Although actor Jason Patric is usually in the spotlight for his professional pursuits, his testimony before the California Assembly Judiciary Committee has put his personal life in the spotlight as well. The actor testified in Sacramento on Aug. 13 as part of a hearing to consider Senate Bill 115, which would clarify the paternity rights of men who donate their sperm to conceive a child.
The actor’s life was directly impacted by this issue when he agreed to donate sperm so that his former girlfriend could conceive a child. After being involved in the child’s life on a regular basis for two years, Patric’s ex-girlfriend reportedly stopped letting him see his son when they had a disagreement. The actor went to court seeking restoration of contact with his son, but the judge ruled that as a sperm donor, he did not have any parental rights.
Senate Bill 115 would give sperm donors who want to be involved in their children’s life the opportunity to petition a court for parental rights. The sponsor of the bill feels that the new law is needed to provide a bridge between two areas of current California paternity law that conflict with each other. One section of the law gives any man who has acted as a father, whether he is the biological father or not, the right to petition a court for paternity rights while another section of the law states that men donating sperm to anyone other than their wives forfeit all paternity rights. The judiciary committee voted to give the bill further consideration.
Individuals involved in custody disputes are often unsure of their rights under the law. Attorneys working in the area of family law can help clients navigate the legal process and work towards a solution.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Sperm-donor bill: Actor’s case spotlights question of parental rights“, Josh Richman, August 19, 2013