Gay couple sues US State Dept. over son's citizenship


Two married same-sex couples have filed lawsuits against the State Department claiming that it has unconstitutionally classified their surrogate-carried children as "born out of wedlock" after each of the couples were informed that one of their children would not be eligible for a US citizenship by right of blood.

Elad and Andrew Dvash-Banks were shocked to learn that one of their twins, Ethan, had been denied the same rights as his brother, Aiden, because his biological father was an Israeli citizen. The State Department didn't recognize the couple's marriage, the lawsuit said, and only granted citizenship to the boy whose biological mother was born and raised in the U.S.

On the other hand, Andrew's son, Aiden, was recognised as a USA citizen.

In March, Aiden received a United States passport, but Ethan received a letter saying his citizenship request had been denied. But because Ethan has his Israeli father's DNA and Aiden has his American dad's DNA, the US government doesn't consider Ethan a USA citizen.

LGBTQ immigrants rights group Immigration Equality, which filed the case, said the children of U.S. citizens who marry overseas are entitled to citizenship at birth, regardless of where they are born - and even if the other partner is foreign. Their sons, Aiden and Ethan, are now 16-months old.

This comes after they moved to Canada to get married as they were unable to do so in either Israel or US.

The organisation said the policy was being wrongly being applied to married same-sex couples.

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"Everyone stopped what they were doing and started looking at us to answer the questions while we're holding the infants", said Andrew in a video released by Immigration Equality.

The cases filed in Los Angeles and Washington by Immigration Equality said the children of a US citizen who marries overseas are entitled to USA citizenship at birth no matter where they are born and even if the other parent is a foreigner.

"But the converse is also true and every same-sex couple will be asked that". They have twins who were conceived with their genetic material.

After submitting the DNA test results that proved who fathered each boy, the couple received a large and small envelope from the US on March 2. The other was a letter notifying Andrew that Ethan's application had been denied.

When they moved to Los Angeles to be closer with Andrew's family after the boyg were born in September 2016, Aiden received full citizenship because of his dad's DNA. They filed their case after moving to Los Angeles and Ethan's tourist visa expiring last month.

"He doesn't have legal status", Andrew Dvash-Banks said.

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