Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Gay Couple’s Son Not Granted Citizenship – But His Twin Brother Was

Ethan Dvash-Banks is just 16 months old, but he’s already suing the U.S. State Department, the Chicago Tribune reported. He was denied U.S. citizenship — even when his twin brother Aiden was granted it.

Ethan’s biological father, Elad, is Israeli, and his twin brother’s biological father, Andrew, is American. The two were both born as twins to a surrogate mother with donor eggs. The Dvash-Banks and advocates say the couple was discriminated against because they are a same sex couple.

“If a mother and father walk into a consulate and have a marriage certificate and birth certificate, they’re never asked any questions about the biology of the child,” said Aaron Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality. “But the converse is also true and every same-sex couple will be asked that.”

When Elad and Andrew Dvash-Banks applied for citizenship for their infant sons, the State Department representative interviewing them asked for DNA evidence that Ethan and Aiden were twins.

“I started crying,” Andrew Dvash-Banks said. “These are twins, how can you differentiate between them? They were born minutes apart.”

After the DNA samples were submitted, only Aiden — whose biological father is a U.S. citizen — received a passport. The whole family is currently living in Los Angeles. Ethan’s passport visa expired last month.

Contact Ari Feldman at [email protected] or on Twitter @aefeldman

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.