Bill pushing for sperm donor parental rights put on hold

A bill dealing with paternity rights was recently put on hold after not clearing a legislative panel on Tuesday. This bill was put forward after a state senator heard about the case involving “The Lost Boys” actor Jason Patric and his child custody dispute with an ex-girlfriend.

According to Patric, he and his ex-girlfriend could not naturally conceive a child. After going to great lengths to try and conceive, the two decided artificial insemination was their best option. The two signed an “intended parent” document.

The couple ended up later breaking up and Patric went on a quest to gain custody of his 3-year-old son. However, a judge in the case ended up ruling that Patric was a sperm donor instead of a parent.

This case — and similar ones — ended up grabbing the attention of a state senator, who then introduced legislation that would allow for a sperm donor to seek parental rights as long as the donor could prove a certain level of involvement in a child’s life. The senator said the point of this bill is to clear up an already existing statute that states a sperm donor cannot have parental rights unless these rights were agreed to in writing before conception.

The bill ended up passing the Senate with no problem. However, aggressive lobbying was recently seen by opponents, which say the bill is too broad and could end up negatively impacting same-sex couples and single mothers.

At this point, the Assembly Judiciary Committee has voted to hold the bill in committee in order for there to be more discussion.

Source: The Associated Press, “California Paternity-Rights Bill On Hold,” Laura Olson, Aug. 13, 2013

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