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Assisted Reproduction

United States Embassy In India Issues An Update For Those Proceeding With Surrogacy

The United States Embassy in New Delhi just updated their website to address the new Indian policy requiring medical visas:

Update:  Please be aware that the Indian government requires medical visas for individuals coming to India for the purpose of surrogacy.  We advise those considering surrogacy to be sure to check the latest requirements with Travisa or the Indian Embassy or Consulate nearest you for the most current information on who is eligible for a medical visa and the consequences of coming to India to commission surrogacy without the proper visa.  For a letter of support for application of Indian medical visa in surrogacy cases, please click here.

Determining U.S. Citizenship

Many, but not all, children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent are eligible to be documented as U.S. citizens.  For a child born through surrogacy to acquire U.S. citizenship and obtain a U.S. passport, sufficient proof must be submitted showing:

1) A genetic relationship between the newborn child and a U.S. citizen parent.  This is most effectively accomplished through DNA testing, and DNA testing is now strongly recommended in all cases involving surrogacy. (Note: The genetically related parent must be a U.S. citizen at the time of the baby’s birth to be eligible to transmit citizenship.)

2) The U.S. citizen parent(s)’ physical presence in the U.S. according to the requirements of U.S. immigration law.  Depending on your individual circumstances, you may have to prove up to five years of physical presence in the United  States in order for your child to acquire U.S. citizenship.  The rules regarding physical presence are very specific, and you should review them carefully.  For more information, please click here.

Often, individuals underestimate the time required for determining their newborns’ eligibility for U.S. citizenship, obtaining their passports and Indian exit permissions and the potential for complication throughout the process. Straightforward cases can take two to three weeks, while unusual or difficult cases can take months. There are several factors that can influence this timeline, including the availability of appointments, waiting for DNA test results, completing the Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen (CRBA) and passport applications as well as going through the Indian exit visa process.  While your case will be processed as quickly as possible, it is important to keep in mind that this process is unpredictable by nature and that you should expect the unexpected.

If you are considering traveling to India for surrogacy or any other Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures, please contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate well in advance to learn about any unique requirements or delays that may arise. A standard case will follow the steps below.

Click here for more information for U.S. Citizens considering the use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) abroad.

Step 1: Arrange for DNA Kit Shipment to U.S. Embassy

In cases involving Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), including surrogacy, clear evidence of the child’s genetic relationship to the transmitting U.S. citizen parent is required in addition to the other transmission requirements explained here.  In most surrogacy/ART cases, DNA is now requested.  For planning purposes, it is best to assume it will be recommended in your case as well.  If you have questions about this, please contact us to discuss your situation via email at NewDelhiSurrogacy@state.gov.

We encourage parents to pre-order the DNA testing kits and have them shipped to the Embassy approximately one month prior to the baby’s due date.  We will hold the kits for you here until you come in for the sample collection.  Please remember to order one kit for each person to be tested.  The genetic parent(s) may choose to do their DNA testing in the United States prior to traveling to India.  In this case, please check with the lab regarding the process for doing this.

All costs and expenses associated with DNA testing must be borne entirely by the passport applicant and his/her family.

We are often asked to provide information about specific doctors, clinics or labs.  However, we cannot endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.  The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and each U.S. Consulate in India maintains a list of local doctors and hospitals, all of which are published on their respective websites under “U.S. Citizen Services.” To learn more about Surrogacy, ART and DNA Testing, please click here.

Please note that you must use a lab accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB).  Click here for a list of AABB-Accredited DNA Testing Labs

Please ensure that the DNA laboratory you choose:

  • Can process buccal swabs
  • Is willing to process the testing for the relationship under question (not all tests are for paternity)
  • Is willing to handle international shipments including providing the necessary customs clearance forms
  • Will forward the buccal swab test kit to the Embassy with a pre-paid return envelope

We cannot make specific recommendations about which DNA lab you should use.  You can contact the different labs and pick the one that seems to best suit your needs.  Depending on which lab you select, it can take up to two weeks after the testing to receive the results.  If you would like to have the DNA results as soon as possible, some labs do offer expedited services for an additional fee.

