September 27, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

UPDATE: Federal Court Grants U.S. Citizenship to Twin son of Brentwood Gay Couple

A federal judge in California ruled Thursday, Feb. 21 that a son of a gay married couple in Brentwood has been an American citizen since birth, despite only his twin brother receiving citizenship at birth in 2016.

Each boy was conceived with donor eggs and sperm samples from the two different fathers — one an American, the other an Israeli citizen — but born by the same surrogate mother minutes apart. The government had only granted citizenship to Aiden Dvash-Banks, who DNA tests showed was the biological son of Andrew, a U.S. citizen. Ethan was conceived from the sperm of Elad, an Israeli citizen.

The State Department was wrong to deny citizenship to Ethan 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, District Judge John F. Walter found.

“This is justice!” Andrew and Elad said in a statement provided by Immigration Equality. “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.”

Last year, human rights group Immigration Equality filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Government on behalf of toddler Ethan. Before Ethan could speak, crawl, or register what the words “family” and “country” meant, the case of his American citizenship was being contested by a government that granted it without a thought to his twin brother Aiden, but not to Ethan himself. The lawsuit, brought about by Ethan’s parents, was a practical measure and a statement.

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

The lawsuit was filed in order to reunite a family, give two twin brothers equal rights and create a more inclusive idea of what family means in America in 2018. Elad and Andrew’s story spans across years, countries and continents.

The two met in Israel, forming a relationship that would lead to their marriage in 2010. The couple wanted to settle in the United States, but the Defense of Marriage Act stood in their way. Instead of compromising, they moved to Canada to begin a life together. In 2016, their twin sons were born through surrogacy. Elad served as Ethan’s biological father, Andrew was Aiden’s.

But the family wanted to move back to Andrew’s hometown of Los Angeles to be closer to his family. Seeking American citizenship for the children, Elad and Aiden visited the American Consulate in Toronto, where they were asked for DNA tests to prove their parentage. As a result, only one twin was allowed citizenship. Ethan, by virtue of being Elad’s biological son, was not. Elad’s Israeli citizenship meant that his son could only live in the U.S. on a tourist visa at the age of 16 months.

“Being a father is everything for me,” says Elad, who despaired of ever being able to have children as a young gay man growing up in a society with limited media representation of queer families. “How am I going to explain this to him when he grows up? ‘You’re different from your brother?’”

Related Posts

National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Action Network

September 20, 2020

September 20, 2020

The National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Action Network (the Network) launched a new campaign that urges presidential candidates to address issues of...

Helen Albert Farmers’ Market To Reopen

September 20, 2020

September 20, 2020

The City of West Hollywood will reopen the Helen Albert Certified Farmers’ Market at Plummer Park from 9 a.m. to...

Supreme Court Justice & LGBTQ Ally Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dead At 87

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed away on Sept. 18th at the age of 87, the court has...

Ross Victory Standing For Bisexuality

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Los Angeles singer-songwriter and author Ross Victory gives the reader a detailed vision of his life as a bisexual minority...

WeHo Cooling Center At Plummer Park

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

With temperatures expected to rise to more than 90 degrees over the next week, the City of West Hollywood will...

Golden Girls Puppet Parody

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Jonathan Rockefeller, acclaimed American/Australian producer, director, and writer, has announced that 16 new, original episodes of That Golden Girl Show!...

Los Angeles CEO Jeffrey Previte Caught Beating Dog

September 12, 2020

September 12, 2020

Jeffrey Previte, the CEO of EBI Consulting an environmental consulting firm in Los Angeles, was captured on camera at the...

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar 25th Anniversary

September 12, 2020

September 12, 2020

The cult classic “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar” hugely popular in the LGBTQ+ community celebrates its 25th...

Trans Women Will No Longer Be Incarcerated In Men’s Prisons In California

September 12, 2020

September 12, 2020

After passing the state legislature with a vote of  29 in favor and 10 against, Senate Bill 132 is headed...

Love In Action Telethon

September 10, 2020

September 10, 2020

Love In Action, a telethon to support the LGBTQ+ community during the COVID pandemic will be airing live on Sept.12th...

Rage Nightclub Permanently Closing

September 10, 2020

September 10, 2020

After 37 years Rage nightclub located at the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente in West Hollywood...

OUTFEST Announces “Taiwan Program”

September 6, 2020

September 6, 2020

The 2020 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan (R.O.C) and Taiwan Academy...

LGBTQ Center Long Beach Fires Executive Director Porter Gilberg

September 6, 2020

September 6, 2020

The Board of Directors of the LGBTQ Center Long Beach announced that it will not renew the employment contract of...

LA Pride Names First Black Trans Woman As President Of Board

September 6, 2020

September 6, 2020

Christopher Street West, the nonprofit organization that produces LA Pride, has named a Black transgender woman as president of its...

Gay Felon Ed Buck Requests Release Ahead Of Criminal Trial

September 3, 2020

September 3, 2020

A federal grand jury added four felony charges to the Justice Department’s case against Ed Buck, the one-time political activist...