Lev Kiviti has been a US citizen since he was born in Canada through surrogacy in 2016. But his sister, Kessem, was born this year, after the Trump administration began enforcing a policy that children born out of wedlock are not entitled to birthright citizenship. Their same-sex parents, Roee and Adiel, who are both US citizens, sued the State Department on Thursday, NBC reports. Theirs is one of at least four suits challenging the policy, the Maryland couple's lawyer said, in an effort led by an LGBTQ immigration advocacy group, Immigration Equality.
The men said they had been warned to expect a rejection of citizenship for Kessem. Still, Roee Kiviti told CNN, "getting the letter in the mail, in writing so we can see this discriminatory policy, was really just a punch in the gut." The Kivitis said it felt like their status as Kessem's parents has been questioned, which is upsetting. "We know what a family is," Roee Kiviti said, adding, "We encourage the State Department to recognize that." (Read more birthright citizenship stories.)