Reporting Anjali Hemphill
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Actor Jason Patric testified at the state capitol on Tuesday backing legislation that would allow parental rights for some sperm donors.
“Every single one of us was barred from parentage by this loophole in the law.”
He’s the Hollywood face of a bill that would allow sperm donors to sue for parental rights.
“Unless you have an agreement in writing prior to conception, if you are a sperm donor to an unmarried woman, you will not have parental rights, and the mother will not have rights to claim support,” an attorney at the hearing said.
Existing California law states sperm donors are not legally considered natural fathers. An exemption was made in 2011 if a couple agreed to terms in writing before conception.
Patric has been in a heated battle with his ex-girlfriend, who conceived their son through artificial insemination.
Earlier this year, a judge ruled he couldn’t sue for custody.
“We were intended parents. We intended to parent these children. We raised these children. We loved these children. But whenever these relationships fell apart, we were shockingly hit with briefs that deemed us sperm donors.”
Opponents of the bill say it would open up the floodgates for anyone to file a lawsuit.
“This is a radical change in law that will turn the existing law on its head, and it will introduce insecurity.”
Insecurity also felt by members of the Assembly committee who chose not to vote until they could consider the bill some more, leaving Patric’s case to try and get custody of his son in limbo.
“SB115 doesn’t give me my son back, but what it does do is it gives standing for men to constitutionally get their rights and go into court and say, “I’m the dad,” and let a judge decide if he’s not.”