In a State Department press conference, Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki repeatedly refused to answer questions about the status of Daniel Wani, the American husband of Meriam Ibrahim, a woman facing a death sentence for alleged apostasy in Sudan, and of the status of their 20 month old child who is, by all appearances, also an American citizen. Wani has told reporters that the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum demanded a “blood test” to determine whether the child was in fact his.
According to DOS regulations, (h/t Andrew Bostom) demanding a blood test would appear to be the hardest possible line for the State Department to assert against a man they believe to be engaged in paternity fraud. U.S. DOS Regulation “7 FAM 1130 ACQUISITION OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH ABROAD TO U.S. CITIZEN PARENT” indicates:
Children born in wedlock are generally presumed to be the issue of that marriage. This presumption is not determinative in citizenship cases, however, because an actual blood relationship to a U.S. citizen parent is required. If doubt arises that the citizen “parent” is related by blood to the child, the consular officer is expected to investigate carefully. Circumstances that might give rise to such a doubt include:
(1) Conception or birth of a child when either of the alleged biological parents was married to another;
(2) Naming on the birth certificate, as father and/or mother, person(s) other than the alleged biological parents; and
(3) Evidence or indications that the child was conceived at a time when the alleged father had no physical access to the mother.
Given that Wani and Ibrahim are married (Wani produced a marriage certificate and other documents for the embassy in Khartoum), the presumption is that the child, Martin, is an American citizen unless there is a reasonable suspicion otherwise. Furthermore, the Embassy’s insistence that Wani provide a blood test, is absolutely the last recourse of a consular officer who suspects paternity fraud. From 7 FAM 1131.5-3 Paternity Issues:
How to Resolve Doubts: To ascertain the true circumstances surrounding the child’s conception and birth, the consular officer may wish to:
(1) Obtain available records showing periods of time when the alleged father had physical access to the mother;
(2) Interview the parents separately to determine any differences in their respective stories as to when and where the child was conceived. Often, in separate interviews, one party will admit that the American citizen is not the father;
(3) Interview neighbors and friends to determine the facts as understood within the local community; and
(4) Advise blood testing if the couple continues to pursue the claim even though the facts as developed seem to disprove it.
By demanding a blood test, the Consular official who spoke with Wani is asserting that the office possesses facts that suggest Wani is not the father of Martin.
We ought to demand that the State Department produce whatever facts they claim exist which led them to demand a blood test in order to prove Martin Wani’s citizenship.
Given the flippancy of Ms. Psaki’s regard for this issue, I suspect no such facts will be produced, or even could be produced.
The same bureaucracy which dragged its feet over granting a spousal visa to Meriam Ibrahim (without which Meriam would right now be a free woman instead of facing death) is permitting an American child to languish in a third world prison cell.