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Surrogacy and ART in Mexico
14 MINUTE READ
July 19, 2023

Overview

There is no legal framework to protect foreigners or same-sex couples who pursue surrogacy in Mexico, despite agencies and clinics promoting Mexico as a safe, legal destination for commercial surrogacy.  Surrogacy agreements between foreign and/or same-sex intending parents and gestational mothers are not enforced by Mexican courts.  Intending U.S. citizen parents have suffered administrative and legal impediments in documenting children born through surrogacy.  Some parents have been delayed weeks to months in Mexico while waiting for court decisions on parental rights and custody.  Although the citizenship of the child might be straightforward, citizenship does not confer custody.  Custody and parental rights are subject to Mexican law.  Mexican surrogacy law is incomplete and open to wide interpretation.

Be wary of agencies/clinics that guarantee the legality of surrogacy in Mexico or fail to explain the risks.  Clinics that offer “VIP” packages such as expedited embassy/consulate appointments, tailored delivery dates, or birth documents that omit the gestational mother are often operating outside the boundaries of Mexican law.  Although it is exceedingly rare, the gestational mother could enforce her parental right at any point during the surrogacy process regardless of signed and notarized contracts with the intending parents or the agency.  possible long and unexpected delays in documenting your child’s citizenship.  Make sure you understand Mexican law, which recognizes the gestational mother as the child’s legal parent with full parental rights and mandates that the gestational mother be listed on the Mexican state-issued birth certificate.  .  Be aware that individuals who attempt to circumvent local law risk criminal prosecution.  Mexican authorities have made arrests stemming from surrogacy cases.

Information from the U.S. Department of State regarding whether a child born abroad via ART/surrogacy may or may not have acquired U.S. citizenship at birth can be found at:  U.S. Citizens Considering the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Abroad. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 1: COMPLETE ECRBA APPLICATION ONLINE AT MYTRAVELGOV 

It is important to contact the U.S. Embassy as early in the process as possible so we can help guide you through the steps involved.  Please begin by creating an account on MyTravelGov and submitting your eCRBA application online.  The online process provides applicants with step-by-step instructions to complete the application.

STEP 2: SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE EMBASSY OR CONSULATE 

Once the baby has been released from the hospital and you have the official Mexican birth certificate and all the other required documentation (click here for a checklist) please contact the U.S. Embassy or one of our Consulates to schedule your appointment by completing this form 

Please provide some information about your specific situation (i.e. U.S. citizen’s genetic relationship to the child, use of egg/sperm donor, clinic being used, etc.).  Please be assured we will treat all information you provide with discretion and sensitivity.

STEP 3: ATTEND A CITIZENSHIP INTERVIEW 

On the day of the appointment, you will come to the U.S. Embassy or one of our Consulates.  Applicants should arrive at the American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit fifteen minutes prior to their appointment.  You will go through an airport-style security screening process.  For a list of items you may/may not bring with you, click here.  Note you will be allowed to bring in small amounts of milk, baby formula, baby food, and diapers, all subject to inspection.  If you plan to bring someone with you to help with the baby, please be sure they have photo identification to show the guards.  Please be prepared to spend at least two hours at the Embassy.  

When filling out the applications for the passport and CRBA, please provide the information of the genetically related parent, and, if named on the Mexican birth certificate, the second parent.  Please be sure to bring supplemental documentation necessary to demonstrate that you have met the requirements to transmit U.S. citizenship.  We will also need to see the surrogacy contract as well as any relevant medical records.  Please be aware that ART and surrogacy situations are complex and frequently require additional documentation. 

For all other general CRBA requirements, please click here. 

  • Passport application (DS-11 , PDF 89 KB) 

A Social Security number (SSN) is required for this application.  Since your child does not yet have one, please make sure to type 000-00-0000 to avoid difficulties when completing the form online.  Please do NOT sign this form ahead of time. 

STEP 4: DECISION 

The consular officer will inform you of the decision at the end of the interview.  If you presented insufficient evidence to prove the biological or legal relationship or your physical presence in the United States prior to the birth of the baby, you will be given instructions on next steps.  If DNA is suggested, you will be given specific instructions at that time. 

If approved, the CRBA and passports take approximately four to six weeks to arrive at your home in Mexico.  If you live in the United States, you may pay for courier service for the delivery to your home there.