Legally married in Massachusetts, a gay couple who are biological fathers of their two newborn twin boys are not allowed to adopt each others child to complete their family as a legal unit. And the reason, according to a Texas judge, is that these two men are married.
Confused? It only gets tougher to understand, but here goes. From Advocate.com:
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 that each cannot adopt the other’s child, but the judge also said the biological fathers cannot be listed on their children's birth certificate, reports David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement.
All of this despite Hanna and Riggs proving they're the biological fathers via court ordered DNA tests.
Picking up on this from RAW STORY:
“On one hand, it’s a little scary because as of right now, we don’t have full parental rights of our own biological children,” Hanna told KDFW “Actually, I think that’s what surprised me the most was a family court,” Riggs noted. “I guess I expected them to be looking out for the best interest of our kids, and I felt we walked out that day and it wasn’t in the best interest of our kids.”
This comes despite a February 26th decision handed down in Federal Court:
U.S. Judge Orlando Garcia issued an injunction barring Texas from enforcing a law and constitutional amendment that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying and ban the state from recognizing same-sex marriages that were legally performed in other states.
Fortunately, these two young infants haven't been taken away from their natural fathers yet. But maybe that's just a matter of time. After all, this is Texas. There are no guarantees. And while this Texas judge may have the letter of the law stuck up his/her craw, four lives are in limbo right now.
So this, it seems, it Texas justice.