Jonathan Higbee's picture

Texas Judge Rules Gay Fathers' Names Cannot Appear On Biological Children's Birth Certificates

The biological fathers of two twin boys (each fathered one of the eggs) will not be legally recognized as dads thanks to a ruling just handed down by a Texas family judge. Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs legally married in D.C. in 2013. But upon returning home to Texas, the pair's federally-recognized union suddenly meant nothing. To really send home a message of how much Texas dislikes gays, a few days be Father's Day, the family judge ruled that Jason and Joe can't be seen as the legal fathers of their biological sons, too. 

“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,” Jason told the Dallas-Fort Worth Fox affiliate.

“Actually, I think that’s what surprised me the most was a family court,” Riggs added. “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. 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!”

This isn't the end of the story, though; GLAAD has put on the boxing gloves to head into the ring for the family. 

“Neither Jason nor Joe are listed as fathers on either of their sons’ birth certificates, which the men have not been able to see,” GLAAD’s Alexandra Bolles writes. “They 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 both requests.”

Dallas News |

Stay tuned to Instinct for updates on Jason, Joe and their twins!

(h/t: NCRM)


So does this mean that deadbeat dads no longer have to pay child support?

DUH!! We all undersand that the majority of gay parents molest their children, often pimping them out.

Another VICTORY for us conservatives!

You forgot. We all recrute children too just as we chose to be gay just as we chose to be born. What an idiot saying the majority of gay parents molest their children. Get real.


U are so wrong about that so kendobins I take it ur straight so does that mean u molest ur children and pimp them out get a life buddy and grow the hell up not every one does bad things to children just because they are gay don't mean that they are going to hurt them baby's there is a lot of bad people in the world that do hurt children and there is a lot of people that love and care about children...just like me i have 2 children and anyone touches them i will kill lay off of that mean stuff and grow up and get a life

Dude, really? 

you have to be  kidding me that shit acually came from your mouth, you  moron.. and no im not gay but assholes like you are whats feeding so much hate in this country, hope god slams the door on your and kicks your right to hell,,,,,,,,, rot in hell

I think that was sarcasm....

I don't think the issue is with them being gay parents, I believe it could be the mother of the children. Yes she might be called a surrogate, but because her body carried those children (regardless if they were her eggs or not) she is still the legal mother. The question I think that should have been answered is, has she gone to court to give up her full parental right? Technically there is nothing or no one that can make her do that. Until that woman goes before a judge and does that they can never adopt each others children or have full rights.

To all of you people who keep saying get out of Texas, seriously how do you think Texas will ever get better from it's mentally sick ideologies, if all the "aware" people leave it. Did you ever consider that these guys love Texas and Texans, maybe they're entire family is here, they have great careers, own they're own home, maybe by just being here they're changing the minds of many "right wing folk" that wouldn't have that exposer, if they lived in California etc........ maybe it's not the people of Texas who are the problem, but instead the government (like most places). That unfortunately in Texas, like most states, more elderly people vote, and therefore they carry the prejudice of they're generation to the polling office with them, when they vote these wack-job bigots into office, the ones that deny gays, women, and minorities basic rights. I left Texas for 14 years, moved to SF and just moved back because I know how good people are, at heart here. I love my home state, and that this state needs professional, logical gay men, like myself, to show them "hey it's OK I'm not a threat, in fact I'm going to work with you instead of against you, to help educate your ignorance and fear away". Too many socially liberal people leaving because of prejudice, is not the answer, in fact more socially liberal people need to move here and change things. People who hate on Texas and then call all Texans bigots are practicing the same sort of bigotry they are trying to denounce. Texas is a stunningly beautiful state if I had a husband and kids I'd love to raise them here. FYI my family is all here in Texas they are all right wing Christians, but when they found out I was gay, wow 360, did it change they're minds about the whole subject. Now they constantly ask when I'm getting married, and they want me to have kids and such, they know I've been a great uncle to my many nieces and nephews, and would make a great dad. I respect these guys and feel for them, it's hard for them now but this too shall pass justice will be served right, I know they will change a lot of minds along the way as well which can only be a good thing in the long run, as long as they stay strong and "stand they're ground".

Undoubtedly these guys are qualified to be great parents but It's really hard to find out why the judge ruled the way he did from a very biased article. The writer says "...To really send home a message of how much Texas dislikes gays…". Well, we know that's a false statement. Dallas has one of the largest gay communities in America and we all get along. On what legal basis did he make his decision?

