By Steve Snyder, executive director of IARC
Intended parents who wish to have children through third-party reproduction, but face highly restrictive and conflicting laws and regulations in their home countries, are increasingly crossing international borders to have their genetic children abroad.
Although the world is getting smaller and international borders are becoming more and more blurred, conflict among nations is developing over the nationality and citizenship of children born via international surrogacy arrangements. Intended parents must be aware of the complications that can arise when crossing borders for third-party reproduction.
This new prevalence of international reproduction cases has led to numerous unintended consequences that arise from conflicting international parentage and immigration laws. Before intended parents from the U.S. decide to go abroad for third-party reproduction, it is important to explore the laws in both the U.S. and in the country where the child will be born surrounding establishing legal parentage, acquiring desired citizenship, and obtaining a birth certificate and passport (for more information, visit the U.S. Department of State website).
Establishing Legal Parentage
Countries have different rules regarding the local parentage of children born through third-party reproduction. For example, a child born via surrogacy in the U.S. has U.S. citizenship based on birth in the U.S. Whether the child has the dual citizenship of his or her genetic or intended parents varies from country to country. A child born via surrogacy in India does not have Indian citizenship. Whether he or she has the citizenship of the genetic or intended parents again varies depending on the parent’s home country. Such issues and variations can cause disconnects between intended parentage and citizenship and actual parentage and citizenship that may prevent the child from returning to the parent’s home country or obtaining the parents’ citizenship. This is often profoundly affected by whether the genetic components that are used are the intended parents’ or a donor’s.