Imagine having biological twins, and only one of them is a United States citizen. It sounds like the plot of a movie, but it’s real life for couple Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks. The two were married in Canada, where they moved to in 2011, and are parents to twins, thanks to assisted reproductive technology, the support of an anonymous egg donor and a surrogate who gave birth to the children.  The twin boys both have Andrew and Elad listed as their parents on their birth certificate, and Canada recognizes this.

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The twins are equally the children of Andrew and Elad, regardless of whose sperm was specifically used to conceive each of the twins. Being a parent is so much more than whose sperm or egg the child has. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in the eyes of the United States government. The question of citizenship came up for these twins as Elad and Andrew decided to move back to the United States.

only one twin is a United States citizen
Photo via PinkNews

Andrew and Elad originally moved to Canada because they were not able to be legally married in the United States at that time. Citizenship and biological parenting questions were raised when the couple decided to move back, because only Andrew is a United States citizen. Elad has Israeli citizenship and Andrew has dual citizenship in Canada and United States.

The U.S. Immigration Code associates citizenship rights with DNA, meaning that only Andrew can pass down his United States citizenship to children conceived with his DNA. Elad and Andrew’s immigration official told them that a DNA test would be required to determine whether both, one or neither of the twins would be eligible for U.S. citizenship. DNA proof requirement is up to the immigration officer’s discretion.

The DNA results concluded that only one twin has Elad’s DNA. As for what happens to the twin with Elad’s DNA, the process of citizenship is insensitive to say the least. Andrew has two choices, despite being listed as a parent on both children’s birth certificates. He can either sponsor his son as his stepson, making the twin eligible for a green card, or go the route of adopting his own son.


Featured image via Andrew Dvash-Banks on Facebook