Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs denied rights to their biological children

By Amanda Stewart,

Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs met four years ago and knew that they wanted to be together and raise kids, so they saved money and got married in Washington, D.C. last July, where gay marriage is legal.

They saved more money and found a surrogate mother who would carry their children. However, a Texas judge has ruled that Hanna and Riggs - who are now fathers of twin boys - were unable to legally be fathers.

The boys, Lucas and Ethan, were born in April, according to Huffington Post. Hanna and Riggs connected with a surrogate mother, CharLynn, and were able to biologically father the boys.

Each of the men are biologically linked to one of the boys, however, because Texas has a ban on gay marriage, the men were denied legal rights to their children.

In Texas, judges can use their own discretion from case to case, so the judge ruled that neither man would be allowed to be on the children’s birth certificates, nor would they be able to co-adopt each other’s children.

Currently, CharLynn, the surrogate, is on the birth certificates. Even though DNA tests prove that the couple are biological fathers of the twins, they are unable to legally become the fathers.

According to The New Civil Rights Movement, both men are living in fear because without their names on either of the birth certificates, the state could take away their children at any time.

“As of right now in Texas two men cannot be on the birth certificate,” Jason Hanna explained. “So our attorney followed the letter of the law. We petitioned the court. We had DNA testing there [in court] and petitioned the judge to ultimately remove the surrogate mother from the birth certificate, who has no biological ties to the boys. We would like each biological dad to be placed on the birth certificate of our own son, and then ultimately proceed to the second-parent adoption. The entire petition was denied.”



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