U.S. Immigration Policy FINALLY Catches Up with Assisted Reproductive Technology

As reported in the National Law Review, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has just issued a new policy, clarifying the definition of “mother” and “parent” under the Immigration and Nationality Act, to include a gestational mother who (a) gave birth to the child and (b) was the child’s legal mother at the time of birth under the law of the jurisdiction where the child was born.

This development is a huge relief to those parents whose children, whether via a gestational carrier or an egg or sperm donor, are born overseas. No longer will they have to be concerned about being denied US citizenship for their children as was done in the past, despite the parents being US citizens themselves.

In fact, the article continues to explain the hardship previously dealt with by these parents:

U.S. law requires a U.S. citizen parent to have a biological connection to a child in order to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child at birth. In the context of ART, a father or mother must prove that they are the genetic parent of the child. This can be proved by DNA testing after the baby is born. The new policy expands the definition of “mother” to include a gestational and legal mother of the child at the time and place of the child’s birth (in addition to a genetic mother).

Until this policy was put in place, occasionally children born abroad pursuant to ART became stateless. This is because some foreign fertility clinics have on occasion substituted alternate donor sperm and eggs for the U.S. parents’ genetic material, either purposefully when the U.S. citizen’s genetic material became non-viable, or accidentally, due to errors in the lab. Tragically, sometimes the parents did not learn about these “switches” until they obtained DNA test results after the child’s birth.




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Goodbye Thailand & India – Mexico is the New Surrogacy Hotspot?

Goodbye Thailand & India – Mexico is the New Surrogacy Hotspot?

With the options for Intended Parents dwindling in Thailand and India and the cost in the US too high for many, Mexico is stepping into the void. With its beautiful weather and lax laws, specifically in Tabasco where altruistic gestational surrogacy has been legal since 1998, parents are now venturing to our southern neighbor.

Unfortunately, the laws in Mexico are not as strict as they are here in the State of California. And, according to articles in both the Guardian and Bioedge, these lack of laws and regulations make this area ripe for fraud and deception. So, what is one to do? Well, honestly, no one should ever want to create their family in a legal grey area where there is so much to risk. However, by doing your homework and meeting with a reproductive lawyer specializing in this unique area of law – and Mexico, you can work together to decrease your chances of risking it all when creating your family.


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Hawaii IVF Coverage on the Forefront with Legislators

Well, it is about time – maybe California and the rest of the country should step up and follow Hawaii’s recent legislative amendment filed earlier this year?

While recognizing that infertility is indeed a disability, legislators have set forth new legislation that provides greater coverage for women who have been diagnosed with infertility, while also removing many limiting requirements listed in a previous law. Although Hawaii has been providing IVF coverage for 1 cycle since 1987, the result has limited many from utilizing it by requiring such items as a five, yes a five-year, wait. Legislators apparently realized that this long wait does not help anyone; in fact, a five-year wait can be a death sentence to a woman’s fertility.

Here is the proposed purpose behind the Act itself:

“The purpose of this Act is to provide in vitro fertilization insurance coverage equality for women who are diagnosed with infertility by requiring non-discriminatory coverage and ensuring quality of care in the diagnosis and

treatment of infertility.”


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