We have recently had a couple come home from Villahermosa after the delivery of their healthy baby girl. This is a couple I have been working with for many years as their needs changed from a donor only to a donor and a surrogate. They considered US but found MX to be a much more cost-effective option.
This San Francisco couple came to pick up their baby right after Villahermosa changed the requirements a bit for the issuance of the birth certificate. They prepared fully for their journey with all documents required to successfully exit Mexico (based on the knowledge of the time). They felt confident when they arrived that it would be a very smooth and simple process as it had been in the past.
Upon arrival at the hospital and meeting with our attorney, they started to learn that due to recent changes, they were woefully unprepared for the smooth, seamless transaction they had prepared for and expected. Many of the documents they needed to locate required translation and multiple apostilles (http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/legal-considerations/judicial/authentication-of-documents/notarial-and-authentication-apostille.html). Due to increased regulations in Tabasco, more documentation was required to ensure an ethical process. This was unexpected but welcome by the surrogacy community as it ensures Tabasco remains a viable option for couples seeking affordable surrogacy.
Thankfully, our couple had a very supportive family who worked hard to ensure all documents needed from the US were obtainable and sent via overnight post. This required driving twice several hours and waiting at offices as well as doing research. On our end, we were able to quickly provide documents needed regarding the surrogacy process in Mexico. We are grateful to both the family of this couple and our partners in Mexico to move expeditiously to ensure the fastest submission of the newly required documents.
Though this was very stressful and unexpected for this couple, they handled it with amazing grace and patience.
We are happy to report that even with the unexpected complications arising from the recent changes in Tabasco, they had only 32 days in Mexico before getting passports and exiting the country.
Based on her process, I asked her to share an updated list of what couples should bring to Mexico or know ahead of time to help ensure a smooth transition home. I have her list below:
- Tip: download WhatsApp. Everyone seems to use this
- Tip: If you decide to stay at a hotel, choose one close to downtown as you will be communicating with the attorney quite a bit. We stayed at the Marriott which is very nice because it is connected to a Mall and right across the street is a supermarket. We used the photo store at mall for passport photo. (for the 2×2 picture, you need to request the Visa Photo)
- Items you need to have for Birth Certificate
- birth certificates apostilled by state department
- if married, marriage License apostilled by state department (if you want both names of birth certificate
- if you sent embryos from US to Mexico, copy of Import License
- a letter from fertility doctor on why you were not able to get pregnant and carry yourself (if female)
Extra Cost: Exam by doctor and vaccinations which are needed for travel. (1600 pesos)
It is important for everyone considering Mexico for surrogacy to understand it is a fairly new market. They are attempting to ensure they are as ethical and sustainable as possible. With this, they are likely going to continue to revise the required items throughout the next 1-3 years. It is very possible you will arrive (as this couple did) feeling very prepared only to discover there are additional, unexpected requirements. Prepare for the unexpected and if you are stress-adverse, Mexico may not be for you. It is stable (or appears to be to the best of any knowledgeable opinion) as it has a legal framework but that doesn’t mean things will not refine further than they are now. In the US, they redefine requirements for contracts every couple of years in an effort to make surrogacy more sustainable and ethical. An adjustment in requirements is a sign of an effort to make the current law more long term and palatable to adversaries. Mexico would not be revising document requirements if the effort was to simply close as many US alternatives have.