Agreed! This is a REALLY biased article and who knows what the other facts are.

Just when we think the world is changing people show their real colours. Feel sorry for them for they know "not a thing"

I am sure you will make great fathers

To all you people saying get real and all those silly things. I am not anti gay, nor pro gay, more borderline, in the sense it is their lives let them choose what they want, as long as it does not directly affect me (which ironically in a way it is affecting me as I am writing a post to this and not just reading)

But if you want to be gay and be with a guy, you made a choice to not to want to have kids. Do it the proper way if kids mean so much to you. And no, saying two parents are better than one is also not correct, as well think it through, that means two opinions which can constantly differ.

Artificial insemination should seriously not be allowed for people that can have kids but don't want to have kids themselves, it should be a process for a married couple that there is a problem, ie. man is sterile or problems on wifes part, etc.

People are over sensitive and that is a fact. Stop making big issues out of your little crap, and start realising, the world has big issues, seriously big issues, stop trying to get that attention on yourself.

You're a fucking moron and your life is a lie.

Being gay is not a choice. Neither is being an ignoramus apparently. 

Jacques is entitled to his/her own opinion. If you are all allowed to have your opinions, it is really hypocritical to bash him/her for voicing his/hers. I'm sick of people telling me that my opinions are 'wrong' just because they don't align with yours. This is America, after all. 

You are one arrogant uneducated women.  Who the hell are you or the government to take away rights from homosexuals.   It is clear that you don't understand homosexuality.  If you did you would know its not a choice. 

The truth is it doesn't affect you & it's non of your business.  If you want to go around gay rights hating then please lady do it in person and see how that goes.

I was going to write this long post trying to explain all of the things that are wrong with what you said.  Then I realized I don't even know you and have no clue why you think the way you do.  So I'll just refrain from telling you how you should think or live your life.  Perhaps you could do the same for others.

And your logic @Jacques is really born out of total ignorance, stupidity, bigotry and homophobia, no matter what you say about not hating gays. Oh, while I'm at it, I at it I dare say you're ideas totally crap.

"But if you want to be gay and be with a guy, you made a choice to not to want to have kids."

-Where did you ever get this idea? Totally false for many people.

"Do it the proper way if kids mean so much to you."

-What's the "proper way?"  The proper way for YOU to have kids is however YOU choose to have kids. The proper way for anyone else to have kids is for them to decide.

While it's too bad that Texas adoption law doesn't (yet) acknowledge today's reality of same-sex parenting, something's fishy about this story and the whole backstory.  These guys allowed unnecessary risks to take place which involved two babies, in creating a much more dangerous double pregnancy,  twins that are bonded for life with two different biological fathers that may or may not stay together for the rest of their lives, and creating a situation where neither appeared on the birth certificate generated at the hospital.  The men have every right to use legal means to protest current marriage and adoption law, but to create two new babies to be born into this mess is just another example of the two parents' self-centerdness, which was first seen in their facebook posts, self-aggrandizing participation in the Dallas paper story from January and pleas to the public to donate to their surrogacy expenses.

Oh please, none of us get a say in who has children or how . You said "twins that are bonded for life with two different biological fathers that may or may not stay together for the rest of their lives." By this logic NO ONE should ever have children because, "Oh no, what if the parents break up?"  I don't think you have a good handle on what makes a family. 

It's time to get out of that shithole and move where discrimination and bigotry are not the norm.

Why is it that everyone seems to forget the most important part about gay relationships, and that's the children that are involved.  I'm wondering what they will have to say in years to come when they want their rights recognized and we've all done such a good job of ignoring them.  That's what I'm afraid of.  Who is speaking for the kids these days?

The reality is that gays have NO right to have children, as they are immoral and unsanitary. You eat assholes and such, then take that same diseased mouth and kiss on a chid.
Not to mention that you have your 3 ways in the very next room.

No surprise this wass shot down, as everything you people attempt gets shot down, as your lifestlye is a joke.

Wow @kevdobbins35205 your understanding of what goes on in gay relationships is about as good as YOUR sex life. Very poor. It has to be bad (at least for her) If you've never gone down!

I don't normally make comments, however it must be said that you are absolutely the biggest ass I have ever seen leave a comment. You don't think your mom and dad did crazy things next door to your room right before they came and kissed you goodnight? Seriously... Grow up.

