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Mother” and “Parent” to Include Gestational Mothers Using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

On October 28, 2014, USCIS  announced that the agency will be updating its Policy Manual and its Adjudicator’s Field Manual (commonly referred to as the AFM) in order to provide the public with guidance related to the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology.

Specifically, in its new guidance, USCIS clarifies that the definition of “mother” and “parent” that is provided in the Immigration and Nationality Act will now include gestational mothers using assisted reproductive technology regardless of whether the gestation mothers are medically considered genetic mothers.

This policy change will likely expand the immigration opportunities available to families since previous policy required a genetic relationship between the child and U.S. citizen parent to exist in order for the child to acquire immigration benefits.