Jason Patric denied custody rights to his child as a ‘sperm donor’: is this fair?

Jason Patric

Does anyone remember Jason Patric? I used to have the biggest crush on this guy in the 1980s when he starred opposite Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys, and Jason was also really good as an undercover cop who gets sucked into drugs in Rush. After that last movie, I think everyone thought he would turn into an amazing dramatic actor, but that didn’t really happen. Oh well. From a gossip standpoint, Jason gave an interview a few years ago in which he labelled Ashley Judd as “a lazy and arrogant actress” and described Lady Gaga’s shtick as follows: “You take a sh-t in a Cuisinart and put some pasties and get Auto-Tuned.” Yet Jason is best remembered as the dude who stole Julia Roberts from Kiefer Sutherland days before their wedding. It was so pathetic — Jason and Julia just ran off to Ireland, and Kiefer was left to drown his sorrows in many bottles of booze. You know, Kiefer has never been very good at dodging bullets (other than as Jack Bauer on “24″), but he dodged a major one with Julia. Can you imagine if they had actually married? It wouldn’t have lasted more than two years. More on that in a bit.

Anyway, these are photos of Jason in 2011 enjoying some “happy family time” in Maui with his girlfriend and son. Only it’s more complicated than that. The girlfriend, Danielle Schreiber, was actually an ex-girlfriend with whom Jason had recently reunited. The child, Gus, is truly Jason’s biological son, but he was not conceived in the traditional manner. Rather, Jason had given Danielle his sperm after their breakup in 2009, and he did so under the condition of not being required to provide any child support or be required to help raise the child. So he was technically a sperm doner, but then Jason and Danielle got back together, and he apparently decided that he enjoyed acting as a father to his son. All went well until Jason and Danielle broke up again, and then (presumably) Danielle kicked him out of Gus’ life. Jason went to court to try and gain custody rights (TMZ doesn’t make it clear whether he was going for joint or full custody), and the judge told him Jason had no rights to the child since this was a sperm donor situation. TMZ has the story:

Jason Patric

Jason Patric was just shut down by a judge in his bid to win paternity and custody rights over his son … TMZ has learned.

Jason was locked in a bitter legal war with ex-GF Danielle Schreiber. The two were together for years but broke up in 2009. At the time they ended the relationship Jason told Danielle he didn’t have any money to give her but he would give her his sperm, provided he had nothing to do with raising the child and she didn’t ask for child support.

Danielle was artificially inseminated with the help of a doctor, and Gus was born in December, 2009.

Jason went away and had no contact with Gus, but came back in 2011. Jason and Danielle got back together … but they broke up again. That’s when he decided he wanted custody.

The trial has been going on for a week, and we’ve learned the judge just laid down the law — a law that says if a man donates sperm to a woman to whom he is NOT married and she’s inseminated with the help of a doctor … the man has no paternity rights or claim of custody.

As we previously reported … Danielle let Jason see Gus for visits, but there was no court order enforcing that. We don’t know if she will continue to let Jason see the child.

[From TMZ]

It sounds like both Danielle and Jason — if he was going for full custody — are feeling vindictive in the aftermath of their latest breakup. But if we give Jason the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was merely going for joint custody and visitation with child support, then this is a very sad situation. Actually, it’s a sad situation no matter how you frame it. Gus got to know his dad, who had experienced a change of heart and decided that he was willing to be a father to his child. But since Jason had only acted as a “sperm donor” in the first place, he may never get to see his child again if that’s what Danielle wants.

Jason and Danielle were never married, but the main problem I see here with Jason’s case is that the insemination was done in a doctor’s office, and there’s probably plenty of paperwork that proves Jason wanted nothing to do with the kid after conception. If he and Danielle had made a baby with one last roll in the hay, the outcome of this case probably would have been different. Sad.

Jason Patric

Jason Patric

Now for a little more dish on the Jason-Julia-Kiefer love triangle. In 2006, Kiefer stated to the New York Daily News (via Gossip Rocks) that he forgave Julia and “commend[ed] Julia for seeing how young and silly we were, even at the last minute, even as painful and as difficult as it was. Thank God she saw it.” Kiefer also stated that he had not forgiven Jason because the guy had never called him to apologize or anything. Then in 2010, Jason stated that Kiefer had called him, and they chatted over some drinks together. Then they worked together in 2011 on Broadway for That Championship Season, and here are some photos from that premiere. Mmm, Chris Noth.

Jason Patric

Jason Patric

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN

 

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126 Responses to “Jason Patric denied custody rights to his child as a ‘sperm donor’: is this fair?”

