LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Monday, Immigration Equality filed a lawsuit against the U.S. State Department for refusing to recognize the valid marriage of Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks, a same-sex couples living with their twin sons in Los Angeles, and for disenfranchising their son Ethan by denying recognition of his rightful U.S. citizenship at birth, while granting his twin brother’s citizenship.
Andrew is a U.S. citizen who grew up in Santa Monica. He moved to Israel to work and study, and it was there that 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 lives. Andrew is a dual U.S. and Canadian citizen, so he and Elad chose to move 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, which has now expired. The family is fighting the discriminatory policy that is forcing the family to live in limbo.