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Could Actor Jason Patric’s Wild Hollywood Custody Battle Change California Law?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2013 | Child Custody and Visitation


47-year-old actor, Jason Patric, is locked in a vicious, eccentric custody battle with his ex-girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber. What’s more, the battle over Patric’s paternity rights may be on the verge of changing Golden State law.

Several years ago, when Patric and Schreiber dated, Schreiber conceived a child through artificial insemination, using Patric’s sperm. The child was named “Gus.” Patric explicitly asked not to be named as the father on Gus’s birth certificate, and he even provided Schreiber a letter to that effect, claiming that he was “not ready” for fatherhood.

But after the couple broke up, Patric changed his tune. He then sued to get paternity rights.

California law currently does not allow sperm donors to be considered normal fathers, for the purposes of paternity law. But Patric’s attorney has tried to alter the law by introducing a new bill, SB 115, which would allow judges to grant sperm donor fathers paternity rights, as long as the father can show that he “has tried to receive the child into his home and openly hold out the child as his natural child.”

Jerry Hill, a State Senator who’s sponsoring the bill, explained the rationale to The Hollywood Reporter: “Really what we’re doing is clarifying the law, so children are not torn away from their parents.”

Not everyone is convinced that the law is a good idea.

Patricia Bellasalma, President of the National Organization of Women (NOW), has attacked SB 115, saying “The desire for the known sperm donor to have the additional rights of custody and joint decision making without the consent of the mother is nothing but [male] dominance personified…it is not lost on California NOW that SB 115 does not seek the same ownership or control of children for egg donors and/or surrogates.”

We’ll talk more about this story in our next post. Until then, if you have any questions or concerns about California child custody issues, please connect with the Dinnebier and Demmerle team today via phone or email for a confidential consultation.