The actor Jason Patric was in a California courtroom this week to advocate for the parental rights of sperm donors. NBC News has more:
The "Lost Boys" actor is involved in a heated battle with ex-girlfriend Danielle Schreiber with whom he has a 3-year-old son, Gus — who was conceived using in vitro fertilization.
After splitting up, the never-married couple had different ideas about what role Patric should play in the boy's life. Schreiber maintains that the pair agreed that Patric's donation would remain anonymous and that he would not have any rights as the father, she told NBC's "Today."
Patric insists, however, that he was always intended to act as a father to Gus. The disagreement resulted in a custody battle.
"I am here mainly because I need to be Gus' voice, my son, a voice I have not heard in 25 weeks, a voice that is not allowed to mention my name in his mother's home, a voice that sent me here," Patric said to committee members, Tuesday.
Patric first took his case to state lawmakers after a judge ruled that he was to be classified strictly as a sperm donor and that he had no paternal rights over Gus — the decision was based on a 2011 state law specifying that sperm donors have no legal parental rights.
"Every single one of us was barred from proving our parentage by this loophole in a law," Patric said. "We all tried to become parents. We went through great lengths to become parents. I had surgery to become a parent."
Since the initial verdict, California state Sen. Jerry Hill, who wrote the 2011 state law, has introduced a new bill, SB115, which would allow sperm donors who conceive a child through artificial insemination to establish parental rights if they can prove a certain level of involvement in that child's life.