A child-custody dispute involving actor Jason Patric has evolved from Hollywood tabloid fodder into a policy battle in the state Legislature that could affect thousands of California parents.
Patric, a star of films including “The Lost Boys,” donated sperm in 2009 as part of a fertility treatment that resulted in pregnancy for a former girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber.
The actor decided he wanted to help raise the child, Gus, who is now 3, but has been stymied in his attempts to gain partial custody in court. A bill unanimously passed by the state Senate, now pending in the Assembly, would change the law to make such efforts easier.
Under state law, someone who donates sperm through a doctor or sperm bank and who is not married to the woman who conceives is not recognized as the child’s natural father. The only exception is if the couple agreed in writing before conception that the donor was to be considered a parent.