US Changes Policy Nixing Citizenship To Some Babies Born Abroad To Same-Sex Parents

US Changes Policy Nixing Citizenship To Some Babies Born Abroad To Same-Sex Parents department of state sign outside building (Dreamstime)

By Fran Beyer | Thursday, 20 May 2021 12:15 PM

The State Department is now granting U.S. citizenship to babies born abroad to married couples, no matter which parent is biologically related to the child — even if that parent isn’t a U.S. citizen.

In a statement Tuesday, the Department of State said it was changing the interpretation of Section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which outlines requirements for U.S. citizenship at birth.

"Children born abroad to parents, at least one of whom is a U.S. citizen and who are married to each other at the time of the birth, will be U.S. citizens from birth if they have a genetic or gestational tie to at least one of their parents and meet the INA’s other requirements," the statement said.

"This updated interpretation and application of the INA takes into account the realities of modern families and advances in [advanced reproductive technology] from when the Act was enacted in 1952," the statement added.

"We remain vigilant to the risks of citizenship fraud, exploitation, and abuse," the department statement said. "As with all citizenship and immigration benefits we examine, the Department will implement this policy in a manner that addresses these concerns."

The requirement for a biological connection to a U.S. citizen remains in place for unmarried parents.

The policy change was seen as a victory for same-sex couples, some of whom had sued the U.S. government.

"This is a remarkable moment for all the LGBTQ families who fought the U.S. State Department’s unconstitutional policy," Immigration Equality Executive Director Aaron Morris told The Epoch Times.

Allison Blixt, who is American, and Stefania Zaccari, who is Italian, had sued the State Department after their older son, Lucas, was denied citizenship. The baby was conceived and carried to birth by Zaccari, while his younger brother, who was conceived and carried by his American mom, was given U.S. citizenship when he was born, the New York Times reported.

"We are relieved and thankful that our fight for our family to be recognized by the government has finally ended," Blixt said on Tuesday in a statement released by Immigration Equality, which was advocating on behalf of same-sex families., the Times reported.

"Lucas, who made me a mother, will finally be treated as my son and recognized as American, as his brother always has been."

The conservative Center for Immigration Studies said the policy, however, is worrying.

"This simply provides another wrinkle for the marriage fraud problem," Jon Feere, director of investigations for CIS told The Epoch Times.

"In theory, it could have U.S. citizens offering to marry foreign nationals for a sum of cash and, in exchange, that foreign national adds a U.S. passport holder to their family," he added.

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