Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs, a Gay Couple, Can’t Be the Fathers of Their Own Children

There’s a story making the rounds about a Dallas couple, Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs. Adorable couple. Let me see if I can explain what’s giving them trouble. Hanna and Riggs got hitched in D.C., where gay marriages are legal. They came back to Dallas. They wanted kids. Why they would want to screw up their lives by 1) getting married and 2) having kids is a discussion for another post. I’m going to focus on the logistics. They find an egg donor. They find a surrogate mother, who in April bears them twins, Lucas and Ethan. And — this is the wild part — each of the men is a biological father to one of the babies, meaning, I gather, that two embryos were implanted. It makes my head spin.

But here’s where the trouble comes in: because Texas doesn’t recognize Hanna and Riggs’ marriage, neither of the men’s names appears on either of the kiddos’ birth certificates. Only the surrogate mother’s name appears on the birth certificates, and, remember, she has no biological relationship to the babies (well, except for that nine months of gestation, which is a pretty intense relationship).

It’s a big mess, and I feel certain that Glenn is going to offer some encouraging words to the couple in the comments.

13 comments on “Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs, a Gay Couple, Can’t Be the Fathers of Their Own Children

  1. Give us the name of that judge, please. We need to know who did this.

    Sounds like this judge needs some of that reparative therapy the Texas G.O.P. thinks can change unwanted behavior.

  2. I don’t know how they’re holding it together. I would lose my mind. This is probably the most messed up thing I’ve ever heard of.

  3. God love America! We’ve got so much extra money and free time we can do this crazy stuff. The majority of the inhabitants of this planet are dealing with basic issues like starvation…

  4. 1. If they knew this would be an issue why have the babies in Dallas and not San Francisco where they could both be listed on the birth certificate along with the surrogate mother and the egg donor.
    2. If the babies needed to be born in Dallas, just tell the hospital one of the Dad’s names for the birth certificates since they don’t know until genetic testing who the father is, then have it changed.

  5. I have sympathy for the two guys, Tim. But you said it yourself. It makes one’s head spin. We get new cell phone technology every six months, and packages delivered by Amazon overnight, but the law has never been a nimble beast. Is it any wonder the law hasn’t caught up to the almost infinite different permutations people call a family now? The law has to catch up, and unfortunately that takes time. In many ways, it’s a good thing the law doesn’t generally change on a dime. Unless you’re the person waiting for it to change, of course.

  6. I will first say that I think this is ridiculous and these guys should not be named on the birth certificates. I agree with Dubious Brother on this one. These guys went through all the trouble and enormous expense to have all of this done. They did the research and knew what they were getting into. It is their right to be gay, have kids, etc. it is also their right to fight to try to change something. Be sure, that is what they are doing. They are not surprised they are going through this.

  7. Meant to say these guys should be named on the birth certificates. Added one word and it really changed what I meant to say.

  8. The words are sad but the pictures paint a sadder story. I wish We could become a foster family quick enough and take these babies, move in next door to these dads, for as long as it takes for people to come to their senses. Yes, maybe that sounds unrealistic ……. But it makes more sense than cr*p based on ha.. :(

  9. Interesting, 2 fathers that are loving cannot have their children because they are gay.
    A straight couple have kids and abuse them and go to anger management classes and keep theirs.
    Something is wrong in this society. Very wrong.