Please have the DNA kits mailed to the U.S. Embassy at the following address:

U.S. Embassy

Consular Section FPU

Shantipath, Chanakyapuri

New Delhi, 110021, India

Please DO NOT use a third party to select your U.S.-based lab, arrange appointments, or transport specimens.  In addition, at no time should the lab send you a testing kit directly. If this happens, please inform us immediately.

DNA kits take approximately one week to arrive at the Embassy, but please note that all incoming mail to the Embassy must go through a screening process before it is delivered to the appropriate section.  Once your DNA kits have arrived, we will hold them until your DNA appointment has been scheduled.  If you have any questions regarding the DNA collection process, please contact ndboxdna@state.gov.

Step 2: Schedule Appointment for DNA collection at U.S. Embassy

Once your baby has been born and you have the birth certificate, please notify us via e-mail (newdelhisurrogacy@state.gov and ndboxdna@state.gov).  Please note the birth certificate is required for both the DNA collection and the passport/CRBA appointment.

DNA collection is overseen by staff from our Fraud Prevention Unit.  They must schedule the DNA appointment for you.  Please be aware that the DNA collection schedule is determined in coordination with an outside lab technician, and DNA testing generally takes place only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Once your name has been added to the schedule, our DNA staff will send you an e-mail confirmation of the date and time of the DNA appointment.

Any exceptions to the regularly established schedule are made on a case by case basis only, and we cannot guarantee that other times will be available.

The applicants should arrive at the Consular Section at least 15 minutes prior to their appointment.  Please note that phones, cameras and other electronic items are not allowed inside the Embassy.

Applicants must bring these documents to the DNA collection appointment at the Embassy:

  • Original birth certificate and a photocopy of the same for the child.  Applicants using surrogacy services should present local birth certificates listing the names of the commissioning parents as the child’s parents.  If there is any discrepancy between the birth certificate and the names of the commissioning parents as listed in the surrogacy contract, a local lawyer’s affidavit stating the legal parentage of the child may be required.  If you have any questions regarding your specific situation, please contact us prior to your appointment.
  • Original passports of the accompanying US citizen parent(s) of the child. No other form of ID for the U.S. citizen parent is accepted.
  • Two photographs of each person to be tested – i.e. the child and accompanying US citizen parent(s).   If a parent has completed DNA testing in the United States, we need one photograph of the parent along with a photocopy of the passport to accompany the child’s DNA kit.

The DNA test facility will communicate the results directly to the Embassy.  We must receive the DNA results directly from the lab.  We will contact you once we have received the results, and we are ready to proceed with issuing the passport.

Step 3: Appointment for ACS Interview at U.S. Embassy

Once the Embassy has notified you of the date and time of your DNA collection, you can then make your own online ACS appointment for submitting the applications for the passport, CRBA and Social Security card.  To do this, please click here. Depending on our schedule and your preference, your two appointments may or may not be on the same day. Please remember that the child must be physically present for both the DNA and ACS appointments.

On the day of the appointment(s), you will come to Gate 6 of the U.S. Embassy.  If you plan to bring someone to help with the baby to the appointment with you, please be sure s/he has photo identification to show the guards.  Also, please be aware that, for security reasons, there are a number of things that you cannot bring with you inside the Embassy.  For a list of restricted items, click here.  If a visitor brings prohibited items, they must be disposed of prior to entry.

Please bring the following documents to your appointment:

  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen (DS-2029 PDF 100 KB)

When filling out the applications for the passport and CRBA, please provide the information of the genetically related parent and — if named on the Indian birth certificate — the second parent.   Please bring whatever you believe is necessary to demonstrate that you have met the requirements to transmit U.S. citizenship.  If only one parent is genetically-related to the child, physical presence requirements will be based on sections of the law for out-of-wedlock births.  For more general information about applying for a CRBA, please click here.

  • U.S. Passport (DS-11 PDF 89 KB)
  • Social Security Card (SS-5 PDF 233 KB)

We will submit your request to the Social Security Service, which will send your child’s Social Security card to your mailing address within about three months. There is no charge for this service.

  • Affidavit of Parentage, Physical Presence and Support (DS-5507 PDF 136 KB)

We will also need to see the surrogacy contract as well as any relevant medical records.  Please be aware that ART and surrogacy situations are complex and frequently require additional documentation.  We encourage you to carefully review all of the information provided in this e-mail, including the links, to ensure you are aware of all the required documents.  Please keep in mind that the more documentation you can provide, the easier it will be for the consular officer to approve your applications.  The process will be much easier if you come to the interview well-organized and fully prepared.

