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October 28 2021 07:00 pm

Same-Sex Couple Has a Texas-Sized Family

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PLANO – Meet Jason Hanna, Joe Riggs, and their two twin boys Lucas and Ethan.  One happy Texas family.  The road to 2015 hasn’t been an easy one for Joe and Jason.

They’ve been together since 2009 and got married in Washington D.C. in 2013.

“‘We chose D.C. being our nation`s Capitol. If we had to travel anywhere, that was the best place to do it,” Jason Hanna said.

Then they wanted to be a family, so they found a surrogate in Fort Worth.  And voila, they were the proud parents of twin boys.

“Same mom, but two different Dads.  One is biologically mine and one is biologically Joe’s,” Jason Hanna said.

The next step?  They wanted to legally adopt each other’s son and here’s where their road gets bumpy.

“Unfortunately, the judge ended up denying our adoption,” Joe Riggs explained.

“Her justification for denying the adoption was based on the information in front of her she just couldn`t get there.”

After several months of obstacles, Joe and Jason got another judge.

“The second judge was a completely different experience,” Joe Riggs explained.

“We ended up not going into a courtroom. We ended up going into her chambers. The discussion and the proceedings were more about the kids.  I knew we were in the right place.”

Finally, the adoptions were approved and Texas officially recognized them as the fathers of both boys; but, of course, didn’t recognize their marriage until last Friday.

“It`s a huge deal. Not only that we can travel anywhere and know that if something happened to us that we can be there at the hospital and make each other`s decisions because we are married,” Joe Riggs said.

“For our little guys now to go to school and say I have two daddies or I have two mommies.   And they are married.  It`s a huge accomplishment and a huge victory for the LGBT community,” Jason Hanna said.

But the fight for LGBT folks isn’t over.  As Joe and Jason found out trying to grow their family again.

“We are hoping and planning for a little girl,” Jason Hanna said.

They recently moved to Plano and started reaching out to fertility clinics in Dallas.

“I was blown away by the response. They would say, ‘We don`t service gay couples,'” Jason Hanna said.

Yep. Businesses can still turn away Joe and Jason.  The good news?  With a green light from the Supremes, there are plenty of others that now won’t.

Hey.  No matter how much red tape folks put up.  It didn’t stop these four from growing into one Texas-sized, federally-recognized, happy family.

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