Neil Patrick Harris’s partner David Burtka has baby-daddy drama with an ex

Primetime Emmy Awards Arrivals held at The Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California on August 28th, 2010. Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka                                            Fame Pictures, Inc

Back in August, Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka announced that they were expecting twins via surrogacy. They had long been reported to be looking into surrogacy, and many of us were very happy that it had finally happened for them. Star Magazine, as usual, was all over it – to the point where I think Star must have some sources in some of the countries’ fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies (Star also broke the story about Sarah Jessica Parker’s twins). Anyway, this new crimp in the works might be nothing – but it surprised me, and I expect all kinds of things. Apparently, these twin babies (still gestating) are not David Burtka’s first children. He already had two babies with his ex-lover, Lane Janger. Those twins live with Lane. Oooh… baby-daddy drama!

Neil Patrick Harris and boyfriend David Burtka are eagerly counting down the days until the birth of their twin babies via surrogate. But Star can reveal that David’s already a father to a set of twins — and they live with their other dad, film producer Lane Janger, in Los Angeles.

David and Lane, who broke up in 2004, welcomed daughter Flynn and son Javin in 2000. Lane refused to comment when contacted by Star, but an insider says, “David doesn’t see that much of the children, especially since he’s been with Neil. He chats with both of them on the phone and sends them presents on their birthdays.”

In an even more bizarre twist, Neil and David are now expecting boy and girl twins using the same agency that David and Lane used more than 10 years ago, Growing Generations.

“It was actually David who suggested it,” reveals the insider.

[From Star Magazine]

This sounds totally sketchy. David rarely sees his “other” kids?!? If this was heterosexual baby-daddy drama, David would be called a deadbeat asshat who doesn’t show up for his kids. And I think he is – granted, the custodial issues are probably complicated and we don’t know the details, of course. But it still seems very strange that David has little to no involvement with the OTHER twins he was father to. And I can’t believe it was never reported before now that David has other kids! This is some Swizz Beatz junk.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 29: Actors Neil Patrick Harris (L) and David Burtka attend the AMC After Party for the 62nd Annual EMMY Awards at Soho House on August 29, 2010 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Actor Neil Patrick Harris (R) and David Burtka arrive at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on August 21, 2010.   UPI/Jim Ruymen Photo via Newscom

Photo by: LVP/ 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2/19/10 Neil Partrick Harris and David Burtka at the world premiere of Cirque Du Soleil''s, Viva Elvis . (Las Vegas, Nevada)

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56 Responses to “Neil Patrick Harris’s partner David Burtka has baby-daddy drama with an ex”

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  1. Mia says:

    Hmm…Now I’m giving David the side-eye. He sounds exactly like a dead beat daddy. I’ll be watching this one carefully.

  2. tigerlily821 says:

    NPH talked about this on the Kevin Pollack show recently, and I think he said that Lane had already started the process or already had kids when he and David got together. So that they weren’t David’s kids, exactly. Of course, that might just be NPH rationalizing.

  3. Tess says:

    We shouldn’t expect the press to cover this because they’re too busy high-fiving NPH and his partner.

  4. Lem says:


  5. Lynnie says:

    NPH is too cute for that guy!

  6. Just a Poster says:

    ruh roh, this doesn’t sound good.

  7. Roxanne75 says:

    Why do people always have to bring kids into things? can’t two people just do their thing…and that be the end of it? sigh…

  8. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    A deadbeat is a deadbeat regardless of your sexual orientation!

  9. eja102 says:

    I called him smarmy months ago (weeks, maybe) and he is.

  10. girl says:

    Not a good sign. I have to wonder what the older children think about David.

  11. spinner says:

    This whole thing seems totally abnormal & unnatural to me. UGH!!

  12. Corina says:

    NPH has been interviewed several times where he discusses being a stepdad to his partner’s kids, so I really don’t think either of them are of the deadbeat dad variety.

    …he believes “we’d make very good parents.” (When they spend time with Burtka’s twins, Harris says he gets to “be the fun guy who takes them to Disneyland.”)
    (New York magazine)

    “Harris, 37, and long-time boyfriend and partner David Burtka, 35, will become parents via surrogacy this coming October, E! Online reports.

    Burtka, who is an actor and a chef, is a father to twin children by his former partner. Harris has been playing stepdad to those kids.”
    (Daily contributor)

    etc…so I don’t think he has baby-daddy drama so much as a family that he doesn’t push into the spotlight?

  13. Kim says:

    Oh yeah because Star never gets stories wrong. Star is the least truthful of all the tabloids over 75% of their stories are not true.Maybe he has limited contact because Lane is bio dad and David has no legal right to kids. He wasn’t married to their father so Lane gets to decide what if any contact David has with them.I don’t believe anything in Star Magazine.

  14. workerbee says:

    He has perma-smugface going on.

  15. Disco says:

    I don’t know. Custody arrangements in these kind of situations are pretty tricky. If they were conceived with his partner’s sperm he may not have any legal rights where they’re concerned. I have a friend who had a little boy with her partner that she loves dearly, but when they split her ex took off with the kid and hardly ever lets her see him and there was nothing she could do about it.

