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Gay couple stuck in Mexican legal limbo after birth of surrogate twins

Luis Delgado and José Antonio Fernández are unable to secure passports for their children

Luis Delgado y José Antonio Fernández.

Luis Delgado and José Antonio Fernández, a gay married couple from Spain, decided to have a child via a surrogate mother in Mexico. Their twins were born on January 6, but the four of them have found themselves unable to return together to their home country.

Due to a legal anomaly, they cannot secure passports for their children, given that the state of Tabasco, Mexico, where the surrogacy took place, recognizes surrogate births, while the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) – the government department responsible for Mexican passport applications – does not.

It is illegal for couples to have children via surrogates in Spain

The couple say they have heard “very positive words” from the Spanish authorities, but nothing more.

It is illegal for couples to have children via surrogates in Spain, but if the country where the surrogacy takes place officially confirms that the couple (whether they are homosexual or heterosexual) are the biological parents of the children in question, they can be registered in Spain and obtain Spanish passports. If not, the mother must appear on the paperwork. But Delgado and Fernández cannot produce an acceptable version of that certificate for the authorities.

The pair signed a surrogacy contract in Mexico last year, and when the babies were born they registered them in Tabasco with José Antonio as the father, and on another part of the form, Luis as the other parent. The part of the form where the mother should have appeared was left blank.

The agency they hired for the process helped them invalidate the original birth certificate

When they got to the SRE office in the Mexican capital, their problems began, and they were denied Mexican passports.

The agency they had hired for the process, Ayudando a Crear Familias (or, Helping to Create Families), helped them invalidate the original birth certificate, and they requested a new one in Mexico City, upon which they appeared as the two parents. On Monday, they traveled to the offices of the SRE in Cancun, accompanied by the Spanish consul in the city. “They told us that our case has been put on hold,” explains Luis.

The diplomats from Spain say Spanish passports can be issued if they include the name of the mother on the certificate. “But that is not going to happen,” says Luis. “We are the parents – we are not going to lie.”