As discussed in various Nolo books and articles, U.S. citizen parents can, if other legal requirements are met, transmit citizenship to their children who are born overseas. (See, for example, Nolo's article, “Citizenship Through U.S. Citizen Parents (If You were Born Between 11/14/1986 and the Present).“)
Recent advances in reproductive technology, however, have raised questions about what happens, legally speaking, when the child is not genetically related to either U.S. citizen parent, yet was carried and born to a U.S. citizen mother using assisted reproductive technology (ART).
The State Department, after initially refusing to acknowledge non-genetic relationships, eventually came around to the position that whether a child derives U.S. citizenship depends on:
To see more on the U.S. State Department policy on this matter, see “Important Information for U.S. Citizens Considering the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Abroad.”
On October 28, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a policy document that confirms the State Department position and expands its implications slightly for non-citizenship purposes, explaining that:
This is a highly complex area of U.S. immigration law, however, so see an attorney before making any plans.