A recent announcement from the U.S. State Department is cause for celebration for many parents and parents-to-be. Under a new policy, children born outside of the U.S. to married, American parents, when the children are born through assisted reproductive means like in vitro fertilization and surrogacy, will now be considered U.S. citizens. At least one of the parents must be a U.S. citizen, the couple must be married to each other, and the child must have a biological tie to at least one of the parents, in order to receive automatic citizenship under the new policy.
Under the previous standards, children born via surrogacy outside the country were considered to be born out of wedlock, even when the child’s parents were married to each other. The requirement that at least one parent be genetically-related to the child is not new, however. Several same-sex parents had filed suit against the State Department, asking for citizenship for their children born via surrogacy abroad. As we shared in a previous blog post, the Trump Administration’s State Department ultimately dropped their appeals of court rulings favoring same-sex couples, awarding their children U.S. citizenship.
This policy change is a win for any married couple wanting to work with a surrogate outside the U.S. to start or add to their families, but particularly so for LGBTQ+ families, against whom the previous policy seemed to discriminate.
NPR reports that Aaron Morris, the Executive Director of Immigration Equality, an LGBTQ immigration-rights organization, summed up the ruling as affirming their organization’s efforts to overturn the unconstitutional policy, saying “It demonstrates that when our community is united and relentlessly pushes back against discrimination, we win. We have once again affirmed that it is not biology but love that makes a family.”
To learn how working with The Surrogacy Law Center can help protect your legal rights throughout the surrogacy journey, contact us today!