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Immigration Law Blog


Immigration Policy: Non-Genetic Mothers Acknowledged

Great immigration policy news: Non-genetic mothers are finally getting the legal status they deserve.  On October 28, 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security expanded how they define “Mother” and “Parent” to also include mothers who used Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).  The previous policy, which had required that children have a genetic relationship with their U.S. Citizen parent in order to receive citizenship at birth or gain any form of immigration benefit, has finally been made inclusive and shows that “mother” or “parent” is not simply a matter of genetics.

The new policy (PA-2014-009) is a game-changer for a mother who, while not genetically related to her child (pregnancy via an egg donor, for instance), has given birth to a child and is the legal mother.  Under the revised Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), she would be granted the same legal status as a genetic legal mother.

Now, USCIS and the Department of State (DOS) have decided that “mother” and “parent” includes any mother who:

  • Gave birth to the child, and
  • Was the child’s legal mother at the time of birth under the law of relevant jurisdiction.

Now, a mother who meets this definition, without genetic ties to her child will be granted the right to:

  • Petition for her child based on their relationship
  • Be eligible to have her child petition for her based on their relationship
  • 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.

Acknowledging that “mother” and “parent” means more than genetic link to a child is an impressive step in the right direction.  If you are a parent seeking citizenship for your child, contact the Delgado Law Group today.

  • 18 Nov, 2014
  • Jackie Delgado
  • Citizenship, Genetic Mothers, Immigration, Parents, USCIS,

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