My sister's response to wt's post on overseas DE/DS moms

My sister's response to wt's post on overseas DE/DS moms

Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

February 23rd, 2011, 6:48 pm #1

OK, my sister asked that I not post her reply as she says is no longer an expert in consular affairs and her response is not authoritative, but she says that wt's posts "capture the main points." In other words, if you reside overseas and receive treatment with DE/DS from an overseas donor, carry that baby for nine months, give birth and your name is on the birth certificate, if a consular employee decides that your birth date suggests that you are not the genetic mother and your partner, if you have one, cannot demonstrate that he is the genetic father, then you could be forced to adopt your own child to get it into the U.S. as a citizen.

Now, what government would participate in such an administrative action? How would you even go about doing it? Would you have to prove your suitability to be the parent of the child you gave birth to? It's insane.

I also asked her how one would go about getting this changed. Her first suggestion was that I/we contact the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs for an authoritative answer. I plan to do just that. This is an outrageous invasion of privacy and sexism/agism on the part of the DoS.

Maggie (in VA)
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BBG
BBG

February 23rd, 2011, 8:03 pm #2

What do they have to gain from making it hard on older couples to have children? The gov approves adoption of third world children, many of whom have major mental health and physical health issues that are a drain on the economy -- why would they resist people who have a baby via gestation? It makes no sense.

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Piper
Piper

February 23rd, 2011, 9:23 pm #3

OK, my sister asked that I not post her reply as she says is no longer an expert in consular affairs and her response is not authoritative, but she says that wt's posts "capture the main points." In other words, if you reside overseas and receive treatment with DE/DS from an overseas donor, carry that baby for nine months, give birth and your name is on the birth certificate, if a consular employee decides that your birth date suggests that you are not the genetic mother and your partner, if you have one, cannot demonstrate that he is the genetic father, then you could be forced to adopt your own child to get it into the U.S. as a citizen.

Now, what government would participate in such an administrative action? How would you even go about doing it? Would you have to prove your suitability to be the parent of the child you gave birth to? It's insane.

I also asked her how one would go about getting this changed. Her first suggestion was that I/we contact the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs for an authoritative answer. I plan to do just that. This is an outrageous invasion of privacy and sexism/agism on the part of the DoS.

Maggie (in VA)
This will not be a high priority for anyone right now because anti-IVF legislation has exploded all over the states but I am hoping for some action later this spring (after leg. adjourn)
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

February 23rd, 2011, 9:34 pm #4

What do they have to gain from making it hard on older couples to have children? The gov approves adoption of third world children, many of whom have major mental health and physical health issues that are a drain on the economy -- why would they resist people who have a baby via gestation? It makes no sense.
Maybe pressure from the religious right? My sister did explain a few things to me about all children born overseas to U.S. citizens entering the country that gave me a better picture of how it all works that calmed me down a little. But I'm still freaked out by the 1) overreaching interpretation of the statute (well, in honesty, our government's stance on children born through overseas surrogacy with no genetic relationship angers me, too) and 2) the immigration fraud profiling, so reminiscent of the DEA's notorious drug courier profiling, based on age. Can you imagine having conceived naturally overseas at 46 and your child and you having to have DNA tests? Maggie (in VA)
Last edited by maggie1961 on February 23rd, 2011, 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

February 23rd, 2011, 9:36 pm #5

This will not be a high priority for anyone right now because anti-IVF legislation has exploded all over the states but I am hoping for some action later this spring (after leg. adjourn)
I wouldn't want it to distract from the big, hard battles, especially as this can't be a very common occurrence, but it's just so wrong! Maggie (in VA)
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wt
wt

February 23rd, 2011, 10:16 pm #6

OK, my sister asked that I not post her reply as she says is no longer an expert in consular affairs and her response is not authoritative, but she says that wt's posts "capture the main points." In other words, if you reside overseas and receive treatment with DE/DS from an overseas donor, carry that baby for nine months, give birth and your name is on the birth certificate, if a consular employee decides that your birth date suggests that you are not the genetic mother and your partner, if you have one, cannot demonstrate that he is the genetic father, then you could be forced to adopt your own child to get it into the U.S. as a citizen.

Now, what government would participate in such an administrative action? How would you even go about doing it? Would you have to prove your suitability to be the parent of the child you gave birth to? It's insane.

I also asked her how one would go about getting this changed. Her first suggestion was that I/we contact the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs for an authoritative answer. I plan to do just that. This is an outrageous invasion of privacy and sexism/agism on the part of the DoS.

