As gay marriage continues to evolve around the U.S. there are legal situations related to the subject other than if the marriage is legally recognized. There are questions of paternity, divorce, and asset dispersion just to name a few. In the state of Texas gay marriage is not yet recognized by the state. This leaves two gay men, married in Washington D.C., in paternity limbo while their biological twins are not listed as their children on the birth certificates.
After marrying in D.C. last summer, the two men began the process with a surrogate (who is not the biological mother) to carry their twin boys. Each father is related to one of the boys.
Because Texas does not yet recognize gay marriage, both fathers cannot be on the birth certificate at the same time and so the fathers decided to treat the situation as if they had unmarried fathers’ rights. So the men, armed with lawyers, began the process to prove biological ties to each boy – and then to legally adopt the other son so that both fathers are listed on the birth certificates. Since the fathers are considered unmarried in the state of Texas, under current Texas law the judge has the discretion to grant the second-parent adoption.
Despite the DNA test confirming paternity of each boy the judge denied the fathers’ petition for legal paternity. Most of this hinges on the fact that Texas state law does not recognize marriage between two people of the same sex which prohibits the non-biological father to adopt the other child. The surrogate listed on the birth certificate has no biological or paternal ties to the children.
The legal recognition of gay marriage is a constantly evolving subject with more states recognizing it than ever before. Legal disputes centering around gay marriage will continue to occur until the law is standardized throughout the U.S. There is no word yet if the two fathers will try to appeal the ruling. Until then, the fathers are not legally recognized as the fathers of either of the twin boys.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com, “Jason Hanna And Joe Riggs, Texas Gay Fathers, Denied Legal Parenthood Of Twin Sons,” Michelangelo Signorile, JuNE 20, 2014