Gay Couple Seeks Citizenship for Their Child

Just weeks before same sex marriage became legal in the United States, Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg got married in New York City in 2015 according to

Now that the law recognized their marriage, their next step was have a child of their own, and fortunately, through a surrogate in England, they were able have their daughter Simone who is now 13 months old. The problem? Simone is not an American citizen.

The State Department has refused to issue Simone a passport or Social Security number, this, regardless of the fact that Mize was born and reared in Mississippi and Gregg while born in England, is an American citizenship through his mother, who is from New York.

Mize and Gregg have now filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta arguing that the State Department is violating the Immigration and Naturalization Act and accusing the government of discrimination for not treating their marriage as it would as that of a heterosexual couple.

A similar case in California resulted in the judge ruling in favor of the gay couple, but the State Department filed an appeal.

The issue is that children born outside of the United States must be born “to a U.S. citizen mother and U.S. citizen father,” but since in this case it was Gregg’s sperm and donor egg from a friend, there isn’t a biological connection with Simone even though their marriage is legal.

Meanwhile, the British government issued a parental order naming Gregg and Mize as Simone’s legal parents and are listed on her birth certificate.

Attorney Alex Hernandez

Representing clients in the areas of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Family Law/Divorce, and car and motorcycle accidents for 20 years. (904) 712-5565 or (305)-688-LAWS (5297). *Se Habla Español

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