MADRID, Spain — A heated debate in Spain sparked by a 68-year-old celebrity who allegedly used a surrogate mother in Miami to have a baby girl took a turn on Wednesday when the woman announced in ¡Hola! that the girl is actually the daughter of her son who died of cancer in 2020.

Actress and presenter Ana Obregón told Hello! that doctors encouraged her son, Aless Lequio García, to save sperm samples before starting treatment, and that he expressed a desire to have a child just before he died. The samples, she said, were stored in New York.

Surrogacy pregnancies are prohibited in Spain, although children resulting from this type of pregnancy can be registered in other countries.

“It was Aless’s last wish, to bring her son into the world,” Obregón told the magazine. “This girl is not my daughter, but my granddaughter.”

The first reports of the baby caught the attention of the Spanish media and the country’s political parties, drawing criticism from the leftist coalition government. Many leading Spanish politicians and media refer to surrogacy as “womb rental”.

Equality Minister Irene Montero of the left-wing Unidas Podemos coalition said surrogacy is a form of violence against women. Spain’s Socialist Workers’ Party, which is part of the coalition government, said legislation should be changed to prevent Spaniards from using surrogate mothers in other countries.

But Defense Minister Margarita Robles on Wednesday refrained from criticizing Obregón and said that while the law is clear in Spain, personal decisions must be respected.

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The conservative People’s Party, the main opposition party, has said it is ready to discuss the legalization of these pregnancies if there is no payment involved.

At first, the fact that the case involved Obregón, 68, seemed to generate as much controversy as surrogacy itself.

Hi! reported that the baby was born on March 20 and was conceived in June, when Obregón’s son would have turned 30.

Obregón, a biologist by profession, is one of Spain’s biggest celebrities and has appeared on numerous TV shows and magazine covers.

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