A Texas family court refused to allow a legally married gay couple to put either of their names on the birth certificates of their newborn biological twins despite the fact that each of the men, Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs, biologically fathered one of the twins, Lucas and Ethan. The court also refused to allow the couple to “cross-adopt” or “second-parent adopt” the boys.
While it’s understandable to a point that Texas law is “unclear” on LGBT joint adoptions, as are 17 other states, it’s patently ridiculous that neither man can be listed on the birth certificate as the father of his respective son. Even if evidence were required (it’s not in births to heterosexual couples) a simple DNA test would prove paternity of each child.
From the website of the Dallas County Family Court Services: “Our goal is to help the children obtain a level of peace and assurance that they will still have the love and care of each parent or significant individuals in their lives.” [Emphasis added]
So, what am I missing here? Not allowing their biological fathers to be listed on their respective birth certificates, effectively limiting parental rights, gives Ethan and Lucas the “peace and assurance that they will still have the love and care of each parent or significant individuals in their lives” how? Or, is it that Ethan and Lucas don’t count because they’re children of homosexuals?
Joe Riggs, in an interview with Dallas-Fort Worth’s KDFW, was much more eloquent than I would have been in the same situation. He said, “Actually, I think that’s 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, but I felt we walked out that day and it wasn’t in the best interest of our kids. 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.”
I couldn’t agree with Mr. Riggs more. Even the court system seems to think that’s its purpose if you believe the website. Here’s another question to consider: What happens if the birth mother/egg donor decides she wants Lucas and Ethan all to herself? Since neither Mr. Riggs nor Mr. Hanna is listed on the birth certificates, it seems to me that her request would be fairly easy to grant if her name is listed. I don’t know if she is listed.
What would happen is, most likely, a long and ugly custody battle with paternity tests and legal bills. In the middle of all of this would be two sweet little boys who would probably be in foster care while the case was decided. Because that is so much better than allowing their loving, but gay, fathers to be listed on the birth certificates and jointly adopt them.
Way to go, America. As I said, Mr. Riggs is far more eloquent on the matter than I. Or, at least he’s far more polite. You don’t want to serve me pizza? Fine. You don’t want to cater my wedding? Fine. You don’t want to fix my car? Fine. You want to mess with my kids? Buckle up, baby, you’re in for the fight of your life.
In 2015, there is absolutely, positively no excuse for this to even be an issue! As a species, we should be so ashamed of ourselves that this happened to this new family that we should be falling over our own feet trying to fix it. This isn’t directly related to “religious freedom,” but you can sure as anything bet that the reason behind the whole gay parenting issues is some backward bigot who thinks, “God hates fags.”
No, Mr. Riggs wins the day for patience, kindness and eloquence. Me? I’ll gladly be the loudmouthed, sharp-tongued harpy who never shuts up about it until justice is done.