Indian Visa

Whether you plan to stay in India or travel outside of India, your child will need an Indian visa.  The child cannot leave the country without an exit visa.

After receiving your child’s US passport, you can then apply for an Indian visa or exit permit at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in your area.  The Embassy will provide you with a letter of introduction to present to the FRRO. The exit visa will be placed in your child’s new passport.  This process generally takes 2-3 business days.   However, please note that this visa is issued by the Government of India, and the U.S. Embassy cannot provide an exact timeline for the processing of the exit visa, and we cannot expedite the process on your behalf.

Notes about Surrogacy in India

To date, India has passed no specific laws governing its burgeoning Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) industry.  Many medical and legal service providers voluntarily follow ART guidelines drafted by the Indian Council on Medical Research, but these are not binding.   U.S. citizens considering coming to India for ART procedures, including surrogacy, are encouraged to carefully research and select service providers.


13 comments for “United States Embassy In India Issues An Update For Those Proceeding With Surrogacy”

  • Jon


    Thanks for posting this. I hope your readers take this very seriously. The American embassy and consulates in India are making it perfectly clear to US nationals that a medical visa is required to proceed for surrogacy with Indian IVF clinics. There are some who will try to work around this but hopefully they will understand that they may find themselves in a very difficult situation if a child results, and the US embassy/consulates might not be able to help them secure the proper paperwork from the Indian govt to legally exit the country with their children.

    Also, there have been some rumours circulating that the Indian government is going to grandfather-in (for lack of a better term) frozen embryos and allow foreigners to proceed, even if they don’t qualify for a medical visa, so long as the embryos were created prior to the December 17 notification date that banned surrogacy for gays/singles/de facto couples. I have reached out to sources who are very connected regarding this and they told me that this is not true. There has been no official approval of this loophole coming from the Indian govt. What has happened is that, as a ray of hope, many clinics have submitted lists of potential clients who have frozen embryos with the hopes of them being allowed to proceed but the ICMR (the AMA of India) has stated that no loopholes have been given. The ICMR is the official body that regulates the ART/IVF sector in India. So, any readers who have been told otherwise by the clinics they are working with should demand that the clinic owners provide official proof of this loophole. I would be very cautious of working with any clinic that can’t validate what they tell you.

  • not correct

    You have many clinics with the correct information about people with genetic material and in treatment being exempt, vs one person scaremongering. I’ll lay my bet on the clinics having more information than a pseudo-expert already home with his kids, who is completely out of the loop.

  • Jon

    “Not correct”

    Can you provide the names of the “many clinics” you claim have the “correct” information on this so someone can independently verify that information. As far as frozen embryos there has been no official decision; if you know otherwise you should point readers of this blog to your source. Really what have you got to lose by educating and sharing your information with the public since you are in the know about things?

    • not correct

      Is that not exactly what I asked you to do? Provide some proof? It’s not up to me to publish the proof, if you’re such an expert on all things Indian surrogacy go get it yourself, it’s out there!

  • Jon

    Dear “Not Correct”

    Here is some proof for you. This article hit the wires today from a media organization known as “Time Magazine” – I’m wondering if you have heard of this media org in the lofty circles of insider knowledge that you run in.


    Towards the end the article states:

    “That India’s government is serious about the new rules is evident. Fertility centers all over the country have been asked to submit a list of their ongoing surrogate pregnancies by Feb. 18. ”

    This is true. The government has asked for a list of pregnancies that are already in progres, that is, established before the December 17 notification date. This is to help the intended parents at the pickup so they are not denied exit visas, although they have not stated that either. That is the ASSUMPTION that everyone is running on. What will happen 8 months from now for those pregnancies established close to Dec 17 is anyone’s guess. If you knew anything about India and doing business there you would understand that sometimes things don’t always go as planned.

    This gesture by the Indian government to inventory in situ pregnancies has been morphed (I don’t want to come right out and say twisted into lies by unscrupulous clinic owners and their agents) by some to mean that they are also honoring frozen embryo cycles that are pending. That is a LIE. It is simply not true. No one has said anything of the sort. If you are still confused you should contact the writer of this article to clarify for you, that is if you think Time is up to your journalistic standards.

