Several years ago, Thomas Beatie gained attention in Texas and across the country by becoming known as the “pregnant man.” Since that time, Beatie was maintained a lower profile, but his recent attempt to get divorced has brought him back into the national spotlight. He hopes that the divorce will proceed for the sake of his young children.
Beatie identifies as transgender, so he was biologically born a woman, but has undergone gender reassignment. In 2003, he was married and wanted children, but his wife was unable to have kids. As such, he used in-vitro fertilization to have three children. Because his home state doesn’t legally recognize his gender transition, he is unable to get divorced.
In the eyes of his state’s family laws, Beatie and his wife of nine years are a same-sex couple. Like Texas, the state doesn’t recognize their marriage as valid, so they aren’t able to get legally divorced. Because of this, the couple may find difficulty securing a child custody arrangement.
Depending on how the state determines parental rights, one of the individuals in this couple may not have legal standing to maintain custody or visitation time. If the couple has difficulty settling custody matters by themselves, the situation could become immensely more complicated if it’s left up to the courts.
Every family approaches divorce with a unique satiation, so it’s important that a settlement — including child custody — addresses their needs. Whatever happens, the hope is that the case will be settled in a way that is truly in the best interests of the children and their parents.
Source: Huffington Post, “Pregnant Man: Thomas Beatie Will Appeal Divorce Denial,” Jacques Billeaud, April 2, 2013