A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that the United States State Department was wrong to deny citizenship to the twin son of a married couple who happen to be gay. The State Department had only conferred citizenship status to his twin brother Aiden.
Each boy was conceived with donor eggs and the sperm from a different father — one an American, the other an Israeli citizen — but born by the same surrogate mother minutes apart.
Andrew, a US citizen was studying in Israel when he met Elad, an Israeli citizen. Because they couldn’t marry at the time in the U.S. or in Israel, they moved to Canada, where they wed in 2010. The children were born via surrogate in 2016.
Trouble began when the dads brought their twins to the American consulate in Toronto to apply for citizenship and a State Department Consular official began asking probing questions that the couple described as “shocking and humiliating.” The consular official told them she had discretion to require a DNA test to show who the biological father was of each boy and without those tests neither son would get citizenship. The government had only granted citizenship to Aiden, who DNA tests showed was the biological son of Andrew, a U.S. citizen.
A U.S. District Judge wrote in his ruling that 2-year-old Ethan Dvash-Banks, “has been an American citizen since birth.”
Aaron Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality said the U.S. State Department is discriminating against same-sex binational couples by denying their children citizenship at birth.