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Texas Judge Refuses To Put Gay Fathers’ Names On Biological Children’s Birth Certificates

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Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs
(Photo : Facebook) Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs became fathers to twin boys last April with the help of a surrogate

 

Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs met four years ago. Last year, they were legally married in Washington D.C. And with the help of an egg donor and surrogate mother, the couple became fathers to twin boys last April.

Each of the men is the biological father to one of the twin boys, named Lucas and Ethan, who are technically biological half-brothers.

While the surrogate mother has no biological ties to the children, since the embryos were transferred to her, it is only her name that appears on the boys' birth certificates.

Hanna stated, "In order to grant a second-parent adoption {automatically undercurrent law}, it has to be between two married people... And so, considering we're not legally married in the eyes of Texas, they don't have to grant that second-parent adoption because they don't recognize our marriage... It's up to the judge's discretion on whether or not to grant it."

When the couple petitioned to have it changed, the judge refused.

Riggs added, "Ultimately, the judge was saying that with the information she had in front of her, under Texas law she couldn't grant it... I was shocked. We had a ton of questions as we walked away from that courtroom."

The couple has friends who have been successful in completing the same process. While the couple, alongside their lawyer, is working on bringing the case back to court, they fear it will be a lengthy, and costly, process.

Hanna said, "Without {co-adoption}, if something happened to either me or Joe we don't have any legal recourse to keep the other's biological child... The state could come in and separate these two brothers."

He explained, "We want to reiterate how important it is for a state to recognize each family, whether it's same-sex or opposite-sex, and really to ensure everyone has equal protection from the state."

 

 

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