May 18, 2021 - World

Children born abroad via surrogacy and IVF to be granted U.S. citizenship

Photo of the interior of the State Department building, which has a line of flags on the left and an open walkway
Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department will now grant U.S. citizenship to children born abroad through in vitro fertilization, surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technologies, the agency said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The Trump administration had denied citizenship to children born abroad to same-sex parents in several cases.

Context: The State Department under Trump defended a long-standing policy that categorized children born abroad via surrogate as "out of wedlock" even when a couple was married.

  • Several same-sex couples sued the agency for their children's citizenship, but the State Department continued to enforce the policy.

Driving the news: As of Tuesday, the State Department has notified all U.S. diplomatic posts to grant citizenship to children if their parents are married, among other requirements. The child must also have a genetic or gestational tie to one parent.

  • The change is retroactive, which will allow couples to reapply.

What they're saying: The new policy "is going to allow an increased number of married couples, who are using ART [assisted reproductive technology], to transmit citizenship to their children — and we are excited about that," a State Department official told ABC News, calling it a "recognition of the realities of modern family."

Go deeper