- December 13, 2013
This afternoon the Department of Homeland Security published a final rule providing that U.S. Customs and Border Protection will recognize same-sex couples as families during the customs declaration process. This revised regulation broadens the definition of “family” to include long-term same-sex couples and domestic partners. Foster children, stepchildren, half-siblings, legal wards, and children with an in loco parentis or guardianship relationship will also be considered to be family under the revised regulation. Under this broadened definition, same-sex couples and their families will be allowed to file a joint customs declaration when entering the United States from abroad.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, this revision is designed to "more accurately reflect relationships for U.S. citizens, residents and international visitors who are traveling together as a family." The rule will go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. For more information on this regulation, click here.