Children born to U.S. citizens have traditionally been considered citizens themselves, regardless of where they were born. However, a Georgia couple had to fight for a legal ruling that their daughter, born in England via surrogacy, was in fact a U.S. citizen. U.S. District Judge Michael Brown ruled in the couple’s favor, finding that it was unnecessary for the child to be biologically related to both of her parents in order to obtain citizenship.
Simone was born in 2018, a full three years after her parents – both U.S. citizens themselves – were legally married. However, when the men applied for a Social Security number for their daughter, the U.S. State Department took the position that because Simone was only biologically related to one of her parents, that she was born outside the marriage. Because Simone’s biological father had not lived in the U.S. for a full five years leading up to her birth, the State Department claimed that she was not eligible for citizenship.
Her parents filed suit alleging that the State Department’s policy was discriminatory against same-sex married couples who cannot both be biological parents to their children. This Atlanta judge’s ruling in Simone’s (and her parents’) favor is the second ruling this summer against the State Department’s policy, as previously shared on our blog. Of course, it is possible that the State Department will appeal this decision, as it has similar rulings in other jurisdictions.
When asked for a comment on this Georgia ruling, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany stated that this ruling had to do with surrogacy and denied that the sexual orientation of Simone’s parents had any impact in the State Department’s policy or the judge’s ruling.
The Surrogacy Law Center will continue to monitor this case and others like it, including those that are currently before appellate court judges. At The Surrogacy Law Center we aim to provide our clients with a straightforward breakdown of what might seem to be a complicated and daunting process, contact us today to get started!