Why These Dads Have Been Denied Legal Parenthood of Their Own Children

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Meet Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs, and their two-month-old twin boys, Lucas and Ethan. Each father is the biological parent of one of the boys, who were born via surrogate. The twins share the same egg donor, which technically makes them half-brothers.

Speaking of technicalities, while Jason and Joe are the biological parents of these beautiful boys, they are not legally their parents, according to a recent ruling by a Texas court.

They petitioned to have their names on the birth certificates and to do a second-parent adoption for each other's child. Their petition was denied, so as it stands, only the surrogate (who has no biological ties to the twins) is listed on the birth certificate.

Jason and Joe married last year in Washington D.C., where gay marriage is legal, but they currently live in Texas, which has a ban on gay marriage.

"In order to grant a second-parent adoption [automatically under current law], it has to be between two married people," Jason explained to Sirius XM. "And so, considering we're not legally married in the eyes of Texas, they don't have to grant that second-parent adoption because they don't recognize our marriage...It's up to the judge's discretion on whether or not to grant it."

The couple worries where their children would end up if something were to happen to either one of them. They are resolved to pursuing legal parenthood for the boys and refuse to give up on their fight.

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