    Maybe he’s a deadbeat…but maybe he’s not.

  16. Iggles says:


  17. lio says:

    So those children have four dads and no mum? Wow! So strange…

  18. Westcoaster says:

    Anyone getting a Melissa Etheridge vibe from this story? Interesting….

  19. Shanzy says:

    12:45 – not that strange.

  20. jodie says:

    I think people growing up with both a mom and a dad is going to be rare in the future and that’s sad

  21. Anne says:

    Star Mag is full of it. So he has kids from another relationship. WHAT A SHOCK! Big Deal. Who cares? Must be a slow news day.

  22. CC says:

    As has been said by NPH, the kids are Lane’s. It was his adoption process, and it’s his custody. I’d make a comment about people so pathetic the only way they can feel good about themselves is to make others look bad, but in automatically believing anything printed in Star magazine, they make the point themselves better than I ever could. As for the homophobic comments, people unable to think for themselves past what mommy and daddy told them about icky gay people aren’t really worth wasting time on.

  23. Wicked SteppMom says:

    Ya’ know what? I know several people who have mothers who were in long-term relationships with men, they considered these men their father, and when the relationship between their “parents” ended, they didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with the people they’d always known as their father. The “father” doesn’t necessarily have a legal leg to stand on since he’s not actually the biological parent. (In some states he can sue for visitation if he has been a primary caregiver, primary financial source, etc-but will often have to pay child support.)

  24. Kim says:

    ITA Wicked Steppmom and it would be even more difficult for a non bio gay parent to get visitation. Gay parents still lose custody or visitation of their bio kids in many states deemed “unfit”

  25. Just a Poster says:

    I am Westcoaster, big time. It was actually my first thought after reading this story.

  26. chasingadalia says:

    Yeah, there’s got to be more to this story than Star is publishing.

  27. crustyoldboot says:

    If David was not able to adopt the children legally, and is not the sperm donor, then he may not have any rights at all to see these kids. This is why full adoption rights for same-sex couples are so vital – these rights help children see both parents in the event of a breakup.

    In other words, don’t pillory this poor man unless you know all the legal details.

  28. SammyHammy says:

    This story just doesn’t ring true. Obviously NPH has known about these kids all along, and he still thinks that this guy is good parent material. I think he would know better than Star.

  29. TQB says:

    @CC, thank you!!

  30. Say What says:

    Say what?! NPH says he plays stepdad to David’s kids. So these kids have three dads and no mommy. And if Lane has a new partner, then the kids have four dads and no mommy. Knarly…..

  31. mslewis says:

    Star rag mag is full of sh!t and they know it!! Harris has talked about his “stepchildren” publicly at least twice that I’ve heard and I’m sure many more times than that. Seems everybody but Star knows about David’s other twins. There is no drama here. Nobody is a deadbeat. Move on.

  32. Mona says:

    I find it irresponsible and respectless to publish such a story full of half truths and assumptions THIS close to the birth date of Neil’s and David’s children!

    So David has kids from a prior relationship. Wow, millions of people do. And that’s all we know of the story, so move on.

  33. Liana says:

    Star isn’t making some great reveal. These kids haven’t been a secret.

  34. Carrie says:

    Speaking as a lawyer, there are two ways in which a person gets legal rights to a child. One is being the biological parent, and one is legally adopting the child. In the case of a surrogate and two gay men, obviously only one man can be the biological sperm donor- in this case, it sounds like it was Lane. The only way that David could be the legal parent of those children would be if Lane legally permitted David to adopt them. This we don’t know.

    David might be the legal parent of those kids, or he might be the “step” parent of those kids- if he is the “step” parent, he has no legal rights. Lane says when, where, and how David and the kids connect.

    David might very well be a deadbeat dad. David might very well be a devoted dad who doesn’t bring his children in the spotlight of his high profile relationship. David might very well be a “step” dad to his former partner’s kids and maintain a relationship.

    Think about other celebrities:
    Nicole Kidman is never photographed with her two older children, Tom Cruise seems to have primary custody, but she is still their mom.
    Sandra Bullock has no legal rights to Jesse James’ children, but she seems to maintain a relationship with them.

    Bottom line- we don’t know the details of this, and since it comes from Star…I’m inclined not to believe it as written.

  35. Heidi says:

    It actually was reported when they announced they were expecting, although it made it sound like he was more involved with them:

  36. Liana says:

    the msnbc article also says that David “wasn’t a primary parent to them.” So let’s not be too quick to judge.

  37. Gigohead says:

    Seems to me that David isn’t the biodad nor was he ever named in an adoption. So it’s this biodad who holds the cards. I haven’t heard if these kids from NPH are his or David’s? Wonder how they will work this arrangement.

  38. Mistral says:

    Hmmm… Sketchy if true. NPH really is too hot for this dude. He looks like a low-rent Val Kilmer. NPH will be a great dad, though.

  39. coexxi says:

    I read of these children from a former realationship at least 2 or 3 times, and I only follow two blogs. So no big secret there.

