The US has amended a law that previously denied citizenship to children born via surrogacy
The State Department has confirmed it will now grant citizenship to any children born abroad to same-sex or heterosexual couples via IVF, surrogacy, or other assisted reproductive technologies.
The new policy obliges the children to be born to at least one parent being a US citizen and that the couple is legally married. The child must also have biological ties to at least one child.
According to npr.com, the new guidelines reverse a long-standing rule that considered children born outside of the US to a surrogate to be born what is termed as out-of-wedlock even if the parents were married
Same-sex couples had to file a lawsuit to have their children declared US citizens.
This is a major step forward in reproductive and surrogacy legislation and has been approved under the Immigration and Nationality Act to ‘take into account the realities of modern families’.
In a statement, Aaron Morris, executive director of campaign rights group Immigration Equality said it was a huge day for all LGBTQ families.
He said: “This is a remarkable moment for all the LGBTQ families who fought the US State Department’s unconditional policy.
“It demonstrates that when our community is united and relentlessly pushes back against discrimination, we win. We have once again affirmed that it is not biology but love that makes a family.”
Several cases have been pursued through the courts in recent months, including that of Allison Blixt and Stefania Zaccari, who were in the middle of a lawsuit after the State Department for denying birthright citizenship to their son, Lucas.
The couple was not just fighting to have Lucas recognised as a US citizen but also their marriage in the eyes of the State Department, something that has now been achieved due to the changes made to the guidelines.
Allison said: “We are relieved and thankful that our fight for our family to be recognised by the government has finally ended.
“We knew we would succeed eventually, as trailblazers before us fought and won marriage equality. Our marriage is finally recognised and treated equally. Lucas, who made me a mother, will finally be treated as my son and recognised as American, as his brother always has been.”
To find out more about Immigration Equality and the work they do, click here.