Actor Jason Patric has been involved in a custody battle with a former girlfriend, to whom
he donated his sperm in 2009. The dispute is a typical “he said, she said,” because they did not enter into a sperm donor agreement when the actor donated his sperm through a medical procedure. The former girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber, says that the sperm donation was simply that: a donation. It is her position that his donation was conditioned up the fact that he would not be a father to the child, and it would never be publicly known that he donated. Patric disputes this account, and wants partial custody of the child, now 3. California law does not recognize a sperm donor as a father if the donation occurred through a doctor or a sperm bank and the donor is not the woman’s husband, unless the parties had an agreement in place. There was no agreement outlining the intent of the parties. Such an agreement would have likely prevented a dispute because the parties’ intent and expectations would have been fully outlined in the contract. This tabloid story reemphasizes how critical it is to have a Sperm Donor Agreement in place, even if your donor is known to you as friend, acquaintance, or even paramour.
Now, California State Senator Jerry Hill is introducing a bill that would grant broader rights to sperm donors. Such legislation, if passed, could open up a Pandora’s Box of litigation in California, which has more fertility clinics than any other state. To read more about the legislation and Patric’s custody battle, click here.