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Children born abroad through ART can now have citizenship

On Behalf of | May 11, 2022 | International surrogacy |

Many California couples have had to rely on assisted reproductive technology to start families. Laws are in place regarding children who were born abroad through these means.

What is assisted reproductive technology?

Assisted reproductive technology or ART is a type of fertility assistance used by couples who struggle with infertility. It’s also used by LGBTQ couples. It might include the use of donor eggs, donor sperm, both or even a surrogate who carries the baby to term for the couple.

Millions of people rely on ART to start their families. While this is a recognized way to become parents, things were once complicated if the child was conceived or born through these means while the parents were abroad.

What are the new laws regarding children born through ART?

A few years ago, children conceived and born through ART outside of the United States might not have been considered U.S. citizens except in certain situations. However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has now determined that citizenship can be transmitted to these children under certain circumstances. Now, the child can gain citizenship if the parent is married to the surrogate or gestational carrier at the time of the birth.

The other way that a child in this situation can have transferred citizenship is if the jurisdiction recognizes both the parents as their legal parents.

The reason behind the opposite holding true for children born through ART overseas was that the gestational carrier was considered the mother of the child even if she had no biological relationship with the child due to the egg not being hers. Sometimes, the child was even considered as being born out of wedlock in spite of the legal parents being married.

The change in these laws could help families that relied on ART to have their children by recognizing them as legal U.S. citizens.