Everything you mentioned is done by straights too...While you focus on such things, real parents (gay or straight) are often too tired or too busy to make time for many of the recreational acts you mention...which begs the question, where is YOUR girlfriend, 'Kev' ?  :)  sounds like your lifestyle is a joke....bitter much?

Ahh, Kevin, your focus on (what you think) is gay sex and your obsession with trying to bring sexual imagery into the comments section shows what your real attention is on.  PLEASE do stay away from having children. 

All of the sexual behavior you mentioned is done by gays and straights - and also have nothing to do with raising children.

And like licking and sucking on some woman's nasty smells like rotting fish vagina where she pisses and bleeds out of is so wonderful? I think not.

Homophobes like you are simply jealous of gays cuz they dress better, they look better, have way better bodies, and statistically their relationships last way longer than straight ones do.

Ok now in trying to attack him you are attacking women. You must be a woman hating gay. I am a lesbian and I would never hang out with someone like you. You have no clue how to have a decent conversation or discussion on a topic but you are ignorant and hateful. What did women do to you but 1 bring you into the world? You need a lesson on tact and class. Stop attacking and speak intelligently and make a point without insulting others. Why sink to the level of someone who is obviously ignorant and hateful. You are just as hateful and ignorant. 

Ahhhh, yes. Let's bring out the misogynistic comments now!  Let's try this kiddo, try and make your argument on something less than denigrating others and try and be less superficial. 

You sound like a misogynistic and ignorant child. 

Everything is bigger in Texas, including Buttholes.  Move to California, Nevada...  these days there are plenty of welcome mats.  

Yup - they need to leave TX and have their parental rights established elsewhere and then go back and fight if they want - they will have more of a leg to stand on once this is established, but right now it is not happening in TX :-(

Something is rotton in the state of Texas.! The judge can not be following the letter of the law, period! How can it possibly be legal for no names of parents to exist on a childs birth certificate? The biological father of each child should obviously be on their biological childs birth certificate. The judge should be removed from the bench, unless of course the law specifically says gay men can listed as biological fathers on birth certificates. I somehow doubt that is the case. Get her removed!!!

didn't completely follow all of the sperm and egg and fertiiization/fathering stuff here. also, article didn't even say if there is a mother on either of the birth certificates. writing seems kinda slanted or incomplete at least.


Chinga tu madre pendejo puto !!!

Dont you straight people who hate gays and want us gone knownthat you all are responsible for our existance on this earth?

It takes TWO of you(man/woman)to make ONE of us !!

Who's the asswipe idiot now? You are !!

How can they not be allowed to be recognized as fathers on their OWN child's birth certificate. How is that even legal.

Hope these guys hang in there and stay strong. The right thing will happen, they will get what they want, just a matter of time.

I can't wait till the laws change, and if this couple want's to adopt they can adopt me if they don't mind a 43 year old kid :)

Poorly written and skewed article.  A birth certificate can't say one child has 2 biological fathers....that's biologically impossible.  The father whose sperm made their child can be on the certificate....just not the non-donating father.  

Actually there is a process where the chromosomes from an egg can be removed and then replaced with the chromosomes from a second sperm, thereby creating and fetus with no biological relation to the mother and a biological relation to two fathers.

I dont think they both want to be put as both the "biological fathers." I didnt get that. What I got is that they want co-parentalship of each child. Legally they can't both be the "boliogical fathers,' but the judge wont even let them be the adoptive parents of the other child. They are married and are the children's two parental figures. When you use a surrogate they use either a donated egg or sperm. The donatee has no rights to the child what so ever. They cannot put them as the mother or father. They sign a legal waver of responsibilty of the child conceived with their donated egg or sperm. So then, they are both each a biological father of one of the children and they should each be able to co-adopt the other child as the second father. The judge is denying them any kind of co-parentalship and treating their marriage as if its not a real union, even though federally it is. I don't understand why you found it so hard.?

Did you read that they BOTH created one of the twin boys?  They are BOTH their fathers, pure and simple, and this action by the judge will be overturned by a higher court.  PERIOD!

I do not understand how the father can't be listed as the father. Someone explain how gay or strait has anything to do with that. If I had a baby with a random slut I could be listed as the dad. But if I am with someone I love I can't.

It is the Texas code the judge is following. Change the law. My partner and I legally adopted two years ago only one of our names can be on the birth certificate even though the court recognized both of us as parents.

