American citizenship for in-vitro children

Michele - posted on 04/17/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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An American woman living in Israel gave birth to twins conceived with a donor egg and sperm. The US State Department will not give them citizenship because it can't be proved that either the egg or sperm donor were American citizens even though they were actually borne by an American. Should the twins have citizenship? The article is not clear whether they have Israeli citizenship.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/47073090/n...

She could come back to live in the US for 6 months and fill out paperwork to gain citizenship for them, so my feeling is that she should do that. Should the laws be changed? Maybe, but there should be some guards against fraud.

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Mrs. - posted on 04/18/2012

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Whelp, I squatted out a kid in Canada (it's a saying BTW and wasn't directed at you...just in general) and I'm a proud American, even though I live abroad. It is harder, IMO, to be proud of being American when you live abroad...I'm not proud of the politics or all of its citizens, but I love the hard working legacy I come from. I chose to have my kid abroad because I fell in love with a Canadian...it happens, they are pretty awesome people! My husband and I wanted to be in a hospital and a city where health care for my child and pregnancy was taken care of. How could anyone, who had the choice to give birth for free (you have a Canadian "green card") or paying up the who-ha for taking a baby out of the who-ha, not want to do that?

Of course, I want my daughter to have what I have, the ability to live and work in both countries. Frankly, because her father is Canadian and I'm American, I don't see what would be confusing about wanting your child to 'officially' be from both countries and carry those two passports.

I guess my question is to you, America, why wouldn't people want to have kids in another country and want them to as American as they are? I'd love to hear your reasoning as to why they shouldn't....you know as a proud American.

Sylvia - posted on 04/18/2012

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Lots and lots of Americans spend time living and working in countries outside the US. Some of them formally immigrate to those countries and even become citizens, in some cases losing their US citizenship (usually because the US requires that rather than because hte other country does, but there are exceptions). But many are overseas (or just over the border) temporarily -- on sabbatical, on a work assignment, working at a US Embassy or Consulate, posted to a military base overseas, doing missionary work, teaching English overseas, studying at a university, whatever, or accompanying a spouse who's doing one of the above -- and inevitably some of those people are going to have babies, because having babies is a thing people do. (Also, yeah, people go on vacation and they go on business trips, and hey, early labour happens.) And those people, since they still maintain ties to the US and will likely go back to live there at some point, tend to want their kids to have US citizenship. So the law has for a very long time (maybe always?) allowed US citizens to apply for US citizenship for their children born abroad. I'm not sure why this is a difficult concept to understand.

I thought about this some more overnight, and now I just think the State Department is being stupid. I mean, what do they care? And also, someone there should maybe have thought of the fact that if this woman hadn't told them the babies were donor-conceived, they would have had no way of knowing -- they're penalizing her for being honest, which I wouldn't think is a message you want your ministry of immigration & citizenship to send :/

Michele - posted on 04/18/2012

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My husband's family spent many of growing up years in Canada. His parents are American and he was born in America, so he is a US citizen. His father is in the oil business and he was tranferred to Calgary so they became landed immigrants (and later dual citizens). Hubby's youngest sister was born in Canada to US parents so she is a dual citizen. I don't think her children are dual citizens, though.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/18/2012

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Well sometimes people go on vacation, yes, even when they are almost ready to burst with a baby.

My mother was one of them. Luckily enough she was still within Canada (I am not sure of the rules here, if you are out of Country and have your baby) but she did end up having me in a city that she had never been before, until she landed from the plane and found herself in labour. ;) Nowadays, I don't think they will allow you on a plane by a certain pregnancy point but 36 years ago, they did. I can see how easily having a baby in a different Country can happen.

America3437 - posted on 04/18/2012

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First off I didn't just "squat out a kid"! I am an American citizen and really don't understand why someone who chooses to have their kids in another country should be allowed to claim them as us citizens. If America wasn't good enough to have your kids in then why is it good enough for them to be citizens? Just wondered.

Mrs. - posted on 04/18/2012

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I'm an American living abroad. My daughter is entitled to a US cit, but only if I lived in the States, I think it is like two years past my 15th birthday. There are a lot of "only ifs" when it comes to getting your non-American born little one their passport, even if one parent is a citizen.

I am lucky, I did spend years in the states after my 15th birthday, but I still have to prove it with paperwork and do all her paperwork too. It is on my important things to do list that is never ending since she was born. I want to hurry it along as well, because I'm worried about all this anti-immigrant talk and anchor baby stuff.

And to the last poster, children of American citizens are entitled, by US law, to a try at citizenship if they meet the qualifications. If you squatted out a kid while in Toronto and wanted to bring that kid back with you from vacation....would you just say keep it Canadian and that's it?

America3437 - posted on 04/18/2012

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If these children weren't born here then why should they receive american citizenship?

Tracey - posted on 04/18/2012

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What would have happened if she had gone back to USA and given birth there? Would they automatically have got citizenship?

Stifler's - posted on 04/17/2012

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The law is so fucking stupid. What's it got to do with the donor he's not the nurturing parent and what if she was raped and didn't know who the dad even was?! But kids who were conceived normally can be US citizens? Stupid.

Sylvia - posted on 04/17/2012

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Going to play devil's advocate here -- they're HER KIDS, she gave birth to them, so if the law says you can register kids born abroad to a US citizen as US citizens, what the heck difference does it make whose DNA they have? When has that ever been called into question before? IMO this is so much a question of the mom not obeying the rules as a question of the State Dept moving the goalposts.

Also, returning to the US for 6 months is maybe not so easy! (Single-parenting twins for 6 months in a country where you may not have a support network anymore? Sure, sign me right up LOL.) My family is going through this right now -- my stepdad is trying to get landed immigrant status after being married to my mom for like 15 years (it's complicated...) and part of the process was leaving Canada to go live somewhere else for 6 months, which was not easy. If he hadn't had family members in Germany and Romania who could put him up for several months at a time, it would also have been super expensive.

OTOH, I'm with you guys on not getting why it's so vital that the babies have US citizenship, unless the parents haven't actually made aliyah and are planning to return to the US at some point, in which case presumably they have relatives there who could put them up -- although again, not everyone is going to say "Sure, no problem, I'll provide free acommodation to you and your two small babies for 6 months!" I'm a dual because my parents registered me as a US citizen born abroad (in Canada, in my case), but apart from the fact that I can vote in US elections and have to fill out a #($*$#@ US tax return every year :P, I wouldn't say it's particularly improved my life -- I'd just as soon be a plain old Canadian citizen like DH and DD.

So I guess I'm kinda torn. But I definitely don't see this as fraud -- it's just two different understandings of what "born to a US citizen" actually means.

Kelina - posted on 04/17/2012

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Ya i don't see why she wants them to have american citizenship so bad. She's living in israel, why do they need the american citizenship? And if she wants it so bad, why doesn't she go live in the states for 6 months and deal with the paperwork? I think it's dumb that they don't, whether their biological mother and father were american or not, she's still considered their mother is she not? Because those parents have no rights over those children. I just don't think she should be grumbling now about them not being citizens when she should have done her research while she was thinking about trying to conceive using in vitro rather than realizing after the girls were born.

[deleted account]

Why is it so important to her that they be US citizens if she isn't even willing to spend 6 months in the US to have them gain their citizenship? Doesn't make any sense to me. It seems like she is trying to claim all the benefits of living in Israel (free fertility treatments) while trying to double-dip on the benefits of being a US citizen too. Sometimes you can't have it both ways.



If the kids were born in the US, it wouldn't have even have been an issue.

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