Video: International IPs and the Legal Process: International Travel

Author: GSHC Surrogacy


Attorney Casey O’Connell of Falletta & Klein in San Diego, California answers common questions about international travel for international Intended Parents.

What happens if the Intended Parents (IPs) are not in the United States (or California) when the Surrogate goes into labor?

If the parents cannot be present for the birth for whatever reason, the IPs’ legal representation will have them sign a legal power of attorney (or nomination of guardian) to nominate a caretaker to take custody of the child upon discharge from the hospital. The legal caretaker will care for the child as if they were the parent until the Intended Parents can arrive.

How do international IPs return to their home country with their baby?

Once the child is born within the United States, they are a U.S. citizen. In order for the baby to travel to another country, the Intended Parents must obtain a U.S. passport for the baby and the birth certificate from the country where the baby was born.

In the U.S., travel documents can take as long as six weeks to obtain after the baby is born.

Depending on where the IPs are returning, they may have to visit a consulate or embassy of that country within the U.S. to obtain the necessary documents to return.

How long do international IPs need to wait before they can return to their home country with their baby?

Normally, clients should expect the birth certificate process to take 10-20 days.

Clients should also expect the passport process to last 4-6 weeks. They can expedite this service for an additional fee if they have imminent travel arrangements in the next 14 days.

During COVID-19:

Expect the birth certificate and passport processing times to be longer due to personnel shortages in government offices. In general, expect 8-10 weeks to obtain all travel documents.

Will the baby be a United States citizen?

Yes. All babies born within the United States are U.S. citizens.

Will the baby have dual citizenship?

This depends on the country to which the baby is returning.

Always consult a licensed attorney in your home country well in advance of your surrogacy journey.

How many times do IPs have to travel to the United States?

Twice. Once to create the genetic material, or embryo, and once to pick up the baby after it is born.

If the Intended Parents need to use their genetic material to create an embryo for transfer in the United States, they will need to travel to a clinic in the U.S. to do so. If they already have genetic material in the United States, they do not need to return.

We recommend that Intended Parents travel to the United States approximately one month before the due date to be ready to take custody.

View the full interview with Casey O’Connell HERE

If you are considering surrogacy, please contact GSHC Surrogacy Agency by completing our Intended Parent Intake Form, call us at 310.953.0137, or send an email to [email protected] to learn more about how we can help you achieve your dream of starting a family!