Surrogacy: An Option for Childless Couples

Thứ Tư, 14 Tháng Mười Hai 201100:00(Xem: 48311)
Surrogacy: An Option for Childless Couples
Many childless couples consider adopting an infant. When they investigate the process, they find that adoption, either in the US or abroad, can be a costly, lengthy and frustrating procedure. Moreover, at this time it is not possible to adopt a child from Vietnam. This is why some couples eventually decide to obtain the services of a surrogate mother.
 
The US State Department recently reported that surrogacy is a growing part of India's medical tourist industry. Over 350 clinics in India offer commercial surrogacy services. Clients range from infertile couples, to single parents, and same-sex partners. In most surrogacy cases adjudicated at US consular posts in India, a U.S. citizen male provides sperm for in vitro fertilization of a donor egg. The egg is usually provided by an anonymous Indian donor. The resulting embryos are implanted into a gestational surrogate mother.
 
If at least one genetic parent is a U.S. citizen, a child can qualify as a U.S. citizen.
 
Adjudication of citizenship in these cases is more difficult than in traditional Report of Birth Abroad cases. The potential for fraud is clear, and documentation may be unreliable. Some clinics have mishandled donated eggs and sperm. Forged legal documents such as birth certificates and medical records are available for purchase. Consular officers therefore usually require DNA testing to verify the biological relationship of the child to at least one of the parents.
 
There is no international agreement about the use of surrogate mothers. Some countries allow it only if the surrogate is not paid anything, other countries do not allow it under any circumstances, and the law in the US is not the same for all states.
 
Vietnam prohibits both paid and unpaid surrogacy. The reason for the prohibition has never been announced, but recent reports show that some Vietnamese women were brought to Thailand illegally for the purpose of acting as surrogate mothers.
 
India is very popular for surrogacy arrangements, but Thailand is much closer to Vietnam, and Thailand has world class medical facilities. Although we are not aware of anyone who has tried it, in theory it should be possible for a US citizen to bring a Vietnamese surrogate mother from Vietnam to Thailand for In Vitro Fertilization. After the fertilization process is complete, the lady would return to Vietnam to await the birth of the child. Following the birth registration and report to the US Consulate, and the predictable DNA testing, the infant would be eligible to receive a US passport and join the family in the US.
 
Most surrogacy agencies recommend choosing a family member or good friend to serve as a surrogate mother. It is essential that there is complete trust in this matter. In Vietnam there are no controlling laws or contracts that cover surrogacy. If the surrogate mother refuses to release custody of the child, there is no way to force her to do so.
 
Also, prospective sperm donors must be sure that they meet all of the requirements for passing US citizenship to their children.
 
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Q.1. What are the basic requirements for a naturalized US citizen to pass on citizenship to his child born abroad out of wedlock?
 
A.1. The basic requirements are that he is a citizen of the United States and before the birth of the child, he was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, with at least two years after attaining the age of fourteen years.
 
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Q.2. What can the father use as proof of presence in the US for five years?
 
A.2. School records, tax records and employment records are acceptable evidence.
 
 
ROBERT MULLINS INTERNATIONAL www.rmiodp.com
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