What makes a family

In February 2014, the U.S. State Department denied U.S. citizenship to L., a child born abroad to married women, one of whom is a U.S. citizen but is not genetically related to L., and one of whom is a Spanish citizen and is genetically related to L. The decision to deny citizenship was based on a discriminatory policy that defined “parent-child” relationships as requiring a “biological” connection. That requirement does not appear in the Immigration and Nationality Act, and Hogan Lovells represented the family in years of administrative challenges before filing suit against the State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in February 2020.

In May 2021, with our summary judgment motion pending, the U.S. State Department reversed its discriminatory policy. Shortly thereafter, L. finally received the Consular Report of Birth Abroad and U.S. Passport that she applied for nearly eight years earlier, which confirm what we have argued all along: She is a U.S. citizen and has been since birth.

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