Andrew and Elad had fraternal twin sons via surrogacy. One of the boys is being treated by the U.S. government as a U.S. citizen while the other is not.

Dvash-Banks Family

Andrew is a dual U.S. and Canadian citizen who grew up in Los Angeles. He moved to Israel to work and study, and there he met Elad, his future husband. Andrew and Elad knew they wanted to marry and have a family, but because of the Defense of Marriage Act, Andrew could not sponsor Elad for a visa to be with him in the U.S., where all of Andrew’s family is.

Andrew and Elad moved to Canada, where they were able to legally marry and have their marriage recognized so Andrew could sponsor Elad. There they had twin sons, Ethan and Aiden, through surrogacy.

When they sought recognition of the twins’ U.S. citizenship, Andrew and Elad were forced to submit DNA tests and other documentation of their biological relationships to their boys, even though no such requirement exists for the children of a married U.S. citizen. Because one son was conceived with the sperm of one father and the other son with the sperm of the other father, one of these fraternal twins is being treated by the U.S. government as a U.S. citizen while the other was forced to enter the U.S. on a tourist visa.

In 2018, Immigration Equality filed a case against the U.S. State Department challenging the discriminatory policy. A year later, a federal judge ruled that Ethan Dvash-Banks has been a U.S. citizen since birth. However, the U.S. State Department appealed that decision, insisting a married U.S. citizen must have a biological connection to their child in order to pass on birthright citizenship.

Nowhere in the law does it say a married U.S. citizen must be biologically related to their child to pass on their citizenship. It’s discrimination—pure and simple—and Immigration Equality will continue to fight on behalf of LGBTQ families until this policy is eliminated.

Case Documents