Jason Patric is a famous actor, and though his roles in big Hollywood movies have not been as common in the last few years as they used to be, he is now getting publicity for a child custody battle that has stretched the definition of father's rights. A child that was conceived through a process known as in vitro fertilization is at the center of the case.
The heart of the issue is that Mr. Patric decided to become a sperm donor for a woman who wanted to be a mother and could not conceive a child traditionally. The two had been something of an on-again, off-again couple. She ran a massage parlor in California.
After the child was born, Mr. Patric had a bit of a role in his life for the first few years. The child even referred to him affectionately as "Dada." However, things got complicated when the couple decided to call it quits for good.
Mr. Patric tried to obtain a shared custody agreement, even going so far as to file a lawsuit to that effect. Despite this, the woman stopped letting him see the child, claiming that the actor demonstrated hostile or threatening behavior.
Now, the case has been drawn into a long court battle to decide if a man who gives a sperm donation has any legal right to claim to be the child's father. People all over the country, from California to Ohio, should keep an eye on this case, as the ruling could have a big impact on fathers' rights for sperm donors in the future.
Source: The New York Times, "Does 'Sperm Donor' Mean 'Dad'?" Brooks Barnes, May. 02, 2014