I live in Texas and am highly disappointed with the Texas courts on this one....for starters biological father is biolgical not quite sure how a judge can stop that one from happening....secondly itvtruky does not & & dad or mom & mom...who cares as long as the child is loved and taken care far as the ludicrous comment about Texas not needing gays...that's why we have such a large beautiful LGBT community in Dallas right? Ignorance doesn't make it ok...everypne is entitled to their opinion and just because you disagree does not give you thevright to act like an ass.......I really hopebthis gets over turned because it is an injustice

Wow this judge really should be overthrown and the case should be taken to supreme court Texas is dumb to have that much cruelty to its residents especially to a family doesn't matter if gay straight or bi how many straight guys do you see out there fighting for rights to their kids hardly any so why deny 2 wonderful men the right to be on their BIOLOGICAL SONS birth certificate




Put down the beer. You're drunk.



Grow up Alverez, there are over 100 species of plants and animals that display LGBT tendencies, IF IT WERE NOT INTENDED - IT WOULD NOT EXIST!!!   And who died and put you in charge anyway.  And I'm a straight woman just so you know, Love is UNCONDITIONAL, Liking, on the other hand, HAS conditions.

Are you even a legal citizen ALVEREZ?? I doubt it. How bout you go back to Mexico!!

Douche! Christians and gun toting rednecks should be shot or aborted! Never too late to abort texas fuktards!

You are an idiot. There are people that say Hispanics don't belong here to get out. Do u agree? Get ur head out ur ass and don't worry about others bedrooms. Focus ur energy on important issues. Obviously people just don't get it. Here we have more morons commenting on your ethnicity saying you are illegal because of your last name but they forget they didn't originate here either. Im Hispanic and if I go everyone but the Indians go too. Idiots.

Swim your ass the fuck back to Mexico wetback.

So says the Spic who is probably here illegally....

Piece of sh*t racist, you're no better than he is. Slimy scum of the earth. As a matter of fact, racists like you are an even worse stain on humanity. What's scary is you re commenting here on a story about parenthood. I hope to god you don't have kids.

Yeah, by all means, try the homophobic rant. Ate you smart enough to realize that this will likely land in the Supreme Court and reverse all of Texas's bigoted laws? No, I didn't think so. Homophobic Texans, there's a storm coming.

...say's the guy who is browsing an openly LGBT site.  Go suck a dick, troll.

Have them take a paternity test. Thats impossible for any judge to ignore. Money Pouch would love this story.

Appeal the ruling, file a bar complaint against the judge, work to get the judge thrown out in the next election.

Really acap lol get the f out of Texas. That's probably what you would have said to blacks fighting for human rights or women fighting for equality. You say that because you think its wrong. I didnt hear the bible being used to stop slavery. How did so many whites think treating and killing blacks like that was ok by god, yet so ready to quote the bible to shut down love. Tables would be turned if this was sudan and all you want to do is practice your Christianity. Wake up. We as humans have to realize that because you think something is wrong or gross that it shouldn't be allowed, is obsured. I think oysters are disgusting so let's make it illegal. That's how pathetic you sound. Separation of church and state. What ever happened to that. Many laws are in place due to failed interpretation of the bible. If indeed its wrong we will be judged, not by you.

Appeal the judge's ruling - get it tossed out - and then get the judge tossed out.

So sad..... they are denied there biological child..... let's forget the cross adopt for a moment, tell me why the court can deny each their right to there own child. Leave it up to a biggiotry Judge. It's just not right. Leaving Texas is not the answer. Wake up homophobs, you are now not only suppressing lives , you are destroying lives of children that have a right to know their father.

What????  They are they biological children!!  Are we really that homophobic in America that we are resorting to this??   Texas needs to get a grip!  I think it is wonderful that these children have TWO LOVING PARENTS...Isn't that the point?  Children need LOVING parents, I don't think it matters if they are gay, straight, or long as the children are loved and cared for. 

The biological father is not allowed to be listed on the birth certificate??  WTF?!?!?!

That is such a same and that judge should be put on blast because he is just being cruel because there gay. They need justice and people like that judge should be fired!

Simple, get the F out of Texas! Ugh! 

Why do you get the fuck out of texas you bigot, Get real the world and society is change if you dont like it move to a country where you will be happy 

Actually get the f**k out of Texas ks the best response. Why would two gay parents live in Texas is beyond me

No. Leaving Texas isn't the answer. Fire the judge. That is bull and this family shouldn't have to uproot to be acknowledged as a family.

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