Maggie (in VA)
As you probably have read or heard, many countries have a problem with serious and rampant adoption fraud and baby-selling. What consular officers are worried about is someone trying to get around the long and complex legal procedures for adopting a child overseas. You remember that I mentioned a woman who claimed that she had her first baby at 54 yrs of age. As we all know, it's very hard to conceive "naturally" at 54. We asked if she had ART since that would help explain her situtation. She said no, so we asked for additional proof that it was her baby. She brought in a huge pile of documents from the clinic including ultrasounds, doctor's records, bills from the hospital, etc. When our fraud office phoned the clinic, they had never heard of the patient or the doctor. It was all fraud so that the woman could pass the baby off as her own and get a US passport and be able to come to the US. She may have been smuggling the child on behalf of the parents who were living illegally in the US or she might have been trying to circumvent adoption laws.

Either way, this is just one example of something that happens quite a lot. Consular officers don't just look at older women, they look at all births abroad to make sure that the child is the "biological" child of the parents, since immigration law says that the child must be related by "blood" to the US citizen. In terms of ART, this has been interpreted by the lawyers to mean "genetic" child. One of the easiest ways to establish that is through DNA testing.

It's definitely not designed to target ART parents, just prevent fraud, people smuggling and baby-selling.
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Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 6:49 am

February 23rd, 2011, 11:24 pm #7

Context is everything. Thanks for explaining that.
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Piper
Piper

February 24th, 2011, 12:34 am #8

As you probably have read or heard, many countries have a problem with serious and rampant adoption fraud and baby-selling. What consular officers are worried about is someone trying to get around the long and complex legal procedures for adopting a child overseas. You remember that I mentioned a woman who claimed that she had her first baby at 54 yrs of age. As we all know, it's very hard to conceive "naturally" at 54. We asked if she had ART since that would help explain her situtation. She said no, so we asked for additional proof that it was her baby. She brought in a huge pile of documents from the clinic including ultrasounds, doctor's records, bills from the hospital, etc. When our fraud office phoned the clinic, they had never heard of the patient or the doctor. It was all fraud so that the woman could pass the baby off as her own and get a US passport and be able to come to the US. She may have been smuggling the child on behalf of the parents who were living illegally in the US or she might have been trying to circumvent adoption laws.

Either way, this is just one example of something that happens quite a lot. Consular officers don't just look at older women, they look at all births abroad to make sure that the child is the "biological" child of the parents, since immigration law says that the child must be related by "blood" to the US citizen. In terms of ART, this has been interpreted by the lawyers to mean "genetic" child. One of the easiest ways to establish that is through DNA testing.

It's definitely not designed to target ART parents, just prevent fraud, people smuggling and baby-selling.
And it is understandable why these laws exist. There just may need to be a bit of updating!
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

February 24th, 2011, 3:59 am #9

As you probably have read or heard, many countries have a problem with serious and rampant adoption fraud and baby-selling. What consular officers are worried about is someone trying to get around the long and complex legal procedures for adopting a child overseas. You remember that I mentioned a woman who claimed that she had her first baby at 54 yrs of age. As we all know, it's very hard to conceive "naturally" at 54. We asked if she had ART since that would help explain her situtation. She said no, so we asked for additional proof that it was her baby. She brought in a huge pile of documents from the clinic including ultrasounds, doctor's records, bills from the hospital, etc. When our fraud office phoned the clinic, they had never heard of the patient or the doctor. It was all fraud so that the woman could pass the baby off as her own and get a US passport and be able to come to the US. She may have been smuggling the child on behalf of the parents who were living illegally in the US or she might have been trying to circumvent adoption laws.

Either way, this is just one example of something that happens quite a lot. Consular officers don't just look at older women, they look at all births abroad to make sure that the child is the "biological" child of the parents, since immigration law says that the child must be related by "blood" to the US citizen. In terms of ART, this has been interpreted by the lawyers to mean "genetic" child. One of the easiest ways to establish that is through DNA testing.

It's definitely not designed to target ART parents, just prevent fraud, people smuggling and baby-selling.
And I expect my sister was rolling my eyes at my naivete, but that doesn't make me feel less disturbed by the attorney's interpretation of the statute. Anyway, thanks for letting U.S. women on this list who live overseas know about this potential pitfall. Maggie (in VA)
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Orchid
Orchid

February 24th, 2011, 4:42 am #10

What do they have to gain from making it hard on older couples to have children? The gov approves adoption of third world children, many of whom have major mental health and physical health issues that are a drain on the economy -- why would they resist people who have a baby via gestation? It makes no sense.
Or they are just crazy...take your pick...
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