Twins Declared Citizens of Different Countries at Birth

Is it possible for twins to have different citizenship’s at birth? According to the U.S. Department of State, the answer is (absurdly) yes.

Andrew Dvash-Banks, a U.S. citizen. and Elad Dvash-Banks who is from Israel are the proud parents of Ethan and Aiden. The twin boys were born in Canada via a surrogate in 2016.

Generally speaking, the child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent derives U.S. citizenship from that parent automatically at the time of birth. However, to obtain a U.S. passport for that child, the U.S. parent must visit the nearest U.S. Embassy and file a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad.”

But after Andrew registered the births of Ethan and Aiden with the U.S. consular post in Toronto things did not go as planned. The U.S. Department of State issued a passport for Aiden but denied U.S. citizenship to his twin brother Ethan.

The stated reason was that Andrew is Aiden’s biological father whereas Ethan’s biological father is Elad, who is an Israeli citizen and green card holder. Essentially, the U.S. government determined that because Ethan has no biological connection to his U.S. citizen father, he cannot derive U.S. citizenship, even though both fathers are listed on the birth certificate.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of baby Ethan by Immigration Equality (an LGBTQ advocacy non-profit) accuses the State Department of discriminating against same-sex bi-national couples. According to their lawyer, straight couples in a similar scenario would have no problem getting passport applications approved, but the U.S. consulate in Toronto asked this couple invasive questions about how their babies were conceived and eventually required them to obtain DNA tests.

The family of four eventually relocated to the U.S. anyway, with Ethan entering the country on a temporary visitor visa that has since expired. He is currently undocumented.

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