July 14, 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

LA Pride Leaving West Hollywood

July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020

Christopher Street West announces LA Pride will not be in West Hollywood By Sam Catanzaro Christopher Street West (CSW), the...

Local Leaders Celebrate Supreme Court LGBT Discrimination Ban

June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020

Supreme Court votes 6-3 in case Bostock v. Clayon County, Georgia By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles-area leaders are celebrating the...

City of West Hollywood’s ‘One City One Pride’ LGBTQ Arts Festival

June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

Features a ‘virtual platform’ for arts and cultural events: May 22 through June 30 By Staff Writer Each year, the...

North Hollywood Gay Latino Bar ‘Cobra’ Closed for Business

June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

Instead adopts virtual entertainment method By Toi Creel The effect of COVID -19 has not only taken a toll on...

LA Pride Pulls out of Black Lives Matter March Facing Backlash

June 10, 2020

June 10, 2020

LA Pride organizers face backlash after seeking police permit By Sam Catanzaro L.A. Pride will not be involved in an...

Requiring CA to Collect Data on COVID-19’s Health Impacts on the LGTBQ Community?

May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

Currently, California collects data on COVID-19’s impacts on different races/ethnicities; SB 932 would expand this data collection to include the...

How COVID-19 Impacts Black LGBTQ+ People

May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

Amidst horrifying racial disparities, “COVID While Black and Queer” is a new data initiative that will shine a light on...

PBS Celebrates Pride Month with PRIDELAND

May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

Short-Form Digital Series and New One-Hour Special with Host and Actor Dyllón Burnside, Exploring LGBTQ+ Identity in the U.S. South...

Covid-19 & HIV: Who Are You Choosing To Be?

May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

By Staff Writer A free zoom seminar this Friday, May 15, 2020 from 12:00-2:00pm. This weeks event covers Covid-19, HIV:...

CA Attorney General Urges FDA to Eliminate Bias Against Gay and Bisexual Men for Blood Donations

April 24, 2020

April 24, 2020

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a multistate coalition in submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human...

Over 1,000 COVID-19 Cases Confirmed as WEHO’s Rate Continues to Rise

April 23, 2020

April 23, 2020

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed over 1,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus...

GLAAD to Host COVID-19 Event Featuring Pete Buttigieg and More

April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020

LAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, announced that Billy Porter, Pete &...

Over 500 Medical Professionals Sign Letter The FDA To Eliminate Ban On Gay And Bisexual Men Donating Blood

April 16, 2020

April 16, 2020

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today released an open letter penned by over...

Lawmakers Ask State and Counties to Collect Data on LGBTQ Community and COVID-19

April 14, 2020

April 14, 2020

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Todd Gloria, Chair and Vice-Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus respectively, sent...

WeHo’s High COVID-19 Rate

April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

City of West Hollywood has highest rate of COVID-19 in LA Countywide, LGBTQ population at risk By Sam Catanzaro As...