The first Father’s Day for Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs was bittersweet because days earlier, a judge in Texas denied their request to have their names placed on the birth certificates of their newborn twins.
The twins, Lucas and Ethan, share an egg donor and were born to a surrogate mother a month ago. They are half brothers with Hanna the biological father of one and Riggs the biological father of the other.
So far, only the surrogate mother’s name is on either birth certificate.
The couple petitioned a judge in their county to add each of their names to their biological sons’ birth certificates and to cross-adopt, or second-parent adopt, the boys.
The judge has denied the family on both requests.
‘It’s a little scary because right now we don’t have full parental rights over own biological children,’ Hanna told the Fox affiliate in Dallas.
Added Riggs: ‘A family court, I guess I expected them to be looking out for the best interests of our kids. We walked out away that day and it wasn’t in the best interests of our kids.’
According to GLAAD, it is unclear in Texas and 17 other US states whether LGBT parents can jointly adopt. This has resulted in legal rulings varying from judge to judge or county to county.
Some judges in Texas have approved such adoptions to same-sex couples.
The legal picture could improve for the couples if a ruling by a federal judge overturning the states’s ban on gay marriage is upheld by a higher court.
The couple has been together for six years and live in Fort Worth. They were married last year in Washington DC.