After Elad Dvash-Banks and his partner Andrew welcomed their twin boys into the world, they later encountered an issue they likely never imagined.
When it came time for Elad and Andrew, a gay married couple, to apply for citizenship for their twin boys Ethan and Aiden, the U.S. Department of State only granted citizenship to one of the boys despite the fact the two were born only seconds apart. According to the Associated Press, Andrew was a U.S. citizen and Elad was an Israeli citizen. Each boy was “conceived with donor eggs and the sperm from a different father” but were carried by the same surrogate mother.
When the couple submitted their citizenship applications for their sons, they were shocked to learn that only Aiden was granted citizenship and given a certificate of citizenship and U.S. passport, but Ethan was only granted a tourist visa and denied citizenship. Apparently, the State Department made this decision after determining that Aiden was conceived by the sperm of Andrew, who happens to be a U.S. citizen and Ethan was conceived from the sperm of Elad. A lawsuit was soon filed alleging that “the State Department was discriminating against the same-sex binational couple by denying their children citizenship at birth.”
The Associated Press highlighted that the case was filed in Los Angles by Immigration Equality claiming, “The children of a U.S. citizen who marries abroad are entitled to U.S. citizenship at birth no matter where they are born, even if the other parent is a foreigner.” The case was heard by U.S. District Judge John Walter who ruled that Ethan was a U.S. citizen just as his twin brother is.” Walter stated that “a child born during a parents’ marriage does not have to demonstrate a biological relationship with both parents under the Immigration and Nationality Act” [Source: ABA Journal]. When the Associated Press attempted to contact the State Department for comment, it did not receive a response.
As for the parents of Aiden and Ethan who were once “angry” and “appalled,” they felt they had obtained justice based on Walter’s ruling. The couple told Immigration Equality, “This is justice! We are hopeful that no other family will ever have to go through this again. It’s like a giant rock has been removed from our hearts.”
Andrew and Elad aren’t the only ones who had to go through this type of troubling experience.
The Associated Press also highlighted that two women, one from the U.S. and one from Italy, also brought a case against the State Department after they both gave birth to a son, yet the department failed to recognize their marriage. Only one of the boys was granted citizenship, the one whose mother was born and raised in the U.S., while the other son was not.
When attempting to apply for citizenship, whether it is for you, your children, or even your spouse, you may find that obtaining the right to live in the U.S. isn’t always easy, especially with the current anti-immigration attitude of the Trump administration. Not only does the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS) make it difficult for certain individuals to obtain the citizenship they qualify for, but they also deny applications for unfair reasons. Therefore, if you or someone you know is looking to apply for permanent residence, citizenship or a different legal status, contact New Jersey immigration lawyer Eric M. Mark.
Our firm has extensive experience in handling various types of immigration cases and can help address your issue or get your matter resolved. Contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation to find out how we can help you.
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Newark, NJ 07102
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