I recently read an article about a United States citizen living in Israel who gave birth to twin girls. Unfortunately, her children are not eligible to receive derivative citizenship status due to a grossly apparent inequality in U. S. citizenship regulations.

In Vitro Babies – Egg or Sperm Donor must Be U.S. Citizen

When Ellie Lavi went to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to register her children for citizenship, she was asked if she utilized a fertility clinic in order to get pregnant. She was honest and said yes, she was then quickly informed that unless she could prove that either the egg or sperm donor was a U.S. citizen that her children were not eligible.

Most people assume that children born to citizens living in another country are automatically citizens as well. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) certain requirements must be met.

Inequality in Immigration Regulations

At issue is the blatant discrepancy within citizenship rules. The INA rules indicate that there must be a biological link between the child and one parent. The State Department argues that link does not exist if In vitro is utilized. What is wrong with this? In my opinion, several things:

  1. The INA permits parents to adopt children overseas, there is no biological link between parents and adoptive children, but they are exempt from the law.
  2. Children born on U.S. soil are automatically U.S. citizens, even if their parents are not.

How is it that a woman who carries a child in her womb for 9 months cannot give the child she gives birth to citizenship? This makes no sense. I understand that the rules exist to present abuse of citizenship law; however, it is time to reconsider what is a valid claim to citizenship and what is not.

What do you think?

To read about another inequality issue in immigration law I blogged about, click here.