Who is a parent for citizenship purposes when assisted human reproduction (AHR), including surrogacy arrangements, is involved?

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

The interpretation of “parent” for applications of citizenship by descent has been expanded to include non-biological legal parents at birth and biological parents. Parents who have been recognized as their child’s legal parent at birth by way of the original birth certificate or relevant birth records (surrogacy contracts, court orders, hospital records, etc.) are eligible to pass down Canadian citizenship with or without a genetic or gestational link to their children.

Cases involving assisted human reproduction (AHR), including surrogacy arrangements, undertaken by Canadian citizens may result in children born abroad who are not biologically related to the Canadian parent. In these cases, the birth certificate and/or documentation issued at the time of the child’s birth will be assessed to confirm the parent’s eligibility to pass down Canadian citizenship by descent. For those who are not recognized as the legal parent at birth , but who have claimed a biological connection with their child, DNA testing or hospital records may be requested to support the biological connection.

In the absence of legal parentage at birth or a biological connection

Children born through AHR, including surrogacy arrangements, who do not have a legal parent at birth or biological connection with their Canadian parent(s) are not eligible for citizenship by descent.

Documents to submit

Parents will need to submit:

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Birth records recognizing the Canadian parent(s) at the time of the child’s birth
    (pre-birth orders, hospital records, contractual agreements with the lab, contractual agreement with the surrogate mother, etc.)
    • Must submit if the biological or non-biological parent is not listed on the original birth certificate recognized at the time of the child’s birth, and / or the processing officer requires more information to come to a decision.

NOTE: Adoption orders naming a Canadian parent are not relevant to this scenario.

Page details

Date modified: