The Biden administration recently expanded the eligibility of certain children born overseas through assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART is used to treat infertility and conceive children through various techniques such as surrogacy or in vitro fertilization. Until this new policy change, the US could deny citizenship to children conceived through ART and born abroad, even if one of the parents was a U.S. citizen.
Immigration law has always provided that, under certain circumstances, U.S. citizens could transmit citizenship to their children born outside of the US. However, the USCIS criteria limited this derivative citizenship to a child whose genetic parents (or the legal gestational parent and one of the genetic parents) were married to one another at the time of birth. It also defined “child” as the genetic, adopted, or gestational child of a U.S. citizen parent. This policy excluded parents who did not meet this narrow criteria but were legally the only parents of a child born through ART.
With the USCIS policy update, now even allow a non-genetic, non-gestational legal parent of a child to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child if the parent is married to the child’s genetic or gestational parent at the time of the child’s birth, and the relevant jurisdiction recognizes both parents as the child’s legal parents. Children who actually meet the updated requirements but have previously been denied citizenship can file a motion for reconsideration on the prior decision made.
Resources: USCIS Policy Manual
USCIS policy update regarding ART
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