Fertility Treatment & Expanded Immigration Benefits

Doreen A. Emenike's Citizenship Legal Blogs

Licensed for 25 years

Attorney in Monrovia, CA

Families that use assisted reproductive technology such as in-vitro fertilization, foreign surrogates or other forms of technology to start their families can now pass on their family based immigration benefits, including citizenship, more easily to their children.

Families that use assisted reproductive technology such as in-vitro fertilization, foreign surrogates or other forms of technology to start their families can now pass on their family based immigration benefits, including citizenship, more easily to their children.


This is because the USCIS updated policy ( rel=”nofollow” >PA-2014-009) expanding the definition of “mother” and ‘parent’ under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) includes gestational mothers using assisted reproductive technology whether or not they are the genetic mothers. USCIS says that the term “mother” and “parent” under the INA it 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 the relevant jurisdiction?


Under this policy, a mother who meets this definition but does not have a genetic relationship with her child (for example, she became pregnant through an egg donor) 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
  • 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.


Overall, this is a positive step for it shows that the immigration service is adapting to our society’s changing needs and serving more Americans including those using newer and non-traditional ways to have children. 

Notes: This information is of a general nature and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult your attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.
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