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US: Texas denies same-sex couple parental rights to twin sons

Nick Duffy June 18, 2014

A Texas gay couple have been denied parental rights to their newborn twin sons, despite biologically fathering one each.

Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs, who married in DC last year, fathered twin boys via a surrogate, CharLynn.

Hanna and Riggs each biologically fathered one of the boys, who also share an egg donor, but due to Texas law no father is listed on either birth certificate.

The couple petitioned a judge in their county to add their names to their biological sons’ birth certificates, and to cross-adopt, but last week both requests were denied.

Due to the complexity of the law in the case, it is unclear what legal rights the couple have to protect their family, but they said they would not give up, and will fight the state for rights to their month-old sons.

Hanna said: “It’s a little scary because as of right now, we don’t have full parental rights of our own biological children.”

Riggs added: “I think what surprised me the most was a family court. 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.”

Dallas adoption lawyer Suzanne Lomenick told Fox that despite the legal complexity, the court would have been able to grant the adoption if it had wanted.

She said: “Adoptions of this nature have been granted in courts here. It is allowable and it is discretionary with the court.

“It all turns on the marriage issue.”

Watch a clip below:

More: adoption, baby, Children, couple, court, Family Court, fathers, Gay, Law, marriage, pregnancy, sons, surrogacy, Texas, US

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