    I’m not sure what your angle is. My guess is you are either a shill for a clinic looking to confuse and rip-off naive people into engaging into contracts for which there is no hope currently or you are a client yourself who is in a bit of denial. Regardless of which camp you fall into, you should not post on this blog unless you have solid facts to back up your statements.

    I ask the blog owner to remove your comments unless you can substantiate them or point the readers to a clinic or two that can validate what you are saying. In the absence of that, your comments are nothing more than a ruse.

    Finally, for anyone in doubt about any of this you should contact the US Embassy/Consulate and ask their opinion. They will provide you with the latest knowledge that they have on this subject. I would be cautious of sending clinics in India tens of thousands of dollars for services you want just because some anonymous poster says that everything is fine. The reputable clinics in India are not proceeding with new cases for foreigners who do not qualify for a medical visa, which, again, includes gays, singles and unmarried couples and also married couples who have been married for less than 2 years.

  • not correct


    So you get your information from the media. Well guess what, the media doesn’t always get things right. I much prefer to go with the advice of the FRRO at their meeting on 5 Feb, at meeting at which I was present, that clients with sperm and embryos are exempt and can continue treatment. Who I am is irrelevant, who you are is very relevant given you are the “global ambassador” for the clinic – Rotunda – that has single-handedly been responsible for 90% of the problems with clients and babies stuck in India over the past few years. For the record, my Indian based organisation is referring to Cyprus, no fee, just helping out folk affected by these regulations as it is far too risky for anyone not in current treatment or without genetic material frozen with clinics to be part of the global rush to sign before 18th February.

  • Jon

    Dear “not correct”

    Once again, you are disseminating hearsay comments and refuse to point to any public document, news reports, identify yourself or identify your “Indian based organization”. There is no means possible to corroborate anything you type. I hope readers understand that and do not follow the anonymous advice of an internet poster of unknown identity or affiliations.

  • Jon

    PS We’ve at least established now that you are not a client in denial, instead you are actually a clinic shill, hence the motivation for your comments. G’day! >wink<

  • wrong again

    No, not a clinic shill, an online directory for IVF, will make my money from singles wherever they go. Now back to you Jon, why not out yourself as a clinic shill, or shall I post the stock standard email you send out to unsuspecting clients in the hope of getting a few rupee from Rotunda.

  • Jon

    Dear Wrong Again

    Congrats on your new business venture. For those who don’t understand the jargon, when he/she says “singles” he/she really means gay clients. So the sentiment is he/she will figure out how to fleece the desperate gays one way or another!

    Wow, congrats. Your integrity and values are admirable! If you can’t fleece them in India, you’ll do it in Cyprus or Kookamanga, wherever the next hot spot may be.

    Sounds ill to me. I know who you are and the blog owner already has been tipped off about your shenanigans. So if you want to be publicly exposed, and the clinic you work for, for the insidious comments you have just made, keep it up.


    PS – “clinic shills” do not spend their time making over 20+ comments warning prospective US citizen clients about the dangers and risks of doing surrogacy in India in the current environment and making a recommendation to skip this option for now. Whatever your personal gripe is against me personally, I don’t think this is the proper forum for it. But you don’t give a rat’s ass about Americans, because you are not an American and Americans have always been your preferred nationality to fleece.

  • wrong again

    An online directory for IVF is not focussed on any one treatment, clinic or country, it is a resource for information only. This has gotten off topic so I will leave things now, my original pint is still valid, regardless of what this Jon, who did not attend any FRRO meeting states. As for who you think I may be, this is not a new business venture the directory has been around for more than a decade and recently updated to include surrogacy services. Whoever you wish to have a fight with, I suggest you take your issues up with them directly.

    • Jon

      “Gotten off topic”??? Are you for real. And who got it off topic. You’re an anonymous poster who claims to be running an established business involved with the surrogacy business, you personally attack me and make slanderous and false comments about the most reputable clinic in India, you dismiss the writings coming from one of the most established media outlets on this planet, claim you were in attendance in confidential meetings with Indian ministry officials (lies,lies,lies), make condescending comments about singles (what you really is gays) who seek surrogacy services globally and you state this has gotten off topic? Wow!!! How about a little disclosure on your part since you have such a high opinion of yourself and a strong opinion about others who have nothing to do with you.

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