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New U.S. Citizenship Rules

HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 12, 2014



New U.S. Citizenship Rules
U.S. Citizenship

The United States is finally catching up with surrogacy, at least in some respects. The U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finally revised its policy under the Immigration and Nationality Act for the U. S. citizenship of children born outside the U. S. The policy expands the definitions of “mother” and “parent” to include a person who has no genetic relationship to the child but is nevertheless the legal parent. The definitions were necessarily expanded to include women who use assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as achieving pregnancy with the assistance of an egg donor. The policy is found here: http://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-parents

The revised policy was formulated through the collaboration of the USCIS and the Department of State to include any mother who gave birth to the child and was the child’s legal mother at the time of birth under the law of the relevant jurisdiction.

Under this new policy, the mother may: petition for the child’s U. S. citizenship, based on the mother-child relationship; be eligible for the child to petition for the mother, based on their mother-child relationship; transmit U. S. citizenship to the child, if the mother is a U. S. citizen and all other applicable citizenship requirements are met.

The new policy has its detractors, of course. Some believe that the new policy allows the surrogate industry to sell U. S. citizenship to foreign parents who never enter the United States, then pocket the profits from finagling access to our welfare system, education, health and retirement benefits. Others believe that U. S. surrogate mothers may demand higher fees from foreign parents because the babies will be U. S. citizens. Still others believe the law is unnecessary.

The new policy acknowledges the reality of modern assisted reproductive technology, which has and will be used by tens (or hundreds?) of thousands of U. S. citizens. It was published in late October 2014 and I have not seen pro-ART reactions to the new policy; however, I anticipate applause by the surrogacy industry and ART-assisted parents & children.

By Kathy Catanzarite


Source: Kathy Catanzarite - Handelonthelaw.com Staff Writer

Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.





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