Couples around the state are turning to surrogacy in increasing numbers, including a high-profile Texan named Beyoncé Knowles. But surrogacy can be expensive, upwards of $150,000 depending on the agency. So many Texans have turned to Mexico: it’s close by and costs much less than in the States. But a recent policy change could affect some couples’ travel plans.
Stephanie Scott, co-owner of a Dallas-based agency called Simple Surrogacy, says families have been turning to Mexico, as well as India and Guatemala, for cheaper surrogate mothers. Scott says there are no standards for medical care or compensation for surrogates in other countries.
“There’s nobody really overseeing any of it,” she says. “I think that they’re worried about women being taken advantage of, by this industry.”
In the state of Tabasco in Mexico, a new law limits surrogate seekers to only Mexican heterosexual couples. Scott says families who want to find a surrogate may have to find one in the United States instead. Agencies in the U.S. screen candidates for surrogates, including mental health and financial assessments. With increased screening comes increased cost, Scott says.
“Those who cannot afford that, they’re going to have a hard time finding an agency that can do it for $65,000, 75,000 and under,” she says.
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.