USCIS expands definition of "mother" and "father" for immigration proceedings

Immigration law provides that parents may petition for their children, just as children may file petitions to provide their parents with legal status.

These family petitions have always depended on a series of requirements, based on the established definition of mother and father - whether biological or adoptive.

But now the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new policy (PA-2014-009) to clarify the definition of "mother" and "father" under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), expanding who is considered a parent.

The new policy includes "gestational mothers"The immigration law definition of "mother" includes women who become pregnant through assisted reproductive technologies (such as in vitro fertilization), even if they are not genetic mothers.

In expanding the definition, the term "mother" and "father" under the INA includes any mother who:

* She gave birth to the child, and
* She was the legal mother of the child at the time it was born, under the law of the relevant jurisdiction.

What does this mean?

Under this new policy, a gestational mother who does not have a genetic relationship with her child (for example, if she became pregnant through an egg donor) will be able to:

* Soliciting your child on the basis of your relationship as a mother
* Be eligible for her child to petition her based on her relationship as a parent
* Convey U.S. citizenship to your child, if she is a U.S. citizen and all other relevant requirements for citizenship are met.

USCIS will update the Adjudicator Field Manual and web pages to reflect this change.

For more information, you can visit the USCIS website by clicking here. here.