A California judge has granted US citizenship to a twin son of a gay married couple, after the US government had only granted the status to his brother.
Two-year-old Ethan Dvash-Banks was initially denied citizenship as he does not share a blood relationship with his American father.
However district judge John F. Walter concluded that US 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.
Ethan and his brother Aiden were conceived using an anonymous donor’s eggs and the sperm of their fathers. They were carried and delivered by a surrogate mother.
While Aiden shares DNA with Andrew, a US citizen, Ethan is biologically related to Elad, an Israeli citizen.
Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks, the boys’ parents, had sought citizenship for Ethan, as the government had only granted these rights to Aiden.
The couple were told to submit the DNA results that proved who fathered each boy, after which Aiden was sent a US passport, but Ethan received a letter saying his application for citizenship had been denied.
The suit was filed by an LGBTQ immigrant rights group, Immigration Equality, that said the State Department is discriminating against same-sex binational couples by denying their children citizenship at birth.
Aaron C. Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality and one of the lawyers representing the family, told LA Times: “This is a huge victory for Ethan Dvash-Banks and his 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 US citizenship at birth and the other to be required to petition as an immigrant.”
Andrew Dvash-Banks was studying in Israel in 2008 when he met Elad. The couple had planned to move to California, but same-sex marriages were not legal at the time, so the couple settled in Canada where they married in 2010.
Their sons were born in September 2016 and the family since moved to Los Angeles.