Starting a family can look different for many people. For Joseph Tito, it meant working with a surrogacy agency to become a dad. But because of prohibitive costs here in Canada, he decided to hire a surrogate overseas. This is his story.
After several unsuccessful embryo transfers, Joseph found out his surrogate was carrying twins. Stella and Mia Tito were born via surrogate on November 30th, 2018. After his daughters were born in Mombasa, Kenya, Joseph began dealing with the paperwork to bring his babies home, but he was stopped. The Canadian High Commission in Nairobi said that because he is second-generation Canadian, his children aren’t eligible for Canadian citizenship.
A Canadian law passed a few years ago removed the ability of Canadians born outside of Canada to pass on their citizenship to children who were also not born in the country. Since Tito was born in Italy to a Canadian mother, his twins weren’t eligible to automatically become Canadian citizens.
Despite doing his research and speaking with someone at the High Commission in Nairobi, Joseph was blindsided. He was told he’d have to sponsor his daughters to get Canadian citizenship, a process that can take anywhere from six to 12 months—meaning he’d be stuck overseas for up to a year.
Joseph began a social media campaign and sent his story to the press.
We sat down with Joseph a week before he travelled to Kenya to await the birth of his daughters, and again when he finally made it home. Watch his full story in the video clip above.