  40. roho says:

    Respectless? Oh Mona! Disrespectful. Thanks for the laugh.

  41. Mona says:

    roho: Glad you had a good laugh at a non-native speaker’s linguistic slip-up. How classy!

  42. AB says:

    Maybe Yukon, Canada, has different laws, but when I lived with a guy who had previously lived with a woman who had two kids from an early marriage, the mom came after my partner for child support and succeeded in getting his wages garnisheed (garnished?) because he had lived with her for ten years and was seen to have fulfilled “the role of father,” even though he’d never adopted the children.
    The bio dad was in jail and couldn’t contribute; dunno how much of a role that played in the family court’s decision.
    Laws vary in weird ways.

  43. Ruffian9 says:

    jodie:”I think people growing up with both a mom and a dad is going to be rare in the future and that’s sad”

    Well, if you’re referring to single parents; I would agree that that is somewhat less than ideal in many situations and, as you say it, perhaps sad.

    However, I suspect this is not what you mean by your comment.

    First of all, why would having two loving, full time parents be in any way sad??

    Also, why would you think same sex couples with kids are going to some day outnumber opposite sex couples with kids? Personally, I think there’s enough prejudice left in the world that that will never happen. So you can stop worrying.

  44. Musicfan says:

    TMZ actually talked about some of this, but didn’t delve into like they would have, if it was a hetro couple.

    First off as from what I got a month ago, David has two kids that he dosen’t see at all, since he has been with Neil. I wish TMZ would have gotten more to the bottom of the matter, but they didn’t.

    Why is it people were blasting Swizz for his new kid with Alicia, especially when he is in the same buisness as her and is actually worth more, plus he was a father to his other 3 children. Yet DAVID isn’t getting called on to the carpet for possibly abandoning his kids, as SOON as he hooked up with a celebrity with money?!

    Neil is just saving face. I think things will become more clear when they have the twins. I love NPH but I feel he is being used in some way.

  45. JonD says:

    Oy. The other kids are lucky. That anyone would share children with Burtka is shocking. A complete tool.

  46. K says:


    David Burtka having kids from a previous relationship has never been a secret. The original source of the information was Neil Patrick Harris himself in an interview about THREE years ago. They seem to be very protective when it comes to the kids and the media, but they have been known to take them public places before including Disneyland, magic awards shows, and even an American Idol taping. That hardly sounds like kids that David Burtka never sees or spends any time with.

  47. LEO says:

    My Mother showed me the STAR Magazine article about NPH and David. I stopped reading the tabloids back when Heath Ledger died. This just reminded me why I stopped. To bring out a non story such as this less than a month from the birth of their babies is cruel. Neil mentioned the twins that David has at least 2 years ago. Much love to Neil, David, and their new lives as parents….

  48. Charlot says:

    Why can not you Checked the facts before you write such a negative article
    about David. It has never been a secret that David helpt to raise the twins in his previous relationship. David and Neil have always protected the twins from the public, and then you guys go ahead and publicly the full name of the children – not nice. David has also talked about them in an interview.

    shame on you, it also applies to all of you who concludes that David will not be a good father and that he is not present for the kids, bla bla bla.because he is.

    Neil talk about it (from 3.16)

  49. la chica says:

    the new Oxford dictionary will surely include “Swiss Beatz Junk” to refer to men who can’t control their baby-mama/papa drama. lol

  50. gg says:

    It’s a shame that everybody has to run out and produce twins and then break up a few measly years later. One child isn’t enough for anybody? I’d wait a few more years before deciding to crank out a new set of accessories if it were me. But that’s just me, I guess.

  51. Amy says:

    Is it possible for a newborn to be nursed without a woman?

  52. Jess says:

    I have nothing against gay people, but I do not agree with gay men or a gay man buying an egg, and then renting out a uterus. Can you imagine how awful it will feel for that poor baby to grow up without a mother? Personally, my mom is the light of my life and my angel.

  53. GAGAGSJ says:

    Okay. Star isn’t correct the majority of the time so no need to worry. David brought the twins to the 2008 World Magic Awards. He sees them a lot according to Neil. Neil says that they’re like stepkids to him. And this is nowhere near breaking news. Neil told the press about 3 years ago! There’s no need to even think about this. I’m not angry about it like some people. You should just realize that this isn’t true and forget about it. That’s all. And I’m kind of ashamed at STAR. Seriously? this is a happy time for the couple. They don’t need this. That’s all 🙂

  54. Laurie says:

    This is what happens when people instantly believe anonymous sources who talk to notorious tabloids.

    Does this sound like they never see the older kids?

    It scares me that people can’t even be bothered to do a Google search before they believe every sourceless thing they read–particularly because these are presumably the same people who will be voting on Tuesday.

  55. Nora says:

    Guys, they r NOT David Burtka’s kids!!! They r just Lane’s kids, and he helped raise them when they were together!!! Calm down

  56. erika says:

    um. no, david helped raise those kids. they werent biologically his at all in the surrogating process. he fathered them yes, but they arent his. he is however, a wonderful father to his biological kids with neil.