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Citizenship AHR Surrogacy Children born abroad

Posted on 18/07/2020

Are you parents who are interested in assisted reproduction including surrogacy involving a baby child overseas? Are you LGBTQ2+ eager to start a family with a child from outside of Canada? Then you should know that the rules have recently been changed to allow for more flexibility in this regard.

Previously, under paragraph 3(1)b of Canada’s Citizenship Act, ran the risk of being refused citizenship by descent for their new child if it was born abroad and there was no biological link between them and the child. Biological link means one of two things:

  • A genetic link meaning they are the biological parents, OR
  • A gestational link in the case of assisted reproduction involving surrogacy or donor conception.

Now the Canadian Citizenship Act includes children born abroad who have a legal link but no biological link to their Canadian parent.

As well, the children must be the first-generation to be born abroad due to the fact that since April 2009 only 1 generation is allowed to be born abroad and have Canadian citizenship passed on to them by their parents. This means that:

  • One parent (or both) was born in Canada, OR
  • One parent (or both) was naturalized as a Canadian citizen before the child was born.

How is a parent defined in this type of situation?

Parents who are recognized as the legal parents at birth of the child by way of:

  • Original birth certificate
  • Relevant birth records including:
    • Surrogacy contracts
    • Court orders
    • Hospital records
  • These birth records will be used to confirm birth by descent if there is no biological link to the Canadian parents and the child is born abroad due to surrogacy arrangements, for example. The following documents must be submitted:
    • The child’s birth certificate
    • Birth records recognizing the child’s Canadian parents at the time of birth, including:
      • Pre-birth orders
      • Hospital records
      • Contractual agreements with the lab
      • Contractual agreements with the surrogate mother

Please note that children born abroad through assisted human reproduction (AHR) including surrogacy arrangements who do not have a legal parent at birth nor any biological connection to their Canadian parent(s) are NOT eligible for Canadian citizenship by descent.

Please note as well that adoption orders naming a Canadian parent are NOT relevant to this issue.

In other words, to have Canadian citizenship by descent at least one parent must be the legal parent at birth which is defined as:

  • The biological or non-biological parent(s) listed on the birth certificate or birth records issued at the time of birth.
  • This DOES NOT include either parents who adopted the child after birth or parents who are legal guardians of the child.

How do I apply for the child’s citizenship?

To apply for citizenship you have to download and fill out form CIT 0001 Application for Citizenship Certificate for Adults & Minors (Proof of Citizenship) Under Section 3. Go here to download the form. Go here to read the instruction guide. Go here to see the document checklist.

If you need to do a paternity test you will have to submit DNA tests. These are non-invasive and generally involve a swab to collect a saliva sample to send to a laboratory.

  • You may receive a DNA letter from IRCC when you apply for the child’s citizenship if your particular situation requires DNA testing.
  • Go here to see a list of SCC (Standards Council of Canada)-accredited laboratories.
  • Go here for further information on DNA testing.

Posted in News Tips and tagged Canadian Citizenship

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