Judge Grants Citizenship to Twin Son of Gay Couple

Judge Grants Citizenship to Twin Son of Gay Couple

LOS ANGELES (AP) 2/22/19 — A federal judge in California ruled Thursday that a twin son of a gay married couple has been an American citizen since birth, handing a defeat to the U.S. government, which had granted the status only to his brother.

Elad Dvash-Banks, left, and his partner, Andrew, pose for photos with their twin sons, in their apartment in Los Angeles in this January 2018 file photo. (AP/Jae C. Hong)

The State Department was wrong to deny citizenship to 2-year-old Ethan Dvash-Banks because U.S. law does not require a child to show a biological relationship with their parents if their parents were married at the time of their birth, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter found.

A lawsuit filed by the boys’ parents, Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks, sought the same rights for Ethan that his brother, Aiden, has as a citizen.

Each boy was conceived with donor eggs and the sperm from a different father — one an American, the other an Israeli citizen — but born by the same surrogate mother minutes apart.

The government had granted citizenship only to Aiden, who DNA tests showed was the biological son of Andrew, a U.S. citizen. Ethan was conceived from the sperm of Elad Dvash-Banks, an Israeli citizen.

The lawsuit was one of two filed last year by an LGBTQ immigrant rights group that said the State Department is discriminating against same-sex binational couples by denying their children citizenship at birth.

The cases filed in Los Angeles and Washington by Immigration Equality said the children of a U.S. citizen who marries abroad are entitled to U.S. citizenship at birth no matter where they are born, even if the other parent is a foreigner. Only the Los Angeles case was decided Thursday.

The State Department did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the ruling. Previously the department cited guidance on its website that said there must be a biological connection to a U.S. citizen to become a citizen at birth.

“This family was shocked and appalled and angry when they were told their family wasn’t legal,” said Aaron Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality. “They wanted their twin boys to be treated exactly the same.”

Morris said the government wrongly applied a policy for children born out of wedlock to married same-sex couples.

Judge Walter agreed, writing that the State Department does not contain language “requiring a ‘blood relationship between the person and the father’ in order for citizenship to be acquired at birth.”

“This is justice! We are hopeful that no other family will ever have to go through this again. It’s like a giant rock has been removed from our hearts,” Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks said in a statement provided by Immigration Equality.

Andrew Dvash-Banks was studying in Israel when he met his future husband, Elad, an Israeli citizen. Because they couldn’t marry at the time in the U.S. or in Israel, they moved to Canada, where they wed in 2010. The children were born by a surrogate in September 2016.

Everything seemed fine until the couple brought their cranky infants to the U.S. consulate in Toronto a few months later to apply for citizenship and the woman at the counter asked probing questions they found shocking and humiliating.

The consular official told them she had discretion to require a DNA test to show who the biological father was of each boy and without those tests neither son would get citizenship. The men knew that Andrew was Aiden’s biological father and Elad was Ethan’s but they had kept it a secret and hadn’t planned on telling anyone.

After submitting the DNA test results that proved who fathered each boy, the couple received a large and small envelope from the U.S. on March 2. The big one included Aiden’s passport. The other was a letter notifying Andrew that Ethan’s application had been denied.

The family has since moved to Los Angeles to be closer to Andrew Dvash-Banks’ family.

The other case involves two women, one from the U.S. and one from Italy, who met in New York, wed in London and each gave birth to a son. The State Department didn’t recognize the couple’s marriage, the lawsuit said, and granted citizenship only to the boy whose biological mother was born and raised in the U.S.

Xin Nian Kuai Le

Pigs have a beautiful personality and are blessed with good fortune in life. We wish all of our friends and colleagues a bountiful new year! Happy Chinese New Year 2019 Zodiac Sign of Red Pig

Chūnjié kuàilè!

Chūnjié kuàilè

Chūnjié kuàilè

One of the reasons I love my job!

Malcolm and Rob were one of the most delightful clients. I think this article reflects them well: https://www.gayswithkids.com/rob-and-malcolm-gaydads-pfcla-2565569064.html

“SURROGACY IS HARD, SO LAY OFF THE CONTROVERSIAL CHINESE PARENTS”

“Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself.” – Henry James

Balanced article about a California surrogate who delivered twins — one who was biologically hers.

 

Bad news for many same-sex male couples in Florida seeking to deduct expenses

Florida court decides that surrogacy expenses by same-sex Intended Parents are not tax deductible, despite equal protection arguments.

While this decision may not affect couples in other states, the case may be used as persuasive authority for any similar case against the IRS.

Morrissey v. United States, No. 8:15-cv-2736-T-26AEP, 2016 BL 447323 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 22, 2016).

Deductibility of Surrogacy Expenses by Same-Sex Couples: Florida District Court Weighs In | Bloomberg BNA 

Men Having Babies – Surrogacy & Gay Parenting Conference – Dallas, June 10-11, 2017

Texas flagAttorney Lori Meyers will be presenting at this year’s Men Having Babies Conference in Dallas. Conference details:

http://www.menhavingbabies.org/surrogacy-seminars/dallas/program/ 

Both gay and non-gay prospective surrogacy parents are welcome!

(Come speak to Lori about a special MHB legal rate.)

Hope to see y’all there!

 

Baby-Making Abbreviations

If you are new to the world of TTC (Trying to Conceive), you may feel like you have stumbled upon an entirely new world, complete with its own language. This handy little guide should help familiarize you with the commonly used abbreviations.(Click the image to see a larger view.)

TTC_Infographic

 

Visit Ovulation Calculator’s original page.

Same Sex Partnership may become legal in Italy

One million Italians are openly gay or bisexual, or one in 60, according to a recent survey. But, the country’s laws do not reflect this reality. In fact, Italy is the largest European country that hasn’t yet legalized any form of same-sex life partnership. That may change this year.

This week, the Italian parliament considered a bill that could become the country’s first law on civil unions, providing health benefits, inheritance rights, and all the other rights usually reserved for heterosexual couples. It’s not marriage, but it’s a start.

The bill, in italiano.

italy-rainbow

Zika Virus Infection & Pregnancy

Pregnant woman are cautioned not to travel to a country where cases of Zika have been reported. And, since the list of those countries is growing daily, it’s recommended to check frequently for the most up-to-date recommendations: Zika Travel Notices

Most surrogacy contracts prohibit international travel once pregnant. However, the interesting question arises: If a woman who is not pregnant is bitten by a mosquito and infected with Zika virus, will her future pregnancies be at risk? The CDC says: “Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for only a few days to a week. The virus will not cause infections in an infant that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood. There is currently no evidence that Zika virus infection poses a risk of birth defects in future pregnancies. A women contemplating pregnancy, who has recently recovered from Zika virus infection, should consult her healthcare provider after recovering.”