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Trump administration told yet again it cannot deny citizenship to child of gay couple born via surrogate in Canada

Nick Duffy October 13, 2020
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Andrew Dvash-Banks and Elad Dvash-Banks with their sons Ethan and Aidan

Andrew Dvash-Banks and Elad Dvash-Banks with their sons Ethan and Aidan (Immigration Equality)

An appeals court has upheld the victory of Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks, a gay couple fighting for their baby to get US citizenship despite efforts from the Trump administration.

The State Department had refused to grant citizenship to two-year-old Ethan Dvash-Banks, who was born via surrogate in Canada to US citizen Andrew Dvash-Banks and his husband, Israeli citizen Elad Dvash-Banks.

Officials argued that Ethan was not entitled to US citizenship because he is only biologically related to Elad, even though it happily granted citizenship to Ethan’s twin brother Aidan, who was born via a different donor egg and is biologically related to Andrew.

Ethan finally gained a US passport after a court ruled in favour of the family in February 2019, and the ruling was affirmed on Friday (October 9) by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after an appeal from the State Department.

The appeals court affirmed that the State Department had wrongly interpreted immigration laws, reiterating that where two parents are married, citizenship for a child “does not require a biological relationship between a child and the citizen parent through whom citizenship is claimed”.

Citizenship battle: Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks after the birth of their twins
Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks after the birth of their twins (Facebook/Andrew Dvash-Banks)

Aaron C. Morris of Immigration Equality, who was co-counsel for the Dvash-Bankses, said in a release: “After years of the federal government denying Andrew and Elad’s rights as a married couple, the Ninth Circuit has unequivocally ruled in the family’s favour.

“No longer will these parents have to worry that their twin sons will be treated as if they were born out of wedlock simply because they have two fathers.

“This decision demonstrates yet again that it is far past time for the State Department to change its discriminatory policy.”

Dvash-Banks family ‘overjoyed’ at court ruling in their favour.

The Dvash-Banks family said in a statement: “We are overjoyed and gratified by today’s decision that our twin sons should be treated the same as the children of all other marriages, and we hope this decision will help other LGBTQ families secure the equal rights they deserve.”

Immigration Equality says it “currently represents three other same-sex married couples fighting for their children’s rights to be recognized as US citizens”.

The State Department is yet to comment on the ruling, though a spokesperson said it is reviewing the decision.

Related topics: citizenship, Gay, surrogacy, US

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