In Re Sandoval (USA)

The Fourth Court of Appeals has issued a new opinion in a case that is currently pending before the Texas Supreme Court.  The case involves Dino Villarreal, a female who identifies as a man, who is suing Sandra Sandoval for parental rights of her two adopted children following the couple’s 2011 break-up.  According to the COA, Villarreal did not have standing at the time the suit was filed (December  2013) because the Order Granting Change of Identity was not signed until January 3, 2014, after the suit was filed.  In its new opinion, the COA states, “The Order Granting Change of Identity is a recognized form of proof of Dino’s identity and age for the purpose of obtaining a marriage license. It may also be sufficient to acknowledge Dino’s legal status as a man. However, we need not reach such a conclusion in this case because, even if considered a man from birth for legal purposes, Dino’s status as a man is not sufficient to confer statutory standing as, “a man whose paternity of the child is to be adjudicated.” TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 160.602(a)(3). If all that was required for standing was to be a man, then any man could maintain a suit to adjudicate parentage to any child. We do not believe that to be what the Texas Legislature intended.”

IN RE Sandra SANDOVAL