Managing the surrogacy citizenship and child passport issues!
Assume you have recently completed a surrogacy program in your preferred surrogacy location and are now returning to your home country with the surrogacy baby. But wait, you forgot to consider all of the rules regarding surrogacy babies’ citizenship and passports. As a result, you may find yourself running from pillar to post in order to obtain citizenship and a passport for your surrogate child.
We at Become Parents understand how stressful the surrogacy process can be at times. So, to make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of all the rules and regulations pertaining to your surrogacy baby’s citizenship and passport.
Surrogacy and Immigration
Every country has its own set of rules and regulations regarding surrogacy. As a result, you may need to contact the embassy to obtain a detailed procedure in this regard. Furthermore, the intended parents may be required to provide certain documents at the embassy’s request.
While doing so, the intended parents have the option of contacting the embassy directly or simply connecting with a local lawyer to help them navigate the entire process smoothly. To proceed with the rest of the process, they must first:
1. Getting the child registered in your home country as a citizen of descent.
To do so, the intended parents must first demonstrate their own citizenship as well as the child’s biological connection to them. The process may also necessitate a DNA test along with all of the necessary documentation and may take 1 or 2 weeks to complete (due to DNA tests and embassy processing time).
To confirm that the child was born through surrogacy, the intended parents must also provide a local birth certificate as well as supporting documents such as hospital records, IVF treatment reports, and a medical assessment.
2. Prove that the legal mother has given you permission to leave the country with the child.
The intended parents must then demonstrate that the surrogacy child’s legal mother (surrogate mother) has waived her parental rights and allowed the intended parents to return to their home country, apply for changed citizenship, and have the intended mother file for legal adoption.
There is a possibility that the embassy will require court-ordered custody or parentage decree from the intended parent. In such cases, the procedure may take considerably longer than a simple affidavit.
As part of your surrogacy agreement, the surrogate may also expressly renounce her parental rights and recognize you as the child’s sole legal parent. Although this is frequently sufficient, the surrogacy agency you are working with should be prepared to provide any additional documentation requested by your embassy.
3. Submitting the passport application
Most countries’ processes take two to three weeks but can be accelerated upon request. The child’s parents must apply for the child’s passport, though your agent can help you with the paperwork.
4. Obtaining a parental order to terminate the surrogate’s parental rights to the child.
It is entirely dependent on the surrogacy laws of the country in which the surrogacy arrangement is carried out. In some countries, such as Kenya, the intended parents are considered the legal parents of the child from the moment the child is born.
In other countries, the intended parents must apply for a parental order before proceeding with the legal adoption process. However, once the intended parents arrive in their home country, they must file for the same (depending on local laws), which can take several months.
Intended parents should also be aware that this procedure may not be possible in countries where the adoption of children born through same-sex surrogacy is prohibited.
The majority of countries that recognize and regulate altruistic surrogacy have a legal framework in place that allows the surrogate to relinquish parental rights and transfer parental responsibility to the intended parents. In the United Kingdom and Australia, for example, a parentage transfer must be completed after your departure. Furthermore, as part of the procedure, a local attorney will be required to file the petition with your regional courts.
Intended parents should also be aware that the basic citizenship procedure is the same at every consulate of a specific nation. On the other hand, the consulate in the foreign country adheres to the basic conditions and legality established at the federal level of the home country.
Local Consul Generals, on the other hand, are frequently given some leeway in interpreting directives issued by their home government. As a result, the exact requirements for surrogacy petitions may differ slightly from consulate to consulate. It is usually best to contact your foreign embassy right away and inquire about the requirements for obtaining a passport and citizenship for your surrogate child.
Taking the aforementioned criteria and elements into account, we can conclude that surrogacy citizenship can be easily granted to the surrogate child; provided the surrogacy laws of the intended parents’ home country are flexible and supportive enough.
On the other hand, if the home country’s surrogacy laws are not supportive and require a list of legal obligations from the intended parents, the same process could take months.
We have compiled a brief overview of surrogacy laws from some of the most popular surrogacy destinations.
Surrogacy in Kenya
Surrogacy in Kenya is unregulated. However, under Kenya’s current Family Laws, the intended parents must file a petition in court to be recognized as the legal parents of the child born through surrogacy.
Following receipt of the same request, the court directs the department of vital statistics to issue a new birth certificate naming the intended parents as the child’s legal parents. After obtaining this certificate, the intended parents can return to their home country and complete the legal procedures outlined in the preceding section of this page.
