A Texas judge has turned down a same-sex couple’s request to adopt their newborn twin babies, or be listed on the children’s birth certificate, even though the men each fathered one of the twin boys.
According to The Advocate, Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs married in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, and now live in northern Texas. The couple knew they both wanted to have children and raise them together so they worked with a surrogate mother and an egg donor to birth the boys. This procedure allowed each of the men to father one of the twin sons, who were born in April and are named Ethan and Lucas.
Although the couple’s marriage is recognized by the government, the state of Texas has a ban on gay marriage, which leaves second-parent adoption difficult to obtain and in the hands of the judge. GLAAD explains “the law is ‘unclear’ as to whether LGBT parents can jointly adopt, meaning such family protections vary from judge to judge and county to county.”
In this case the judge didn’t elaborate on the reasons for denying them co-adoption, or for turning down the petition for either one of the fathers to be listed on either of the boys’ birth certificate. The surrogate mother – who has no biological relationship to the kids, however – is on both certificates.
Although the men are currently raising the boys together, Hanna explained to SiriusXM Progress “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…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.”
Speaking to KDFW, Riggs adds “Ultimately, we’re talking about is what’s better: one parent or two parents. For me it’s two parents. It’s a no-brainer.”
Check out the news report.
Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com