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Palm Beach County Immigration Attorney > Blog > Immigration > Reproductive Technology Now Recognized By Immigration

Reproductive Technology Now Recognized By Immigration


When it comes to immigration, being born in wedlock makes a difference. And thanks to a new policy, that definition has now been expanded.

According to the new rule, parents outside of the United States who are United States Citizens, that have a child through assisted reproductive technology (ART) will now have their children considered as citizens, and thus, eligible for US citizenship.

How Citizenship is Transmitted

Citizenship can be “transmitted” from US citizens abroad who have a child abroad, to a child, under the following circumstances:

  1. Both parents are married at the time of the child’s birth, and
  2. The jurisdiction where the parents live or reside, would recognize the parents as being the legal parents of the child

The recognition of assisted reproductive technology is not new. Since 2014, the law has said that motions who use the technology are in fact legal mothers (or parents) of children.

Now, children born overseas through any kind of technology will qualify, whether through surrogacy, egg donorship, or in vitro fertilization.

Denials Were Common

But before these recent changes, if two parents abroad who are US citizens have kids by surrogacy, those children were not considered to be born in wedlock, and thus, the parents’ citizenship did not transfer to the child. Now, however, not only do parents not have to be married for citizenship to transfer, but surrogacy will also count towards citizenship.

A Win for Homosexual Couples

The move is also a win for homosexual couples, who often will have children through surrogacy, and thus the law change provides a path to citizenship for them as well. The new rules eliminate the requirement of biological connection, which prohibited children of homosexual parents born overseas from having paths to citizenship. Many homosexual parents in this situation had sued the government to have children declared US citizens. In most of those cases, the parents won, leading to the desire to simply change the policy.

But the change won’t just be a benefit to homosexual couples. Many heterosexual couples go overseas for reproductive technology procedures, whether because of cost or to find surrogates. Now, if the child happens to be born in whichever country the couple seeks such services, the couple will have no issue with citizenship for their child.

The previous policy was so ill-conceived, that in one case, twin boys had opposite citizenship rulings, with one being granted citizenship in the US, and the other being denied. A court ruled that the denied child was in fact a citizen, given that his parents were married at birth.

At least one parent, under the new rule, must have a genetic relationship to the child. The parents still must be married.

Contact the Palm Beach County immigration attorneys at Devore Law Group today to help you understand the immigration process and to help with an immigration problems that you may have.




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