- If Kenyan parents seek surrogacy in a different country,
In countries like Kenya, where surrogacy is unregulated, anyone can proceed with the surrogacy arrangement without fear of legal repercussions. Even if you are a Kenyan parent seeking surrogacy in another country, you do not need to deal with many legal snags (given you have adhered to the surrogacy laws of that particular country).
Surrogacy in Georgia
Surrogacy in Georgia, like in Kenya, is unregulated. Nonetheless, according to Georgian law, the surrogate mother has no rights over the born child, and the intended parents are also the legal parents of the child even before its birth.
- Georgian parents interested in surrogacy in another country
The Intended Parents are typically recognized as the baby’s genetic parents by European nations, making the child eligible for citizenship immediately. The majority of countries (including Georgia) are following a recent EU High Court ruling requiring all states to recognize and provide citizenship to surrogacy children.
Intended parents can simply contact the Georgian embassy in the country where they want to pursue surrogacy. However, depending on the country, the bureaucratic procedure may take some time and may necessitate a local court decision establishing parental rights.
Surrogacy in Argentina
Argentina currently has no surrogacy laws. As a result, regardless of their sexual orientation, intended parents in Georgia can participate in a surrogacy arrangement. However, in order for the intended parents to become legal parents of the surrogate child, the surrogate mother must relinquish her rights to the born child.
To proceed in the same manner, the intended parents must file an adoption petition with the local court. They are free to return to their home country once they have gained custody of the child.
- Argentina-based intended parents seeking surrogacy in another country
Again, there are no laws or regulations governing surrogacy in Argentina. The intended parents do not need to be concerned about their legal obligations because they have followed the surrogacy laws of the country in which they are seeking surrogacy.
Surrogacy in USA
Each country has a unique process for enrolling your child, obtaining citizenship, and obtaining travel documents. Furthermore, when it comes to surrogacy in USA, the laws vary from state to state.
- A child born in the United States to foreign parents
Surrogacy is regulated at the state level in the United States. Nonetheless, every child born in the United States through surrogacy is born a citizen of the United States. You may or may not need to file for a post-birth and pre-birth order depending on your state. Following receipt of this order, the intended parents are free to return to their country of origin with the surrogacy child, subject to the submission of the necessary documents.
- US citizens seeking surrogacy in another country
In this case, you must register your child’s birth with the local embassy and obtain a passport before returning home. To obtain your child’s US passport, you must submit a DNA test, as well as paperwork from the clinic, hospital, and surrogate.
Establishing the surrogacy child’s legal parenthood!
So, who will be the legal parent of the surrogacy child is determined solely by the country of birth and the civil status of the intended parents.
If the infant is born in a country that accepts the surrogacy contract, the name of the “intended parents” is usually listed on the birth certificate, often before or shortly after the birth. As a result, the surrogate’s parental rights, if any, would be terminated, making the IPs the child’s legal parents.
In jurisdictions without surrogacy laws, the surrogate mother’s and intended father’s names are listed on the birth certificate (Kenya for example). As a result, in this case, scenario, the surrogate will have the same rights to the child as the intended father. Although the biological mother’s rights are frequently prioritized in many countries, the biological father may also have parental rights. In a nutshell, each country’s Family Law governs how parental rights are granted.)
The surrogate usually relinquishes her parental rights in the surrogacy agreement and again when the baby is born. This opens the way for the father to be granted sole parental rights to the child. However, not every country accepts the surrogate relinquishing her rights, and depending on the country, additional legal procedures may be required.
While some countries have quick “Parental Transfer” processes that take a few months to complete, others require a much longer adoption procedure to remove the surrogate mother’s legal status.
What Intended Parents Should Know About Surrogacy Citizenship Issues?
Surrogacy citizenship may appear to be a difficult task at times. However, by following a few simple guidelines and rules, you can make it easier and more convenient for yourself.
- The best way to learn how to establish legal rights for the surrogacy child within your native country is to speak with a local family lawyer in your own country. Agents may offer some advice in the country where the surrogacy is taking place, but they should not represent themselves as experts on the family law system in your country of origin.
- Obtaining a local passport for the infant and traveling home on a valid visa is frequently the first and most straightforward step in bringing your baby home. The process usually takes a few weeks, and once you return home, you must complete the process of obtaining parental rights. Even if it takes some time, you are at home and can continue to live normally with your child while the legal issues are resolved.
How can we assist?
We are a team of expert surrogacy professionals with years of experience at Become Parents. So, regardless of the country in which you seek surrogacy, our legal experts will be by your side every step of the way.
To learn more, please contact one of our coordinators!