Monday, August 13, 2012

How babies get denied US citizenship

No, you're not going to believe this story: in vitro babies denied U.S. citizenship. For those not wanting to read the USA Today (and who can blame you?): the US State Department asserts that the US laws requires children to have a "biological link" to at least one parent and in vitro fertilization isn't enough to establish that link. You have to prove that either the sperm or the egg came from an American donor — something pretty damned hard to do when the entire process of donating eggs or sperm is designed to protect the identity of the donor.

You might wonder "what about adopted children"? There's an exception written into the law for them, but if you carry your baby for nine months, give birth, but you're old enough that the consulate is suspicious about how you conceived them, humiliating, invasive questions arise.

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There's an assertion made in the clip above and in various news stories that US law is not keeping up with technology. I will agree this is true, but in this case, it's about US law pretty much ignoring the reality of our global society. There needs to be a non-partisan, permanent Senate committee representing the interests of the the US population living outside the US. I can't imagine such a thing happening any time soon, despite the fact that we'd be the 18th largest state (by population) if such a thing were to be recognized.

For anyone who thinks that, somehow, against all reason, verifying the citizenship of sperm and egg donors is legitimate, you need to sit down and start asking yourself why we have citizenship laws.