The Question of Non-Anonymous Sperm Donations

For the last two years, Jason Patric and Danielle Schreiber have been waging a high-profile custody fight as a result of non-anonymous sperm donations.

Patric and Schreiber Child Custody

Patric is an actor who rose to fame in “The Lost Boys.” Shreiber is a California massage therapist from a prominent East Coast family. In 2002 the two became a couple – dating on and off for a decade. Four years ago, in 2009, they decided to produce a child via in vitro fertilization. At that time they were not romantically involved, but friendly. Shreiber had long wanted to become a mother. Pregnancy attempts with Mr. Patric did not go well, and so they decided to pursue artificial insemination.

Rekindled Romance After Sperm Donations

A romance was rekindled between Schreiber and Patric. Although they never formally moved in together, Patric, allegedly, took on a parental role. In June 2012, when the couple broke up for good, Patric filed a paternity suit for shared custody and continued to see the child. Schreiberstarted to withhold visits because, according to her lawyer, Schreiber saw Patric as increasingly threatening and hostile. Patric disputed that claim and maintained that Schreiber’s shift was a legal maneuver, resulting from stumbling across a loophole in state sperm-donor laws.

Conflicting Statutes in California Relating to Sperm Donations and Child Custody

California, like many states, has conflicting statutes. One provides a man can establish parentage if he “receives the child into his home and openly holds the child out as his natural child.” Another statute provides a man who provides his sperm to a doctor for the purpose of inseminating an unmarried friend is “treated as if he were not the natural father” — unless there is a specific written agreement prior to conception.

Patric and Schreiber had no such agreement. Patric took her to court. Ms. Schreiber won. A Los Angeles appellate court is scheduled to begin hearing Mr. Patric’s appeal.

There are no reliable statistics on how many men donate to people they know because it is a bit of a secretive trade. “The resonance here is enormous because of the increasing number of families being formed today outside of traditional marriage,” said Naomi R. Cahn, a family law professor.

For advice on child custody and sperm donations and all it’s aspects, you need the expert law firm of Korol and Velen, certified family law specialists. Schedule a consultation today.

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