Same-sex couples in TX still face adoption obstacles

Gay marriage may be legal across all 50 states, but for same-sex couples looking to expand their families through adoption, it's still a frustrating and rocky road in Texas.

Brad Morrison and Jonathon Cole-Morrison adopted Jonathon's grand-nephew, Dylan, just over a year ago, caring for him since 2010.

But when it comes to Dylan's most critical documents, there’s an issue.

“They kind of look through the papers and they're trying to find out why don't you have a birth certificate, and the answer is very simple,” said Jonathon. “They won't give it to us.”

In Texas, birth certificates do not allow for two parents of the same gender.

So for same-sex couples, only one parent's name will appear, leaving the other off completely.

Knowing this, Brad and Jonathon decided not to apply. They feel defeated.

“It allows people to say to us, ‘You aren't legitimate; you're not really his parents,’” said Jonathon.      

The real-life impact felt is regularly, including on a recent trip to Hawaii.      

“You don't know if that TSA agent is going to look at your papers and say, ‘That's not what we asked for; no, you are not getting on this flight,’” said Jonathon. “Deep down inside, it is hurtful. More so, what it would do to him to be told there in front of all these people, ‘No, we don't recognize you.’”

“In this particular area, they are behind other states,” said family law attorney Keith Griffin. “But I expect Texas to catch up.”  

State Rep. Rafael Anchia has been trying to change things for years. He recently sent a letter to the state registrar, asking for the birth certificate forms to be revised.

“The bureau of vital statistics can do this right now as a result of the Supreme Court ruling,” said Anchia. “If they don't do it, I'm sure there will be litigation to force them to do it, and if not, we are going to come back with further legislation to make them do it.”

To Dylan, there's no ambiguity as to who Jonathon and Brad are –- he calls them his parents.

Now, Jonathon and Brad would like to be just as clear on paper.

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