S.A. transgender dad seeks visitation rights

A San Antonio transgender man is seeking visitation rights for two boys he helped raise when he was in a relationship with their mother.

A San Antonio transgender man, who helped raise two boys while in a committed relationship with their mother, is seeking a ruling from the Fourth Court of Appeals that would allow him to see the kids on a regular basis.

Dino Villarreal was coupled with Sandra Sandoval, the children’s mother. He helped raise the two boys from infancy. The kids are now 11 and 9 years-old.

When the couple’s relationship ended, Sandoval denied Villarreal any opportunity to see the children or continue in his role as their father. Villarreal has not seen the boys in over a year.

According to attorney Shellie Reyes of the Whitley Law Firm who is representing Villarreal, in December 2013 Villarreal filed a Petition in Suit to Adjudicate Parentage seeking a ruling from the trial court that would name him the father of the two children and allow him to see them on a regular basis.

On January 6, 2014, Sandoval filed a Plea to the Jurisdiction. A hearing was held seeking to dismiss Villarreal’s suit on the basis that Villarreal did not have standing to be named the father of the children because he is not biologically male. Sandoval’s plea was granted.

Last February, Villarreal filed an appeal to the Fourth Court. Briefs were submitted by both parties and the case will be heard on Wednesday, January 21.

In an email, attorney Reyes writes that Sandoval allowed Villarreal to form a father-son bond with each of her boys.

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