In Orange County, California, the issue of parental rights is a very sensitive and intricate matter. Divorced couples, as well as individuals seeking paternity, spend a considerable amount of time, effort and money to establish these rights. However, a new bill seeking to provide sperm donors with custody might complicate matters even further.
In California, a sperm donor is not considered a father, even though he helped conceive the child. The law was designed to protect the donor, as well the recipient who does not wish to involve the donor in the child's life. On the other hand, the new measure authored by Senator Jerry Hill would allow a donor to claim paternity, as long as the donor cares for and acts as a father to the child.
The bill already has a staunch advocate in Jason Patric. The actor is embroiled in a custody battle with a former girlfriend, with whom he has a child who was conceived using artificial means. The court denied the actor's custody petition, as the judge classified him only as a sperm donor. Gay rights groups have also showed their support for the bill.
On the other hand, the bill has its fair share of opposition as well. Women's rights groups and a State Senator have voiced their resistance, saying that the bill might cause undue harm to parents and may not be in the best interests of the children.
If approved, the legislation could provide an interesting facet to an otherwise already complex set of family law concerns. However, as the bill sits on the backburner, Orange County residents with custody and other family legal issue concerns may wish to seek guidance from an experienced family law professional to open up legal avenues for possible resolution.
Source: NBC Los Angeles "California Bill seeks parental rights for sperm donors," William Avila, August 13, 2013