Surrogacy in Mexico

Surrogacy in Mexico

In this video, Page Provan Director and award-winning surrogacy lawyer Stephen Page deep dives into all the crucial information you need to know about Surrogacy in Mexico.



G’day, I’m Stephen Page, from Page Provan Family and Fertility Lawyers, and today, I’m talking about surrogacy in Mexico, and before I get into surrogacy in Mexico, I want to talk about another video that I’ve recorded, which is about landmark surrogacy cases around the world, and in particular, a couple of decisions that were made about 30 years ago in California and those decisions then influenced decisions by the Supreme Court of Mexico and the Supreme Court of Columbia.

So please go and have a look at that video because it really explains how surrogacy works in Mexico now. Mexico, like Australia, is a federation. It has 31 states, including the capital district of Mexico City, and so these states are not big in terms of area compared to Australian states, but they are big in terms of population, Mexico is the world’s largest Spanish-speaking country.

It’s got about 120 million people, and family law in Mexico, like its neighbour, the United States, and like Canada, is determined on a state-by-state basis. So surrogacy is determined on a state-by-state basis. A couple of states ban surrogacy, and in the past, and we go back to 2014, when Australia started going to Mexico for surrogacy, they all went to the state of Tabasco.

And if you look at Mexico, we’ve got the hump with Yucatan just in that little pocket faced onto the Caribbean, and Tabasco, of course, the name of the sauce and chillies. Well, that’s where everyone went, and then we had a notorious Indian-American surrogacy promoter called Rudy Rupak, and I’ve talked about him in other videos, and he operated a Ponzi scheme, basically, sucking in money and not delivering goods, and also trafficking Colombian women to Tabasco for surrogacy.

So, the result was the, Tabasco Government said, ‘Hold your horses, we’re going to change the law, and they did. We’re going to stop foreigners undertaking surrogacy here, and we’re going to stop gay couples undertaking surrogacy here’. Because, of course, gay couples were a key part of those seeking to do surrogacy in Mexico. Well, move forward a few years, and what have we seen happen? The first is that the Supreme Court of Mexico, as I’ve said in the other video, has delivered two key judgments.

The first was from 2018, where it said, those who intend to be parents are the parents under Mexican law for the purposes of surrogacy, and the second was in 2021, where they said those restrictions under Tabasco law had no effect because Mexican law does not discriminate against gay people, and it does not discriminate against foreigners. Foreigners have the same human rights as everyone else.

So therefore, for example, if you’re gay and you come from Australia, you can do surrogacy in Tabasco. Where Australians do surrogacy in Mexico is principally in the state of Quintana Roo, which actually, it’s nothing to do with a kangoo. It’s named after a Spanish general, which is where the Caribbean resort of Cancun is. There and two other states, Mexico City itself, which is where most surrogacy is now happening for Australians, and the state of Jalisco, which are the cities of Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara.

Why those places? Well, Quintana Roo, because IVF clinics are located there, they’re also located to a great degree in Mexico City. But what we’ve seen happen as a result of the 2018 decision has been that pre-birth orders have been made in Mexico City and Jalisco State in particular. Mexico is a particularly difficult place in which to do business. Mexico has a reputation for corruption, and there are no federal regulations about the quality of IVF in Mexico.

Therefore, one must be extremely careful, first, about the choice of your surrogacy agency, second, about the choice of your IVF clinic, don’t assume all IVF clinics are equal. Third, about the quality of your lawyer. Don’t assume that the lawyer is ethical, and where your surrogate gives birth really makes a difference, because historically in Quintana Roo, if you’ve got a gay couple, for example, the biological father will go on the birth certificate, and so will the surrogate, the other dad will not.

And so you’ve got your baby, but then you’ve got a legal mess, and I’ve had clients who’ve done that. They’ve chosen to go do surrogacy there, and then they’ve got a mess. So we can fix that to a degree with a parenting plan, which will give the other bloke parental responsibility as well, and the surrogate not, and we can get the baby home.

But he won’t go on the birth certificate as a parent, and if you want to fix it with a step parent adoption, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get that through because the court back in Australia may not want to allow the adoption to occur because it might be seen to be endorsing commercial surrogacy, and it might cost you $30,000 or more in the process. So it’s better not to do it that way.

For those doing it in Mexico City, some lawyers have used the same approach we’ve seen in Quintana Roo, which I must say I don’t like. Other lawyers, however, have managed to get pre-birth orders. After the child is born, you’ll be able to get your baby back to Australia in about eight weeks and that’s been historically how long it’s taken for the last 10 years for clients of mine who have gone to Mexico.

Mexico has become increasingly popular for surrogacy at the moment because, well, the US is at a price, Ukraine is largely not available. It’s restarted, but no one in their right mind should be going to the Ukraine at the moment with the war still raging, and Canada is taking two years to match.

So in Mexico, you’re looking in a budget of about $120,000 for the entire journey. I strongly, strongly recommend getting legal advice at this end. Please, oh please contact me to make sure that you go to the right lawyer, you go to the right IVF clinic, you go to the right surrogacy agency, that you don’t just choose a surrogacy agency because others have told you to go there, or an IVF clinic to the same effect, or a lawyer to the same effect, because it may end in a complete and utter mess.

I’ve seen bad stuff happen in Mexico, you’ve really, really got to be careful. I certainly have clients going to Mexico, we’ve still got to be careful with commercial surrogacy laws in Queensland, New South Wales, and the ACT, and long-arm laws concerning surrogacy in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. So extreme care has to be taken from the Australian legal point of view.

But surrogacy in Mexico is available, with extreme care, it can be done. Clients of mine have become parents in Mexico, you’ve just got to be very, very careful. Thank you.

Things to Read, Watch & Listen

Surrogacy – Ten Lessons I Have Learnt Since 1988

Our director and award-winning surrogacy lawyer, Stephen Page, presented a paper titled “Surrogacy – Ten Lessons I Have Learnt Since 1988” at the 2024 North Queensland Law Association Conference in Townsville.

Surrogacy in Mexico

In this video, Page Provan Director and award-winning surrogacy lawyer Stephen Page deep dives into all the crucial information you need to know about Surrogacy in Mexico.

Surrogacy in Australia or US: Which is the Best?

In this video, Page Provan Director and award-winning surrogacy lawyer Stephen Page, breaks down the surrogacy process in Australia versus the United States. 

Family Law Section Law Council of Australia Award
Member of Queensland law society
Family law Practitioners Association
International Academy of Family Lawyers - IAFL
Mediator Standards Board