A judge had to set a ruling after one twin born to a same-sex couple was denied citizenship while the other twin was not.
The judge ruled that the twin son born abroad to two married men—one a U.S. citizen and the other Israeli—was declared a U.S. citizen even though he was conceived with the sperm of the Israeli parent. U.S. District Judge John Walter of Los Angeles said the child, Ethan, was a U.S. citizen following his birth in September 2016. Ethan was conceived through the Israeli’ parents’ sperm while his twin brother, Aiden, was conceived with the sperm of the U.S. parent. The Washington Post, the Associated Press and the New York Times covered the Feb. 21 decision.
The parents used an anonymous egg donor and surrogate to conceive the twins. In January 2017, the parents sought a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad” and a passport for the boys when they were living in Canada. However, the State Department granted the certificate and a passport to Aiden, conceived by the U.S. parent, and a tourist visa to Ethan, conceived by the Israeli parent. Ethan was denied the certificate and passport.
Walter cited the Immigration and Nationality Act and said a child born during a parents’ marriage does not have to demonstrate a biological relationship with both parents. Immigration Equality and Sullivan & Cromwell had filed the suit on behalf of the family. Aaron Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality, was co-counsel.
“While this ruling did not explicitly strike down the State Department’s policy, it is a strong indication that the department should do so on its own,” Morris said in a press release. “We will continue to fight until all same-sex couples have their relationships fully recognized.”
The State Department said in a statement Friday that it is reviewing the decision.
Press play below for more on this story.