I frequently get questions regarding the citizenship status of a child born to a surrogate mother abroad. That is, if the child has US parents, but the mother is from another country will the baby born in another country have US citizenship at birth?
The answer is yes, generally. If the surrogate mother is a non-US citizen, the US state Department looks at the biological connection between the baby and the non-surrogate parents. That is, the parents that conceived the baby with egg and seed. Only then can you get a CRBA or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of an American Citizen. Also at the end of this post I have a good resource to follow through with so read everything to know the facts and the law.
The biological connection of the parents determine citizenship of the baby
It is all about the connection and genetic line.
However, a big qualifier is the United States State department looks at each case on a case by case basis. Further, if you are unsure talk to an immigration lawyer or someone who specializes in Surrogate mother. However, the general rule is the blood connection between the baby and the parents.
- DNA testing will be the fastest way to determine the citizenship of the child.
- Jus sanguinis – applies to most European countries but the USA has an allowance for babies born abroad.
- Jus soli – would apply if the child was born on US soil.
The reason the genetic test is so important is fertility clinics switch genetic material when convention is not viable and often people do not know about it and it is not reported on any documents.
However, this also begs another question. Can the child born in lets say Europe or South America for example, acquire the citizenship of the country they were born to a surrogate mother? Generally no. However, if the surrogate mother were to put her name on the paper as the mother in the foreign country and not mention surrogate then in theory yes as they government agencies would assume that is the birth mother.
- Obtaining dual citizenship would complicate the issues of citizenship for the genetic mother-child relationship. Therefore I do not recommend it. I would say if someone was clever they could do it, but I question the legality of it.
Is DNA testing required in the case of a surrogate baby? Not always, if the official paperwork is in place and the US State department can base the case off of official paperwork, but I would say universally a DNA case is needed.
What if the child can not get confirmed a citizen? The birth parents could adopt the child and bring it into the USA with a more complicated process. But I can not imagine a case that would be the case. The first goal is to get the child confirmed as an US citizen, this is different from applying for naturalization. Remember the citizen parent has to fulfill the normal requirements of Consular Report of Birth Abroad of an American Citizen, which including living in he USA a certain number of years. Further, there are requires for both father and mother that are subtly different in cases of citizenship and wedlock factors.
Does the above mentioned rule apply to other countries as well in case of citizenship and surrogate parents? Although this is new ground for the legal system, cases are being established were the above mentioned procedure, that is a case by case look at the biological connection is the general rule in most countries arround the world.
Do I personally feel surrogate births are ethical? I believe all life is sacred and how can any baby be a wrong? I believe that parents who do this for fertility reasons have a real desire to have children. However, adoption can also be a consideration. As a catholic maybe I should be more opposed to it, but I love being a parent and parenthood and do not want to deny someone who, you decide but ask me if you have moral issues.
Why an international surrogate mother?
- If you are looking for a surrogate I recommend a surrogate from another country because the pay or compensation is less (money and economics is a reality we are restrained by).
- The mothers living in another country are often living in a clean air more natural environment away from WiFi and electromagnetic fields and impurities in the diet.
- I would choose the environment as the number one factor, a good diet, natural and rich in DHA and or supplements as prescribe by a doctor.
Further resources about International surrogacy and citizenship of the baby
Ask me any questions you are unclear on the relationship, pregnancy, artificial insemination or arrangement.