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Court: Sperm donor has no right to custody or visitation

Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Feb 22, 2013 in Child Custody

Families in Connecticut come in all shapes and sizes. There are families with one parent, two parents, biological parents and adoptive parents. Non-traditional family units are becoming more and more common, but this can create some significant issues when it comes to legally defined roles and responsibilities.

There are many men and women who use a sperm donor in the creation of their family. Whether a couple cannot have their own children biologically or a person is looking to have children without another parent, sperm donation can be a very positive solution. However, there are specific laws in place that donors and parents must be aware of when it comes to assigning child custody and visitation rights.

For example, actor Jason Patric recently found himself in a bid to win custody and visitation rights over a young boy after Patric had donated sperm to the mother. Initially, Patric and the mother were in a relationship together but decided to split up. After they were no longer together, Patric agreed to be a sperm donor when the woman wanted to have a child. There was a clear arrangement in place that Patric would have no physical or financial responsibility to the baby.

About two years later, however, the pair decided to get back together, but the couple was only together for less than a year before they broke up again. During that time, however, Patric had gotten emotionally attached to the young son and decided to fight for the right to see him, based on his status as his biological father.

However, a judge ruled that because the sperm donation had been conducted with the help of a physician, Patric has no legal custody or paternal rights to the young boy.

This situation is a good example of how complicated the laws that govern sperm donation and custody can be. Before two unmarried people have a baby, it is a good idea to make sure that there is a clear, effective and legal document in place that all parties understand. This way, people can be sure that their freedoms from obligation or parental rights are protected.

Source: All Voices, "Sperm donor Jason Patric loses visitation rights over son with former girlfriend Danielle Schreiber," Michelle Lincaster, Feb. 21, 2013