Ask the Surrogacy Experts

Did you read the recent article in the New York Times about the new policy by the Trump administration regarding gay couples having surrogacy with an egg donor overseas? We are very concerned that we won’t be able to get citizenship for our baby and return home to the US. Is a program in Colombia or Kiev still safe?
— Paul and Miguel

 

Good morning Paul. You don’t need to worry.

I’m not a supporter of Donald Trump, but in this case the existing policy is being sensationalized and made to seem like an insurmountable barrier, when in reality hundreds of couples have been successfully navigating this policy for years.

I read with great interest several excellent articles about the troubles international couples were facing getting American citizenship for their baby born overseas, including this one in the New York Times.  I appreciate the storytelling, but in this case the hype around these stories is misleading. 

I have been a professional Surrogacy Consultant for nearly 7 years, ever since my husband and I had our two children born via surrogacy in India. I’ve worked with dozens of couples to bring their foreign-born babies home to the US.  I have both personal and professional experience in the immigration process that the couples in the NYT article now confront.

The State Department policy described in the article is not new — and far from insurmountable.  I am American but my husband in Spanish.  We were legally married in Spain when we decided to start a family.  When our first child was born (my genetic child) we took him to the US consulate in Mumbai where he was quickly granted US citizenship.  But we applied for Spanish citizenship for our second child because it was well known that the child with no genetic link to a US citizen was not eligible for US citizenship.

That was nearly 7 years ago.  Frankly, it was never a question that a baby with no genetic link to a US citizen should be eligible for US citizenship. We were advised (and we never doubted) that our children would have different paths home.  We brought our second baby home with a Spanish passport and lived as a family without incident.  My husband has since adopted my son, and we are now applying for his citizenship by virtue of our legal marriage.

The reports about the various LGBT couples are not uncovering a new policy.  The rules described in the article have been the usual method of bringing children into the US for as long as I can remember.

I would advise couples considering starting a family not to rely on the popular media for the specifics of immigration law.  Every surrogacy journey should start with a conversation with a qualified family lawyer, plus an immigration lawyer in the case of overseas surrogacy. 

I hope this is helpful.
— Bill

 

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