ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 197 – April 12, 2010

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Establishing parentage for citizenship purposes where surrogacy/reproductive technology is involved

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Issue

In advance of the development of a new policy on establishing parentage for citizenship purposes where surrogacy/reproductive technology is used, this Operational Bulletin provides interim procedures which should be used for such cases.

Background

In establishing parentage for citizenship purposes, officers may be faced with cases where the determination of parentage for persons born outside of Canada is made more complex because of the involvement of a surrogate or the use of reproductive technologies. Due to developments and changes concerning the determination of parentage in such situations (both at the provincial/territorial level and internationally), Citizenship and Immigration Canada is examining its citizenship policy on parentage.

Current Status

The present citizenship policy recognizes a genetic parent (parent who has a parental genetic link to the child concerned) for determining eligibility of citizenship at birth (see CP 3). In all cases where there is information suggesting the Canadian parent (through whom a derivative claim of citizenship is made) is not the genetic parent, DNA evidence is requested.

In situations where a surrogate or reproductive technologies are used, a person may be recognized as a parent in the place where the documentation was issued, including having their name on the birth certificate, but they would not be considered the parent for citizenship purposes under the current policy.

Citizenship and Multiculturalism Branch, in consultation with Legal Services, is developing a policy to better address these cases. This process could take 6 months or more before a policy is finalized.

In situations where there is no indication that a surrogate or reproductive technologies have been used, continue to follow the procedures and use the letters provided in

CP 3

.

Interim process

In the interim, the following procedures will apply when there is a question of genetic parentage:

  • An officer will send a letter requesting DNA evidence (see Appendix A). This letter will also inform the applicant that if they decline to submit DNA:
    • they have the option, where they assert and have documentation that they are the legal parents of the child, of requesting that the application be put on hold until such time as a new policy is developed; or
    • processing can continue on their file based upon the information provided which may result in a refusal of the application (this would allow the person an opportunity to pursue other actions, such as submitting a sponsorship application, if possible).

Where the applicant opts to continue processing:

  • if the evidence provided indicates a parental genetic link (and assuming all other requirements are met), the application would be approved and a certificate issued; or
  • if a DNA test does not indicate a parental genetic link, or if the results are not acceptable according to the requirements outlined in CP 3, or if the clients do not submit DNA evidence within the time provided, the application will be considered on the basis of the information on file and against the current policy. This could lead to a refusal of the application. If it does result in a refusal, please see Appendix B.

APPENDIX A: DRAFT LETTER REQUESTING DNA

File Number:

[Insert address]

Date:

Dear [Client]:

This letter refers to your application for proof of Canadian citizenship for [Child].

Upon careful review of the application and the documents submitted, I am unable to determine parentage based on the documents you have submitted. The present citizenship policy recognizes a genetic parent (a person who has a parental genetic link to the child concerned) for determining eligibility of citizenship at birth. In all cases where there is information suggesting a parent, through whom a claim of derivative citizenship is made, may not be the genetic parent, DNA evidence is requested.

Consequently, in order to establish genetic parentage to [Child], we are requesting that the Canadian parent obtain a DNA test. Enclosed please find a list of acceptable laboratories that can perform these tests; please note that the results would be submitted from the laboratory directly to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). You are responsible for covering all the costs related to this test, including sample-taking, courier costs for shipping, the laboratory analysis of all samples and the final report submitted directly from the laboratory to CIC. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility with regard to the results of these analyses.

Once we receive the results of the DNA tests, we will then be able to continue the processing of your application.

If you are unable to demonstrate an adequate genetic link as the parent of the child, or are unwilling to submit to a DNA test, based upon current policy, the application cannot be approved. You would have two options on how to proceed:

  1. as the current policy is under review, you may opt to have the application put on hold pending the outcome of a policy review by CIC; or
  2. a decision will be made on your application based on the information you have submitted. You can choose to receive a decision based on the current policy which may lead to a negative decision.

Sincerely,

[Officer]


APPENDIX B: DRAFT REFUSAL LETTER

File Number:

[Insert address]

Date:

Dear [Client]:

On [Date] you submitted an Application for a Citizenship Certificate (Proof of Citizenship) on behalf of [Child]. I have completed the assessment of the application and am writing to inform you that [Child]’s application has been refused for the following reasons.

Section 3 of the Citizenship Act sets out who is a Canadian citizen. The pertinent paragraph for your child’s application is paragraph 3(1)(b), which states that a person is a citizen if “the person was born outside Canada after February 14, 1977 and at the time of his birth one of his parents, other than a parent who adopted him, was a citizen”.

For the purposes of determining citizenship by birth outside Canada to a Canadian parent (derivative citizenship), the present citizenship policy only recognizes genetic parents (parents who have a parental genetic link to the child concerned). In all cases where there is information suggesting a parent, through whom a claim of derivative citizenship is made, is not the genetic parent, DNA evidence is requested.

If DNA results were submitted:

You have submitted DNA evidence which shows that you are not the genetic parent of [Child].

 

If DNA results were not submitted:

On [Date], I wrote to you requesting that you provide DNA evidence by [Date]. It was explained that this information was needed in order to make a decision.

Since you have not responded to my request (or as you indicated you would not comply with my request for DNA evidence), I must make a decision based on the information before me.

As you have been unable to demonstrate a parental genetic link with the child, based upon current policy, the application for a citizenship certificate for your child has been refused.

To keep informed of any changes in Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) citizenship policy concerning parentage, I encourage you to visit the CIC website or to contact the CIC Call Centre.

Should you wish to request a Judicial Review of this decision, you will be required to file a Notice of Application with the Federal Court within thirty (30) days from the date this letter is mailed.

Notice of Application and Federal Court Rules may be obtained from:

The Administrator
Federal Court
C/O Supreme Court of Canada Building
Kent and Wellington Streets
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H9
General Enquiries (613) 992-4238

Sincerely,

[Decision-making officer’s name]

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