuing surrogacy in countries outside the United States such as Mexico can lead to seriously unfavorable legal messes. Intended parents should proceed with great caution if considering surrogacy outside of the United States.