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  1. MooHoo says:

    both adults should get over themselves and try to focus on the happiness of this little kid.

  2. Elceibeno08 says:

    So he loves his baby, why can’t he get custody rights? The child would love having hid daddy in his life.

    • Rachel says:

      Because he’s technically a sperm donor. Wouldn’t you hate it if you had a sperm donor that showed up at your door one day wanting custody rights to your baby? I understand this situation is a bit different because they dated, but, even so, he’s a sperm donor and if she doesn’t want him to have any custodial rights then he shouldn’t. Furthermore, though the baby would be better off with both parents, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be Jason Patric in the role of the father. Danielle could very well meet and marry in the near future in which case they would also make a fine nuclear family, I’m sure.

      I think she’s smart for not granting him rights. He shouldn’t be able to choose to be a father whenever he wants. Moreover, by giving him rights, she’s just complicating her own life and her son’s. So, while I think it’d be fantastic if the boy could have two parents, I don’t think it necessarily has to be Jason. And, for the sake of single parents everywhere, I believe Danielle could do a fine job on her own as well.

      • gogoGorilla says:

        Well, maybe, but my issue is that she was fine with him acting as the father when it was convenient for her, but then wanted to shut him back out when it wasn’t.

        So, that’s not really fair, either.

        Regardless, it’s the kid who is going to suffer. It would have been better for him not to know the guy at all.

        Adults are stupid and selfish, I swear.

      • Lolly says:

        Absolutely agree Rachel. This Jason dude sounds like a prick.

      • Irishae says:

        “I think she’s smart for not granting him rights. He shouldn’t be able to choose to be a father whenever he wants. Moreover, by giving him rights, she’s just complicating her own life and her son’s.”

        I strongly agree speaking as someone who was born out of a similarly strange situation my parents had.

        My guess is emotions were high, they reconciled over the baby. Not smart on both their parts. Jason finds out a kid isn’t so bad as he thought. Babies are cute after all. Well tough, move on and find a woman you can have your own family with. He signed away his right to this one when he wanted nothing to do with the kid in first place.

      • anotherrandom says:

        I agree. Coming from a similar situation, she’s protecting herself and her son. Even if Jason got half custody, if he did it just to be vindictive, he could be taking their son and handing him off to a stranger just so the mom can’t see him. She’s not going after him for money, so I think her keeping visitation on her terms is smart and better parenting than allowing a man to flit in and out of his son’s life.

      • Bijlee says:

        Agreed. He signed away his rights when he donated the sperm. He made the decision. Now he needs to live with it. She can choose whoever she wants to be with and from what it seems she’s not asking for money or anything from him. She’s letting him see her child on her terms because she wanted the baby and he didn’t. The way I see it her letting him see the baby occasionally is generous enough on her part.

        Don’t make a decision like donating “seed from your loins” if you can’t handle the consequences of such actions.

      • ol cranky says:

        so, if a woman gets involved with a man who is not the child’s father and was not the sperm donor, the man has some sort of relationship with the child during the relatively short term of the dating period and the couple splits, should the man have a claim to custody or even visitation with the child? Most of you would say that’s over-reaching. Since he had absolutely no relationship with the child, nor did he want one, for the first few years of the kid’s life and was only in the child’s life for a relatively short period of time while he rekindled the romance with the mom, why should he be able to lay claim to the child and gain any degree of custody? What if the woman had adopted a child and dating a man for a couple of years who turned out to be the child’s father and then they split up? should he have some right to custody because he has a biological connection and decided he had paternal feelings during the relationship with the mother? Had they been together as a couple and started raising the child as theirs (as in the kid knows the man as daddy) for many years, I might think he had a legitimate case. As it was, he came into the child’s life when the boy was about 2, the relationship with the mother lasted what a year or so and we don’t know that they were loved up to the point Patric was actually taking on daddy responsibilities, I don’t see why people think he or the child are getting screwed

      • TrustMeOnThis says:

        Totally unfair to the kid to jerk him around like this.
        He will figure it out when he grows up and resent the hell out of mom for doing this.
        She gave up the rights to say he was only a sperm donor when she let him in as a dad. It’s unfair to him too but even more so to that poor little boy.
        My parents divorced when I was very young and did things like make it harder for me to see my (loving) grandparents just to get at each other. I was the one who suffered most. They need to think of their son.

      • Joanna says:

        if she didn’t want him in the kid’s life, why did she date him and let him grow attached to the kid? Legally, yes, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. But morally, how can she rip a dad out of his son’s life after they’ve formed a bond? that’s just wrong. She needs to stop being selfish and give him some time with the kid. She didn’t have a problem with it before, why now?

