A French Gay Single Dad Won Immigration Battle Against Bureaucratic Forces That Tried To Take His Son Away From Him

Gay Dad Wins Immigration Battle

The dad credits gay U.S. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney for the favorable resolution.

Jérôme Roux, a French gay man who lived in the United States for more than 15 years, has won a long battle surrounding his immigration status. 

Roux, now 44, moved to the U.S. in 2007 with a working visa to work for the beauty industry in New York City. That’s when he met his now ex-husband, Jared Zuckerman. The two got married, Roux has issued a conditional marriage-based green card, but after two years of marriage they broke up, according to Roux, because Zuckerman didn’t want to have kids. Following the breakup, Roux decided to go through surrogacy journey as a single dad.

He moved to California, and applied for a replacement Green Card following the divorce order. But his request was denied. Furthermore, USCIS requested more information to verify the legitimacy of the marriage.

Roux told The Advocate that through his attorneys at top immigration law firm Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, he submitted dozens of documents supporting the legitimacy of his marriage, including paperwork for a joint adoption attempt by the couple. The Advocate has reviewed many of these documents and verified their authenticity.

“I sent so much in quantity but also in quality,” Roux told The Advocate, “including papers for child adoption my ex-spouse and I had attempted and more than 20 affidavits with letters from my ex-husband, his family members, and even one from our couple’s therapist we were seeing before our divorce.” It was somewhat clear that him being gay was an issue in the immigration during Trump era.

In August 2021 Roux’s son Phoenix was born, and at that point he reached the end of the rope and faced deportation. Had he gone back to France, with the country’s strict laws against surrogacy (most of them, ironically, ‘punish’ the baby!), he would have faced his baby taken away from him. That’s when he was advised to reach out to a Congress member.

Roux told The Advocate that he reached out to Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of New York for assistance engaging with the federal agency, and has been working with his staff regularly to bring his case to a resolution. 

“Congressman Maloney and his team didn’t have to do what they did to help me,” Roux said.

“The best part about serving in Congress is the real people we are able to help every day,” Maloney said in a statement to The Advocate. “Jerome deserved fair and honest treatment by our USCIS officers, and I’m proud that my office was able to help him get that.” 

“I understand that my case is that of an individual, but it’s not unique,” Roux said. “And if I can get someone at the White House or in Congress to keep a list or take an interest in this, then that will be a good thing.”