U.S. expands Citizenship Eligibility for Children born Overseas through Surrogacy or In Vitro Fertilization

The Biden administration recently expanded the eligibility of certain children born overseas through assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART is used to treat infertility and conceive children through various techniques such as surrogacy or in vitro fertilization. Until this new policy change, the US could deny citizenship to children conceived through ART and born abroad, even if one of the parents was a U.S. citizen.  

Immigration law has always provided that, under certain circumstances, U.S. citizens could transmit citizenship to their children born outside of the US. However, the USCIS criteria limited this derivative citizenship to a child whose genetic parents (or the legal gestational parent and one of the genetic parents) were married to one another at the time of birth. It also defined “child” as the genetic, adopted, or gestational child of a U.S. citizen parent. This policy excluded parents who did not meet this narrow criteria but were legally the only parents of a child born through ART. 

With the USCIS policy update, now even allow a non-genetic, non-gestational legal parent of a child to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child if the parent is married to the child’s genetic or gestational parent at the time of the child’s birth, and the relevant jurisdiction recognizes both parents as the child’s legal parents. Children who actually meet the updated requirements but have previously been denied citizenship can file a motion for reconsideration on the prior decision made. 

Resources:  USCIS Policy Manual

        USCIS policy update regarding ART

This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033, text us using our chat box, or complete our contact form.

Published by Ann Badmus

If you're a foreign medical graduate or medical professional who wishes to practice anywhere in the United States, Badmus & Associates can help you navigate the often complicated immigration process. You are invited to contact us at 214-494-8033 or at immigration@badmuslaw.com.

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