      • BestJes says:

        Having kids IS complicated, especially if you choose an ex as a sperm donor, then restart an intimate relationship with said ex & allow your child and him to bond. If she didn’t want complicated maybe she shouldn’t have picked that route. Honestly so many women treat their offspring like property. If you want an exclusive relationship get a dog.

  3. Emma - the JP Lover says:

    “Yet Jason is best remembered as the dude who stole Julia Roberts from Kiefer Sutherland days before their wedding. It was so pathetic — Jason and Julia just ran off to Ireland, and Kiefer was left to drown his sorrows in many bottles of booze.”

    Julia Roberts has actually ‘done’ all the crap over the years Angelina Jolie is accused of doing. She followed poor Liam Neeson back to Ireland too, and she wasn’t concerned at all about his girlfriend (or had he already married Natasha Richards by that time?).

    • ctkat1 says:

      Amazing what a difference the internet makes for a celebrity’s reputation, huh?

      Julia Roberts was crazy as hell when it came to men (leaving them, stealing them, stalking them, marrying and divorcing weird ones), and yet she was American’s Sweetheart.

      Angelina Jolie does basically the same thing (except she has six kids with her “stolen” man) and is the Ultimate Femme Fatale.

    • truthSF says:

      I was surprised when I found out how many men Julia went through within a short amount of time.

    • T.C. says:

      This is all new to me. Julia Roberts is scandalous with a capital s. Angelina Jolie got nothing on America’s sweetheart.

    • TQB says:

      I’m not disagreeing with the Julia madness, but wasn’t there a big blowup with Kieffer and some stripper that lead her to ditch him right before the wedding? I was shocked to see the split described as all Julia.

      • Loira says:

        And on top of all that, Patric was Kiefer’s good friend! Yes, maybe Kiefer scre wed it up, bu Julia is not the queen on faithfulnes and constancy. She was probably looking for a excuse to date cuter Patric.
        Just out of my bad memory without checking:
        Liam neeson, McDermont, Kiefer, Patric, her first husband, poor dumped Benjamin Bratt, the camera man, and many more, many of them her costars, married or with girlfriends.
        The quantity does not matter, but the way she left a relationship and entered another one is. I ever heard that she dumped Neeson for another costar, really, who does that?

  4. Sweet Dee says:

    How bizarre that the difference between having custody and not is the lack of intercourse, despite the fact that they (presumably) had sex numerous times.

    • minime says:

      hmm…I think you didn’t get it right. The lack of custody is most likely due to the documents that he signed waiving his parental rights in the 1st place, when he decided to be only a sperm donor.
      It is nice that he changed is mind about his role in this kid’s life, but legally it is more than obvious that you can’t simply first decide that you are only sperm donor and change your mind about that later.
      Now if we talk about what is morally right or wrong, then it would be probably the best for that child to have a present father, but we also don’t now if the mother will avoid that or not (it says there that she let’s him see the child…)

    • CC says:

      No more bizarre than a guy having the right to be the father no matter how awful he is to the child just as long as he had sex with the mother. Same as shitty mothers and biology.

      No child needs to know shitty parents. And this is a guy that explicitly declined any involvement in the kid’s life, but then had a change of heart. What if his mind changed again? No judge would change such a ruling after his non-commital.

      Let’s face it, custody laws are f*cked up.

  5. fabgrrl says:

    Yeesh. Sad situation. I’m going to take Jason’s side and believe that he really does want to be a father. I seriously question Danielle for letting Jason into little Gus’s life, and then thinking she can just boot him out again. Not fair to Gus. Yes, if Gus had been her son from someone else then Jason would have no legal rights. But I’d imagine that the fact that Jason IS the bio-father inclined him to form a stronger bond with the boy than he would have as simply the mother’s boyfriend.

    • Poink517 says:

      Yes! Also, I’m pretty sure most sperm donors never meet the children to whom they donated the sperm, nor do they meet the mothers! I don’t know what sort of paperwork he signed, so he may indeed be screwed as far as that is concerned, but this just doesn’t seem fair.

      • Alexandra Bananarama says:

        Not at all fair! It’s going to boil down to 2 things in my mind.

        The wording in the contract and the vindictive nature of the mother. To expose her son to his father and then take take him away when things go south isn’t right. Ugh. It’s a sad case.

  6. LucyS says:

    I always forget how smoking hot Jason Patric is. He’s probably kind of a d*ck in real life, but god he’s handsome.

