Gay Couple Fights for Daughter’s Citizenship

Both dads are American — but because their daughter was born abroad, this gay couple now has to fight for her to be a citizen.

They're both American, their daughter isn't.

This gay couple is in an unexpected fight for their daughter to be an American citizen through brave activism. James was born and raised in the U.S. while Jonathan was born in Britain to an American mother. Simone was born in the U.K. — with a close friend of Jonathan's serving as the surrogate. Their case illustrates the latest complication facing some families who use assisted reproductive technology, like surrogacy and in vitro fertilization, to have children. For years the techniques have set off provocative legal and ethical debates about what defines parenthood. Immigration and citizenship are the latest frontier in those debates to fight for your rights.

Nine months after Simone’s birth, the couple went to the U.S. embassy to get her a passport. But the U.S. State Department denied their daughter’s citizenship. According to the U.S State Department, a child born abroad must be biologically connected to an American parent to receive citizenship at birth based on U.S. State Department data. The State Department also classifies some children born through assisted reproductive technology as “out of wedlock,” even if the parents are legally married. At the crux of the issue is a State Department policy, based on immigration law, that requires a child born abroad to have a biological connection to an American parent in order to receive citizenship at birth. That is generally not a problem when couples have babies the traditional way but can prove tricky when only one spouse is the genetic parent.

The policy has come under intense scrutiny in recent months amid immigration lawsuits arguing that the State Department discriminates against same-sex couples and their children by failing to recognize their marriages. Under the policy, the department classifies certain children born through assisted reproductive technology as “out of wedlock,” which triggers a higher bar for citizenship, even if the parents are legally married. James and Jonathan are not alone. Other binational gay couples have been denied a passport for their kids. In February 2019, a U.S. District Judge from California stated that a biological connection wasn’t necessary for the child of binational parents to get birthright citizenship and the department is appealing.


06/04/2019 8:40 PM


  • Michael S.
    07/27/2019 17:13

    thats what we called capitalism or Librealism

  • Arjai D.
    07/26/2019 14:14

    Wait bottom line y’all didn’t use your own sperm ? Because if the guy mother is a American citizen and he was born in the UK that makes him born with duel citizenship/ making him an American so if your surrogate was impregnated with his sperm the child would be biologically born to an American citizen literally... y’all should’ve did more investigation into the matter before doing so ... because if y’all did y’all would’ve known to use your own sperm ... it’s a sad story but the law is the law ... 🤷🏽‍♀️ but keep fighting ❤️

  • Justin D.
    07/26/2019 12:44

    If things weren’t bad enough in the world, wait until the generations being raised by these immoral people grow up and can’t dress themselves! Sad is that same sex couples can even adopt!

  • Indra L.
    07/26/2019 00:29

    She wasn't born in America so she's not a citizen.

  • Gilda R.
    07/25/2019 16:50

    This is discrimination. plain and simple.

  • Tin T.
    07/25/2019 15:01

    Cute baby

  • Maggie S.
    07/25/2019 02:51

    These baby's are so lucky.

  • Mohammad Y.
    07/25/2019 02:26

    If they choose to be gays its ok but trying to rise a kid is major problem .. They couldn't manage their sexual issues how can they manage to rise a kid !?

  • Shanté G.
    07/25/2019 02:20

    realistically, she would only get auto duel citizenship if the american dude was the donor. i'm assuming he's not and the British guy is. i'm sure the rules would be the same if you was the step dad or if you dated a woman overseas and it was found out that you was not the father. y'all definitely should have look into since obviously both y'all can't be bio dads.

  • Nevin S.
    07/24/2019 23:17

    How sad for the kid

  • Caroline S.
    07/24/2019 22:21

    This is a story about two loving people who want to share that love with a child. Does it REALLY matter what sex and sexual orientation they are? I know we live in the land of homophobia, racism and ignorance but get over it.

  • Mac R.
    07/24/2019 22:16

    I'm sorry I must have missed something what you want to be an American because you guys are about to have a baby if you two guys cannot produce a baby yourself can you know that's not of God that's eagle you are all demons and you feel confused that little beautiful baby mine for the rest of her life thinking that that's right you need to shut up and get right with God

  • Mac R.
    07/24/2019 22:14

    Amla government you want the government to respect the fact that you know two guys cannot produce a baby but yet you want to adopt a baby so you can confuse that baby mine how stupid of you you lucky I'm not a present I have your head cut off

  • Elizabeth Q.
    07/24/2019 21:00

    its so horrible to see this post cause I again didn’t have a day without feeling hate this president easily has sent many Americans straight into depression I pray🙏🙏🙏 for them to keep their baby awh😢this is so sad poor family poor baby

  • Leela B.
    07/24/2019 19:04

    Blood and genes make a family u don't like women why adopt a girl child sad

  • Leela B.
    07/24/2019 18:55

    If u in a gay relationship why u adopted a girl child wats the real reason for it u wanted to be with a gay man u know u all can't have children by that lifestyle why adopt a child something very fishe

  • Anke P.
    07/24/2019 17:51

    Which of the fathers gave birth to that child? I don't understand the purpose. Something is going wrong. Has it become normal to buy kids abroad?

  • Michael W.
    07/24/2019 17:41

    sueing, lol if you want to sue someone, maybe start with the adoption agency and yourselves for not filing the proper paperwork before flying to the other country to get the girl. Maybe stop blaming everyone else and try thinking and preparing ahead of time like normal people? Poor girl, parents cant even adopt her properly , whats ahead for her, a bunch of whinning parents im guessing

  • Macton M.
    07/24/2019 17:39

    Which one gave birth to their daughter?

  • Shelly R.
    07/24/2019 17:30

    Guess it never occurred to two white american men that something as silly as international problems could become their problem? Welcome to how the world works for the rest of the humans on the planet guys... and when you say "I don't know"... that's not news to anybody, we're all very aware that you don't bother to learn about struggles happening in the world to others that aren't in your own front yard... yeah, we get it. You had a plan, didn't bother to think it out very far, didn't factor in real life scenarios or the ever-changing politics involved, and now those pesky politics are disrupting your plans and you're unhappy and feeling like it wasn't "fair"... again, welcome to how life works for the rest of the humans that aren't white males. It kinda sucks, and get used to it.

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