A federal lawsuit has been filed against the State Department by a gay couple after they have been made to go through a really long process of getting an American passport for their daughter who was born to a surrogate in England.
Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg explain that they are married, both are U.S. citizens and they are both listed on their daughter’s birth certificate so they don’t see the problem here.
By law, every child that is born abroad to a U.S. citizen is automatically considered a U.S. citizen. However, when it comes to same-sex couples the government requires a lot of additional paperwork and proof which practically makes it impossible for some gay couples to bring their children into the US.
The couple met in 2014, and got married in 2015. In 2018 a friend of theirs in England offered to be a surrogate mother for their child and their daughter Simone was born in 2018 in London. When they tried to get a Social Security number for her, they were told they need to go to the U.S. Embassy in England to get a consular record of birth abroad.
They traveled to London and they watched around 20 heterosexual couples in a similar situation get in and out with the same paperwork that they had. They started getting invasive questions about how was she conceived only to later tell them that they couldn’t declare Simone to be a U.S. citizen as her birth was considered “out of wedlock” because her biological parents weren’t married to each other even though her actual parents are married.
As opposed to this, the State Department doesn’t seem to do anything to determine if a child born to heterosexual parents is, in fact, their biological child. They don’t ask heterosexual parents if they used a sperm or egg donor, nor do they perform paternity tests to see if the man who presents himself as the child’s father is, in fact, the child’s biological father.
“The State Department’s policy is not only cruel, but it is also unconstitutional. The government refuses to recognize Jonathan and Derek’s marriage and all of Simone’s rights as a U.S. citizen,” says their lawyer of Immigration Equality.
This shows that the battle for equal marriage is far from over and this couple will have continue to do so in order to get their child.