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USCIS Expands the Definition of “Mother” and “Parent” to Include Gestational Mothers Using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

USCIS issued a new policy (PA-2014-009) clarifying the definition of “mother” and “parent” under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to include gestational mothers using assisted reproductive technology regardless of whether they are the genetic mothers. USCIS and the Department of State (DOS), who exercise authority over these issues, collaborated in the development of this policy. USCIS and DOS concluded that the term “mother” and “parent” under the INA includes any mother who:

  • Gave birth to the child, and
  • Was the child’s legal mother at the time of birth under the law of the relevant jurisdiction.

Under this new policy, a mother who meets this definition but does not have a genetic relationship with her child (for example, she became pregnant through an egg donor) will:

  • Be able to petition for her child based on their relationship
  • Be eligible to have her child petition for her based on their relationship
  • Be able to transmit U.S. citizenship to her child, if she is a U.S. citizen and all other pertinent citizenship requirements are met.

We have updated our policy manual, Adjudicator’s Field Manual, and Web pages to reflect this change. For more information, please visit our website at www.uscis.gov.


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