The State Department said on Tuesday that it would grant U.S. citizenship to children born abroad who had at least one American parent, regardless of which parent was biologically related to the child. The new rules mean that couples using reproductive assistance such as IVF, surrogacy and Sperm donations can have children with the knowledge that they can pass along their citizenship.
While the State Department wouldn’t provide estimates of the number of people this would affect, many lawsuits brought against the department during the Trump Administration could be dropped in light of the new policy. Previously, a 1950 immigration law meant that children born abroad had to have a biological link to at least one American parent – something which has been under increasing scrutiny in recent years. The agency has recently lost a number of federal cases where the judge had sided with the families in question, though the law has remained in place until now.
As we approach #PrideMonth in June, the decision marks an important victory for married LGBTQI couples from America and abroad. The department confirmed that the rule is retrospective, so children previously denied can now gain citizenship – however that the new rules will not apply to unmarried couples. They said that the ‘new guidelines take into account advances in assisted reproductive technology and “the realities of modern families.”’
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