USCIS Declares ‘Mother’ and ‘Parent’ No Longer Requires Genetic Relationship

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new policy on Oct. 28, 2014, that has altered the definitions of “mother” and “parent” so that gestational mothers using assisted reproductive technology (ART) may be able to transfer their U.S. citizenship to their children. An example of such ART would be a woman who became pregnant through an egg donor. Previously, a genetic relationship with a U.S. citizen parent was required in order for a child born abroad to acquire citizenship at birth through his or her parent.

Presently, as long as a mother both gives birth to a child and is the child’s legal mother at the time of birth under the law of her relevant jurisdiction, any mother who does not have a genetic relationship with her child will:
• Be able to petition for her child based on their relationship;
• Be eligible to have her child petition for her based on their relationship; and
• Be able to transmit U.S. citizenship to her child, if she is a U.S. citizen and all other pertinent citizenship requirements are met.

As reproductive technology rapidly develops and becomes increasingly globalized, it is more and more common for U.S. citizens to travel to foreign nations to receive ART procedures using foreign embryos. With the issuance of this new policy, these mothers are now able to give birth in foreign nations and still be able to transfer U.S. citizenship to their newborns.

Berardi Immigration Law is happy to assist you with any of your family-based immigration needs. Please call or email us today to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys!

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