On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Assisted Reproductive Technology on Monday, May 19, 2014.
If you’re wondering if a sperm donor is a parent of your child, or you’re an intended sperm donor using divorce to impregnate your girlfriend and worried about your rights, be afraid. Be very afraid.
Way before Twilight made vampires sexy, there was The Lost Boys. For the last two years, The Lost Boys actor Jason Patric has been battling a different kind of vampire, and searching for his own lost boy.
Jason and his girlfriend Danielle tried to get pregnant, but the attempts went cold. In 2009 they paid for artificial insemination. Gus was born, named after the Mother’s family, and Gus’s middle name, Theodore, was for the Father’s family.
The couple broke up, and Jason filed for paternity and shared custody. The Mother drove a stake through the heart of the father-son relationship by withholding visits. She claimed he was threatening and hostile.
California has conflicting statutes in its Uniform Parentage Act. One statute says that a person is presumed to be a natural parent if he meets certain conditions, like receiving the child into his home and openly holding out the child as his natural child.
The other statute in the UPA says that a man who donates sperm to a licensed physician for use in a woman other than his spouse is not the natural parent of a child unless agreed to in writing. I’ve written on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) before.
Jason and Danielle had no agreement, but he held the child out as his natural child and received the child into his home. At trial, the judge agreed with the Mother, and the Father appealed.
Last week, the Second Appellate District Court in Los Angeles ruled in favor Patric – proving a vampire’s lawsuit can rise from the dead. The case was remanded back to the trial court to hear Patric’s claims to having received the child into his home and holding himself out as his son.
Florida is very advanced in ART law, and is one of the few states that permits intended parents to establish the parental status to a child born through ART without a paternity/adoption process.
However, Florida statutes make detailed provisions that must be followed for a contract for it to be enforceable. These are not contracts for “do it yourselfers” you buy at The Home Depot.
Anyone interested in knowing more, should take steps before the process to avoid these costly and personally devastating custody cases.
The Jason Patric case is available to be read here.