Children born through surrogacy outside of the United States to same-sex couples now have a clearer path to obtaining U.S. citizenship thanks to a new policy issued by the State Department in May. This new policy makes the process easier for same-sex couples in California to claim citizenship for their child, even if the child is biologically related to the parent who is not an American citizen.
Same-sex couples previously had disadvantages
The previous policy made it difficult for same-sex couples to obtain legal immigration status. Because of the maze of immigration laws that judges previously had to wade through, some judges denied citizenship to children born outside of the United States. Children were denied citizenship because of rulings that a baby carried by a surrogate was born out of wedlock, and one boy could not receive citizenship because his genetic material came from the parent who was not a U.S. citizen.
How the new policy changes matters
Section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act lays out specific rules for children conceived overseas through assisted reproductive technology. The new policy virtually eliminates problematic rulings by judges opposed to gay marriage who would declare the children conceived of such unions illegitimate, thereby barring the path to citizenship. The ruling will help same-sex couples who previously hesitated over conceiving children because they feared they wouldn’t be able to bring them legally into the United States.
Make sure you meet the requirements
If you and your spouse want to conceive a child overseas, make sure that you are legally married in the United States. This step is essential in your child’s path to citizenship.
The contemporary definitions of parenthood and marriage have changed. The laws are sometimes slower to catch up, but the new policy is good news for parents who want their children to be U.S. citizens.