A Texas judge has denied the request of a legally married same-sex couple to adopt the newborn twins the couple is raising, even though the men each fathered one of the twin boys. The judge also denied a petition to list both men — or either — on the children's birth certificates.
Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs, who married in Massachussetts and now live in northern Texas, worked with a surrogate mother and an egg donor, allowing them to each father one of their twin sons, making the babies biological half-brothers. Not only did a family court judge decide the each cannot adopt the other’s child, but the judge also said the biological fathers cannot be listed on their child’s birth certificate, reports David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement.
"Actually, I think that’s what surprised me the most was a family court," Riggs told Dallas-Fort Worth's KDFW. “I guess I expected them to be looking out for the best interest of our kids, but I felt we walked out that day and it wasn’t in the best interest of our kids.”
According to GLAAD, "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."
Although the federal government recognizes the couple's marriage, the state of Texas does not, making second-parent adoption more difficult to obtain. The judge did not elaborate on her reasoning for denying the men's request to be listed as the fathers of their biological children, and neither man has seen his son's birth certificate, GLAAD notes.
"Ultimately, we’re talking about is what’s better: one parent or two parents," Riggs told KDFW. "For me it’s two parents. It’s a no-brainer."
Watch KDFW's report below.