The Second Circuit has construed the legitimation requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as they pertain to former section 321 of the INA, which governed derivative citizenship claims for children who were over 18 on February 27, 2001. Under this section, an individual derived citizenship if one parent was deceased and the surviving parent naturalized before the child's 18th birthday. However, if the individual was born out of wedlock, he would only be considered the child of the naturalized parent if he was legitimized before his 16th birthday.
July Gil argued that the Dominican Code for the Protection of Children (DCPC) retroactively abolished all distinctions between children born in and out of wedlock. Thus, he is considered under Dominican law to be legitimated since his birth. However, the DCPC was enacted after his 16th birthday. The court disagreed, and held that "the legitimizing act at issue here was the enactment of the Code, a law that became effective well after Gilʹs sixteenth birthday. Because Gil did not gain legitimated status under the new law before he turned sixteen years old, he is not a legitimated child."
The full text of Gil v. Sessions can be found here: