JERUSALEM (CBS) — A single mother from Chicago, now living full-time in Israel, says she’s given up on having her children become United States citizens.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, USA Today says Ellie Lavi went to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to apply for citizenship for her twins born in Israel.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

When asked if she had become pregnant at a fertility clinic, she said she had. Lavi tells USA Today she was then told her children would not be eligible for citizenship unless she could prove the egg or sperm donor was an American citizen.

USA Today reports critics say Lavi’s case is an example of a glaring inequity in U.S. citizenship regulations.

A child adopted overseas by a U.S. citizen can become an American. A child born in the United States to non-citizens is automatically a U.S. citizen.

But the U.S. State Department requires a child born outside the country to have a biological link to a U.S. citizen, and USA Today says when it comes to infertile women who become pregnant through in vitro fertilization, no such link can be established.

In fact, in Lavi’s case, privacy law has made it so that she may never know the identity of her egg and sperm donors, USA Today reports.

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