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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 26, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 04
Lesbian couple sues US to get citizenship for their child
Section One
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Lesbian couple sues US to get citizenship for their child

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A Lesbian couple is suing the US government in an attempt to get US citizenship for their child.

US citizen Allison Blixt and her Italian wife Stefania Zaccari were legally married in England and subsequently had two children together. They currently reside in London. Blixt was the biological mother of one son and Zaccari of the other, but both women are recognized as the legal parents of both children under British law.

Massimiliano, Blixt's biological child, has been granted US citizenship, but their application for US citizenship for their other son, Lucas, Zaccari's biological child, has been rejected.

According to the BBC, the couple has been told that the US rule is that for a child born outside the United States to acquire US citizenship 'at least one biological parent must have been a US citizen when the child was born.' Thus only Massimiliano is eligible, even though his brother Lucas is also legally the child of a US citizen.

According to court documents, Blixt was told that Lucas could not be registered as a US citizen because he was not her blood relative and because Zaccari, who conceived him with donor sperm, was not a US citizen.

The court filing adds that the US consulate denied Lucas citizenship because he was born 'out of wedlock.' The couple also charges that the US consulate asked them 'a series of invasive and legally irrelevant questions about how their children were conceived and born.'

Blixt told the Washington Post that she has turned down an offer to become Lucas's legal stepmother and take him to the US as an immigrant.

Aaron C. Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality and the couple's attorney, condemned the US government's treatment of his clients.

'The State Department is refusing to acknowledge the citizenship of children whose parents are same-sex married couples,' he said. 'This policy is not only illegal, it is unconstitutional.

'This action by the State Department disenfranchises children born to binational same-sex parents and places an undue burden on their families,' he continued.

Morris also represents a Gay couple in a similar lawsuit, Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks. The couple was married in Canada and have twin boys, Aidan and Ethan, but only one has been granted US citizenship, despite the fact that Canadian authorities recognize both boys as the couple's children.

Andrew has dual Canadian and US citizenship, and Elad is an Israeli citizen. When they got married in Canada in 2011, they decided they each wanted a child genetically related to them and consequently arranged to have twins through assisted reproduction.

Their legal problems began when they decided to move to the United States and found that US authorities required a DNA match to a US citizen in order to establish the children's right to US citizenship. Because each twin is genetically related to only one of the couple, only one will be able to establish citizenship.

The other will only get a green card, unless Andrew files papers to adopt him, in spite of the fact that both twins are the legal children of both parents.

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