Integrity Legal

15th April 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that new In Vitro Fertilization methods could see future children born with 3 parents. Although this may sound like something from science fiction, clearly this is a real issue which could have real world implications. In order to provide a degree of insight to the reader on this topic it may be best to quote directly from Wikipedia:

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body, in vitro. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient’s uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy. The first successful birth of a “test tube baby”, Louise Brown, occurred in 1978. Robert G. Edwards, the doctor who developed the treatment, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010. Before that, there was a transient biochemical pregnancy reported by Australian Foxton School researchers in 1953 and an ectopic pregnancy reported by Steptoe and Edwards in 1976.

The administration of this blog strongly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks above in order to gain perspective and insight into the way that IVF actually works.  According to recent reports, it would appear that new IVF methodologies may allow for a child to be born with three biological parents.  To quote directly from the official website of the BBC at BBC.co.uk:

Embryos containing DNA from a man and two women have been created by scientists at Newcastle University.

They say their research, published in the journal Nature, has the potential to help mothers with rare genetic disorders have healthy children…The work raised several ethical problems… including safety risks, children with DNA from two mothers, and making genetic changes to unborn children.

IVF and medical procedures of the same ilk may have been considered of little concern in the legal and immigration contexts during years past, but new developments, such as those noted above, could have tremendous implications for future seekers of a US Passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or similar identity documentation acquired both domestically or at US Embassies and US Consulates abroad. For further insight this blogger felt it prudent to quote directly from a blog post by PrideAngelAdmin on PrideAngel.com:

The first baby with three biological parents could be conceived next year after the Government announced a major review of Britain’s fertility laws.

The move would allow doctors to use a revolutionary IVF technique that prevents incurable, deadly genetic illnesses being passed down from mothers to their children.

Babies created with the therapy – called three-parent IVF – would inherit 98 per cent of their DNA from their ‘real’ parents. The rest would come from a female donor.

The scientists say the donor genes would not alter the children’s appearance or personality, but would stop them dying from painful diseases of the heart, liver and brain.

As can be seen from the above cited quotations, most of the dialogue that is occurring with respect to the issue of 3 parent IVF is emanating more from Great Britain than from the United States, but it should be noted that these issues could have an impact upon the way in which possible future American immigration benefits are bequeathed. Meanwhile, new IVF methodologies may require changes in the rules and protocols regarding issuance of Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) since there never really seem to have been provisions in place for a child born with three biological parents. It remains to be seen how these new technologies and procedures will impact American jurisprudence regarding United States Immigration, Family Law, and the rules and regulations regarding US Citizenship.

In this blogger’s personal opinion, the implications of possible 3 parent IVF could be as important in an American Citizenship context as the promulgation and enactment of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. Who can say if it might not be possible in the future to see a child receive a Certificate of Citizenship based upon a parent-child biological relationship stemming from shared mitochondrial DNA? As humanity’s technological prowess becomes more defined legal issues may be increasingly raised in contexts that few in the past would have dreamed could even exist at all.

For the LGBT community, the citations noted above should be borne in mind especially by those who may wish to start a family in the future as it may one day be possible to see children born as a result of increasingly creative medical breakthroughs.


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