The Mexican state of Tabasco has banned surrogacy for both gay and foreign couples.
Lawmakers in the southern state’s Congress voted 21 to nine in favour of the restrictions earlier this week. Surrogacy is now only available for heterosexual Mexican couples.
Additionally, the woman must be between 25 and 40 years old and be able to prove that she is not medically able to have children of her own. They must also have medical insurance to cover the costs associated with the surrogate’s pregnancy, delivery and post-natal care.
Tabasco is the only state in Mexico to allow any form of surrogacy. However, as in the UK, such agreements must be strictly non-commercial. As a result, the state was a popular destination for gay people who were aspiring parents and couples from overseas. It was seen as a cheaper alternative to the United States, where costs could be as high as $150,000 (around £100,000).
There are around 500 surrogate births in the state every year, Health Secretary Juan Antonio Filigrana estimates. He claimed that women are hired elsewhere and “travel to Tabasco to give birth, taking advantage of the conveniences we offer”, which he likened to “human trafficking”.
Last month, the Indian government announced a ban on commercial surrogacy arrangements involving foreign couples.