California state legislators are examining the rights of men when a baby is conceived in a lab. Are they fathers or are they sperm donors?
Actor Jason Patric has stepped out as poster boy of the issue as he has been fighting in the courts for his paternal rights to a son conceived with his girlfriend through in vitro fertilization.
Here are some of the facts from The Christian Science Monitor (Read the whole story here. I could only pull a few graphs.)
“Mr. Patric – whose ex-girlfriend last year won custody of a son, now 3, conceived through in vitro fertilization – spoke at a hearing where state lawmakers are considering a bill that would give judges in child-custody cases greater latitude to take into account the interests of the men involved…
“Whether and how much to adjust the balance of maternal and paternal rights is a longtime question, made more complicated by modern advances in reproductive medicine that allow for “test tube babies,” pregnancies through surrogates, and other innovations. The stakes are high for the men and women involved, but also for the children growing up in a society in which lineage can be confusing, if not outright mysterious, say some family studies experts…
“Patric is currently appealing a judge’s decision that gave full custody of Gus, his son with Danielle Schreiber, to the boy’s mother, in large part because the pair had no written agreement as to the parental arrangement. Patric assumed he would stay involved with the boy; Ms. Schreiber said that was never part of the deal….
“The fact is, I had a little modicum of fame to bring light to a problem that’s going to affect in such a horrific manner children and families,” he said. “I didn’t donate my sperm; I gave my sperm to have a child.… I want my son back,” he said during an interview with ABC’s Katie Couric in June.
The National Organization of Women and other feminist groups oppose the bill because they worry it would cede some power to sperm donors who the women don’t want helping to raise their child.
This just seems like common sense to me: If the sperm came a bank where a man donated it and you never met him, then he doesn’t have rights to the baby. If this is your boyfriend/husband donating sperm then he has some rights. The latter situation is a custody battle not a sperm donor battle.
I would think sperm banks would have men sign forms saying they make no claim on the child.
What do you think: Does in vitro make the father just a sperm donor or is it just common sense when it’s really a father who has rights or a sperm donor? Has anyone on the blog ever donated sperm? Do they ask you to sign away paternal rights at the time?