A California gay couple are counting their blessings after a judge granted their son American citizenship.
According to AP, a federal judge ruled on Thursday that the twin son of a gay married couple has been an American citizen since birth. Before now, only the other twin had been given that right.
Last year, Canadian-American dual citizen Andrew Dvash-Banks and his Israeli-born husband Elad sued the U.S. government. The two men had twins Ethan and Aiden through a surrogate mother who used both of their sperm. The problem was that when the family immigrated to the US, Ethan was barred from entering.
The problem is that immigration officers insisted there be a DNA match to a US citizen for a child to gain citizenship. After collecting $900 DNA samples from the children, it was decided that Ethan isn’t biologically related to Andrew. As such, Ethan wasn’t granted citizenship.
But now, District Judge John F. Walter has ruled to keep the American family together. In his ruling, he wrote that the State Department statue 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 celebratory statement.
The Dvash-Banks lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles by LGBTQ immigrant rights group Immigration Equality. The case stated that 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. provided by Immigration Equality.
"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."
The family is currently celebrating this win while living in Los Angeles to be close to Andrew Dvash-Banks’ family.