What does it mean to be American?
I found out this week that Annabelle isn’t eligible to carry on my American citizenship – simply because she is not biologically mine & I didn’t carry her. This is despite the fact that Sarah & I were legally married when we conceived her, & that we are both on her birth certificate.
I supported her and my wife throughout her pregnancy, I imagined what my daughter would be like, when she was born I cut her umbilical cord, changed her first diaper, & was in awe of how we created something that beautiful. I’ve been up in the night with her countless times, taught her new things, by now I’ve probably cooked her as many meals as Sarah breastfed her. In no way is she less my daughter because she isn’t of my blood – but yet, that’s what the American government believes.
I could accept that I can’t pass down my citizenship to my children if it applied to all of them, but according to the rule, should I be successful in getting pregnant with Sarah’s embryo to give us our second baby, Annabelle’s sibling WILL be eligible for American citizenship. Not only that, but they will be required to have it – if you are able to be an American citizen, you aren’t allowed to travel to the USA on a foreign passport unless you pay to renounce your citizenship. That also means that I to will also need to continue my citizenship or pay to renounce it.
So even though our two children will be full blood siblings, share exactly the same DNA from both sides, neither of which is my ‘American’ DNA, only one of them is seen as my child, and will have an American passport, under current law.
I think what makes me sad about this is that we travel to the USA most years. We have years ahead of us of being questioned by US passport patrol as to why one of our children has a US passport and the other doesn’t. Having to explain, in public, to people who’s business it is not, which child came out of me and which out of Sarah. About their genetics. Of Annabelle feeling ‘other’ because of something she can’t control.
It also means that should Annabelle wish to live in the USA as an adult it would be much harder than it would for her sibling. All because the USA government don’t recognise my relationship as Annabelle’s parent. Ridiculous!
There are amazing couples out there fighting this, & we hope that if the government changes hands this rule will be changed too, so our girl can be as American as we know she is (50% 😆).
And good news that Australia doesn’t have the same homophobic rules so Annabelle can apply for an Australian passport (as my Mum was Australian so I have an Australian passport).