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You are here News Domestic (USA) Trump Administration to LGBT Couples: Your ‘Out of Wedlock’ Kids Aren’t Citizens

Trump Administration to LGBT Couples: Your ‘Out of Wedlock’ Kids Aren’t Citizens

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State Dept. to LGBT couples: Your children are not citizens

No parent can ever be fully prepared for the arrival of a new baby. But when Roee and Adiel Kiviti brought home their newborn daughter Kessem two months ago, they figured that they were as ready as they could be. After all, they’d gone through the same process two years earlier with their son Lev, who, like Kessem, was born with the help of an egg donor and a gestational surrogate in Canada.

“It was as straightforward as one can imagine,” Roee told The Daily Beast, recalling the ease of bringing Lev home in late 2016, the infant’s newly printed Canadian passport in hand, soon to be supplanted by an American one. But this February, when Kessem’s fathers contacted the U.S. consulate in Calgary to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad for their daughter—the legal equivalent of a birth certificate for Americans born outside of the United States—something was different this time.

“They first indicated that they needed proof of our marriage, which I found quite odd,” Roee said. “They needed the original marriage certificate, which we didn’t have with us, but I didn’t actually think anything more about it. I thought, ‘We don’t have time for this, we’ll just deal with it in the U.S.’”

Roee and Adiel obtained Kessem’s Canadian passport—a stopgap, they figured, until they could get her U.S. passport back home—and traveled back to their home in the United States.

But Kessem was about to become the latest victim of a government policy that effectively de-recognizes her parents’ marriage, granting her no automatic rights to American birthright citizenship despite the fact that both her fathers are U.S. citizens. That policy, Kessem’s fathers told The Daily Beast, poses a unique threat to LGBT families, and could change the decades-old legal understanding of what the word “family” even means.

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