Bringing Baby Home: International Parents

As an international Intended Parent there are additional legalities that you’ll want to pay close attention as you’re preparing to bring your newborn home. We understand that you’re eager to get home and start your life as a family, but it is crucial to be sensitive to the documentation needed to get home responsibly.

Perhaps the most obvious and worrisome task you’ll need to tend to is the process of applying for, and being granted, a passport for your child. Without this passport you will not be able to travel home.

Of course the ultimate goal is to have your child recognized as a citizen of your home country, but a child born through surrogacy in the United States will still be born a United States citizen and can be issued a US passport. Do note that in some states it is procedural for the surrogate to need to sign the passport application.

Most of our new parents prefer to register their newborn(s) for a  United States passport as opposed to going through their country’s Embassy to obtain a foreign passport for several reasons, the most important of which is speed of processing. Additionally, applications for foreign passports filed abroad could be flagged and ultimately denied during your stateside stay, leading to a much longer than anticipated time spent away from home.

Once you arrive home you will begin the process of naturalizing your child in your home country. In some cases there may be no additional action needed. In others you may need to speak with a lawyer who is familiar with the citizenship laws of your country. In some cases the child may be able to maintain a lifelong dual citizenship status while others will ask the child to declare a formal citizenship at age 18.

Your legal team is always able to help iron out any protocol questions you may have during the passport application and planning process. Your legal professionals has heard it all before and are ready to answer any questions that may arise.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.