The Mexican state of Tabasco, is one of the leading places for surrogacy – the process where a woman carries and gives birth to a baby, for someone else.
But new restrictions barring surrogate mothers from bearing children for foreigners, are limiting this once lucrative practice.
CGTN’s Martin Markovits reports.
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Mexican gov't puts restrictions on surrogacy in last state it's allowedThe Mexican state of Tabasco, is one of the leading places for surrogacy – the process where a woman carries and gives birth to a baby, for someone else.
Tabasco and Sinaloa are the last remaining states in Mexico that legally permit young women to, as some critics refer to it, “rent out their wombs” to infertile couples.
Today, it’s a lucrative business. And it’s not just Mexicans who are interested. Tabasco attracts international surrogacy tourists from across the world, in particular same sex partnerships from the United States and Europe.
Yet, the commercial practice has come under fire from state lawmakers for exploiting young women with the promise of vast amounts of money, and forcing them to part with their children at the end of the process.
Last year, new restrictions were passed that outlawed foreigners, gay couples and third party agencies from hiring surrogate mothers.
Gynecologist Dr. Raul Cabra said the new regulations will only end up moving practices underground, increasing the risk to both client and surrogate.
“There has been a far greater demand for surrogate mothers. Before, women would get pregnant around the age of 20 or 22 years old. Now they are having their first child as late as 37. Those 17 years of difference has only contributed to the fertility problem,” Dr. Cabra said.
There have been instances when seeking parents have been forced to pay more than previously agreed due to the gray legal area.
Despite these concerns shared by many in Mexico, demand for surrogates remains high, and Tabasco lawmakers may find themselves waging an uphill battle.