The Federal Court of Los Angeles ruled that, according to American laws, children, regardless of how they were born, have the right to US citizenship by right of birth.
Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks met in 2008 at a holiday party at Tel Aviv University in Israel, where Andrew was studying abroad and Elad was born and raised. They fell in love and, two years later, were married.
They intended to settle in Andrew’s home state of California, but because same-sex marriages were not allowed at the time, his husband couldn’t obtain lawful permanent residency in the U.S. through his marriage. For a while they settled in Canada and decided to grow a full-fledged family. Ethan and his twin brother, Aiden, were conceived using an anonymous donor’s eggs and the sperm of their fathers. The twins, now age 2, were carried and delivered by a surrogate. Aiden shares DNA with Andrew, a Santa Monica native, while Ethan is biologically related to Elad.
After the twins were born, four minutes apart, the couple applied to get their sons’ U.S. passports. They were stunned when an official told them that Andrew Dvash-Banks would have to undergo a DNA test to prove a biological link to each twin. Without that, the official said, neither child would qualify. They arranged a DNA test and submitted the results. Aiden’s passport came in the mail, while Ethan got a letter saying his citizenship application had been denied. The boy entered the U.S. on a six-month tourist visa, which has since expired, and applied for a green card.
In January 2018, the couple was forced to appeal to the Federal Court of Los Angeles, where the family now lives, with a lawsuit declaring the decision to refuse citizenship to the second child illegal.
A federal judge decided that a twin son of a binational same-sex couple, who was denied U.S. citizenship because he does not share a blood relationship with his American father, has been a U.S. citizen since birth.
In an 11-page order, Los Angeles federal Judge John F. Walter concluded that U.S. law does not require a child to show a biological relationship with both of their parents if their parents were married at the time of their birth. The judge requested that the State Department and Ethan Dvash-Banks’ family together propose a judgement, consistent with his decision, by the end of the month.
“This is a huge victory for Ethan Dvash-Banks and his family,” said Aaron C. Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality and one of the attorneys representing the family. “They wanted their twin boys in every way to be treated exactly the same. It really hurt them to have one child get the remarkable privilege of U.S. citizenship at birth and the other to be required to petition as an immigrant.”
A U.S. State Department attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
Based on Los Angeles Times