In entertainment news that has grabbed the attention of fathers’ rights advocates in Florida, actor Jason Patric has been battling for rights to his 4-year-old son since 2013. The 48-year-old star of “Speed 2” became a father after his ex-girlfriend was artificially inseminated with his sperm. She has since filed a restraining order that would keep him from even speaking about the child without her permission. He says that the ruling would affect his First Amendment rights to free speech.
The problem stems from a California law that says a sperm donor is only considered the biological father if the couple agrees in writing. Although Patric claims they planned to parent their baby together, his ex countered his statement and said she always planned to maintain custody of their son. A lawyer for the child’s mother supported her claims and said that he wanted to keep his paternity private.
In Aug. 2013, Patric spoke before California legislators to draw attention to the matter of fathers’ rights and his story of how he has been affected. At that time, he reportedly hadn’t spoken with his son in about six months and was concerned that his son didn’t know why he hadn’t called. He explained that he wasn’t the only father in this predicament and said he wanted to help other men in similar situations. Patric was backing a bill that gave sperm donors the option of fighting for rights to a child if they planned to be involved in their child’s life.
While new procedures have allowed some people to have children who might not otherwise be able to do so, the law hasn’t always kept pace with science. A family lawyer might be able to help fathers in similar situations who are fighting for parental rights.
Source: ABC News, ‘Jason Patric: My Son May Face ‘the Most Severe Form of Alienation’,” Lesley Messer, Aug. 13, 2013
Source: CNN, “Actor Jason Patric Fights Restraining Order in Tense Custody Battle“, February 10, 2014