Ugh, this is a complicated story and it’s one of the rare times when I can actually see that both sides have some sort of legal leg to stand on. The backstory: Jason Patric fathered a child with a girlfriend/friend named Danielle Schreiber. The child was conceived via Jason’s “sperm donation” – meaning that the child was not conceived with the p-in-the-v, although Jason and Danielle did have an on-and-off sexual and romantic relationship for several years. When Jason “donated” his sperm, he said flat-out that he wasn’t interested in fatherhood, and that he wanted no part in the child’s life. Danielle gave birth to son Gus, and Jason eventually wanted to spend time with Gus. Danielle let Jason spend some time with Gus here and there, but Jason wanted more time, and more rights as a parent. Danielle was all “whoa now, you said you didn’t want that” and now they’re fighting about it in court. Here’s People’s coverage:
What started as a child custody dispute between Jason Patric and a former girlfriend has evolved into a controversial, high-profile case that could change California law.
Patric, 47, star of The Lost Boys, Sleepers and My Sister’s Keeper, has become intimately intertwined with a California state bill that would give sperm donors the ability to sue for parentage rights.
As part of a fertility treatment, Patric donated sperm in 2009 to a former girlfriend, massage therapist Danielle Schreiber, that resulted in her pregnancy, according to ABC News. He then decided he wanted to help raise the child, Gus, now 3, but was thwarted in his attempts to gain partial custody.
Patric told the Los Angeles Times that he and and Schreiber agreed to have a child together and that he has had a “loving relationship” with his son.
“I cared for him, I supported him, I raised him along with his mother,” Patric said. “No child should have to endure a painful separation from a parent who loves that child because the other parent is no longer willing to share the child and asserts a legal technicality.”
Schreiber disputes Patric’s account, telling the Times: “When Jason offered me his sperm, it was under the condition that his donation never be made public and that he would not be a father to the child.”
In February, a judge ruled Patric was simply a donor and, because the couple are not together, he couldn’t sue for custody. But Patric told ABC he’ll continue his fight: “I just pray and I try to do everything I can legally, legislatively to have justice come.”
In August, the California state assembly is expected to vote on the bill – which would allow courts to grant parental rights to sperm donors under broader conditions, such as if a donor showed that he openly acknowledged the child as his own and received the child into his home.
It seems like Jason would have more parental rights if Gus had been conceived through sex, correct? The sticking point – one of the sticking points, I guess – is that Jason seemed to sign away his rights when he “donated” his sperm. I don’t really understand how this complicated, personal, sexual and romantic relationship will or should affect all sperm donors though – isn’t this a very particular case? Maybe I’m being naïve about it.
Anyway, Danielle and her lawyer were on the Today show yesterday and… yeah, I don’t know, you guys. It seems like Danielle wants her cake and to eat it too. She wants to say that Jason was never involved with Gus and that he never showed any interest, but she also makes it clear that she never wanted Jason to be involved in any way.
I think these are photos of Jason and Gus in Hawaii in 2011:
Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.
Read more here:
Jason Patric wants parental rights over son conceived through sperm donation