10 November 2014
ByAppeared in BioNews 779
Actor Jason Patric has been declared a legal parent after a two-year legal challenge to a ruling that declared him simply a sperm donor for his son.
The child, now four years old, was conceived through IVF by Danielle Schreiber, using Patric's sperm. Schreiber and Patric were previously in a relationship. However, Schreiber testified that the sperm had been provided outside of the relationship and free of the expectation of parental status.
In the initial hearing, in February 2013, the trial judge ruled against Patric, finding that he was a sperm donor and not a 'parent' for the purposes of the relevant law, and denied him visitation rights.
The judge assessed that, as a sperm donor, he had no standing to sue and therefore evidence relating to the merits of the case could not be brought.
However, on appeal in May 2014, an appeals court found that the trial judge had erred in this decision and sent the case back for retrial, which has now found him legally a parent.
Patric has been a prominent supporter of a California State bill that would allow sperm donors to apply for parental rights if they can demonstrate involvement in the child's life (see BioNews 718). The actor continues to seek full custody of his son.