Should a Family Suffer Because of DNA? Leave a Comment / Family Law / By Graeme / April 16, 2019 Consider the case of twins—one four minutes older than the other. Could they be citizens of two different countries, even if they have the same mother? The children were not even born in separate countries. They are not even separated by birth. Well, the U.S. State Department said that the twins’ DNA was a bit different. One twin’s father was not a U.S. citizen while the other man was. Yet, when the case was taken to the federal court, the judge ruled that citizenship cannot be determined by genetic material. The case ended with the twins both granted U.S. citizenships. The USCIS According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) [Volume 12 (Citizenship & Naturalization) Part H – Children of U.S. Citizens, Chapter 1 – Purpose and Background], the laws of the United States grant citizenship to children side from being born in the country. People born to an American parent or parents outside the United States may derive or achieve U.S. citizenship at the moment of their birth. People may also be declared U.S. citizens through their American parents after they are born but before they turn 18. At one time, the procurement of citizenship is associated with the people who became American citizens at birth. Also, derived citizenship was granted to those who became American citizens after they were born because of a naturalized parent. Generally, the prevailing laws on nationality only deal with the acquisition of American citizenship for people who undoubtedly become American citizens at birth or after birth. A person should meet the requirements in defining a child at the time the citizenship is acquired and should be below 18 years old. The law at birth determines whether a person born to an American parent(s) outside the U.S. is truly an American citizen at birth. These laws need a consolidation of at least one American parent present during the child’s birth and having resided in the U.S. for a certain period. Also, children born in another country may also become U.S. citizens after they’re born. Before the Act of October 10, 1078, Americans who were born abroad and acquired citizenship through one American parent had to meet requirements of physical presence to retain their U.S. citizenship. The said legislation removed the retention requirements. The Child Citizenship Act (CCA) removed one of the provisions and then amended the other. As a result, it is the only means for children under 18 years old in the U.S. to acquire citizenship automatically after their birth. The Case of Fathers and Twins The father of the twins is both male—Andrew Dvash-Banks and Elad. Andrew is American, while Elad is Israeli. They agreed to use surrogate to have their twins, Ethan and Aiden. The couple was already married when the boys were conceived and born. The twins were conceived through the eggs of an anonymous female donor and their own sperm. Andrew’s sperm was used in the Aiden’s conception, while Elad’s sperm was used in Ethan’s. The surrogate mother carried the two boys in her womb and birthed them only seconds apart in Canada, September 16, 2016. Andrew and Elad are the only known parents that Aiden and Ethan have. Canada recognizes the couple as the twins’ only parents the moment they came into this world. When it came to citizenship, the twins were not treated equally. Based on the Immigration and Nationality Act, children born locally or abroad to American parents are given American citizenship automatically. When the couple revealed the specifics of the assisted reproduction, Aiden was granted his U.S. passport. Ethan did not get his. Citizenship and Parents Thankfully, a federal judge, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter, in the state of California ruled the inquiry irrelevant. Judge Walter ruled that in the Immigration and Nationality Act, there is no language that requires blood relations between the father and the child so that citizenship could be granted at birth. The marriage of Andrew and Elad was enough to determine the true citizenship of the twins. Andrew and Elad fought for their family. This issue, if it remained unresolved could mean the separation of their family, in case they should leave Canada. It is vital for families to know about cases like this. Talk to your reliable family law attorney to help you resolve problems similar to what was discussed.