    • BestJes says:

      I had always gotten a strong douche vibe from Patric, even as far back as the Lost Boys days, but I changed my mid a bit when he agreed to satire his douchey rep on Entourage. I can’t see a real douche being willing to take that kind of role.

  7. Dani says:

    I mean, if he was never present in the kids life and requested visitation I’d understand saying no. But allowing your child to get to know his father and then taking all of that away from your child is just cold. I get that the kid is young but I’m sure he’s looking for the man who he got to know as his dad. Very bitter of the ex to do that to her son. Again, I DO understand it was a sperm donor situation, but she allowed her son to get close to his father; you can’t just take that from him because you broke up and are mad over whatever reason.

    • jc126 says:

      Yeah, it seems like he was initially a donor, then ACTED as a a father – seems like he should get some rights for that especially since SHE allowed that relationship to develop. She’s a bitter hag.

      • Gretchen says:

        Wow, that’s a bit harsh considering we have no idea why they broke up…maybe he was a terrible dad, or totally unreliable and that’s why she called it off? Anyway, we have no idea…but this instant woman hating gives me a knee-jerk reaction.

        Ultimately they are both grown ass adults who should have discussed this possibility when they renewed their romantic relationship and made legal amendments accordingly.

    • Princess says:

      This is how I feel too (as long as he wasn’t trying to go for full custody). I think some contact would have been nice since they (seemingly) opened that door.

      I do wonder though, when he re-entered the picture, was the child made to believe that this is “his father” or “mommy’s boyfriend” (if you get what I mean). I know the LO is young, so it probably wouldn’t be a big difference to him, but a judge may see a difference.

      BTW, this is OT but does anyone know what happened in the case between the sperm donor and lesbians – the court was trying to FORCE him to provide (financially) for a child that he was just a sperm donor for.

  8. ctkat1 says:

    You always hope that parents can put aside their own issues and feelings in order to do what it best for their children, but it doesn’t always happen.

    The rights (or non-rights, I should say) of a sperm donor are really clearly laid out in law. If you view this as a contract issue, which it is at heart, the original intent of the contract must be honored. It’s sad for Jason Patric if he wants to now be a father, but he agreed to be a sperm donor. He can’t change the terms now that he knows the child.

    • Sam says:

      You’re incorrect about the contract. Courtd are inclines to enforce contracts when ONE party breaches and the other sues. However, in this case, it seems like they mutually breached. Jason breached by providing support and time with his son. The ex breached by allowing it. In cases of mutual breach, courts are inclined to void the contract. The girlfriend didn’t consistently enforce her end, nor did Jason. Thus, they can’t simply go back to enforcing it now.

      • Poink517 says:

        Now THIS makes sense, Sam.

      • ctkat1 says:

        I actually disagree. We don’t have any evidence that the girlfriend breached her end. The contract language we have is that Jason would provide sperm provided that he not be asked to parent or provide child support. He obviously spent time with the child, but that mere fact doesn’t persuade me that the girlfriend, in allowing contact, breached the intent of the original contract. Lots of women who use sperm donors eventually permit their children to contact the men. Doesn’t then give the men rights to the children.

      • Sam says:

        ckat: Nope, still incorrect. From what TMZ is reporting, the contract was basically based on consideration: The girlfriend received his sperm on the condition that she could not enforce support obligations or create a familar relationship between them. Basically, the contract was that sperm was being donated with the intent that neither party would seek a parental relationship between the father and child. When they started the relationship again, the girlfriend’s obligation, under the contract, was to not accept any support from Patric or refuse a parental relationship (basically, from her end, it’s called a forebearance contract, which is when you basically get something for NOT enforcing your legal rights). He breached through affirmative action, she breached through violating a forebearance. They’re both still violating the contract. So, yes, you’re still incorrect on this argument. The intent of the original contract was to become a mother with the aid of donor sperm and to forebear any legal rights she had against the father as consideration. When she gave up that forebearance, she breached her end. He breached his end by affirmatively parenting and supporting the child. So, mutual breach.

      • Izzy says:

        I’m actually surprised the waiver part of the contract is enforceable. In Florida, you cannot legally waive child support. Period. No exceptions. That is for the benefit of the child. I don’t know about the laws on this matter in other jurisdictions.

        On the other hand, if it is legally viewed as a sperm donor matter, then child support is a moot point, as it is not an obligation for a donor.

        What a weird situation, though. I think maybe there have not been a lot of cases of this particular nature, so the laws aren’t designed to deal with it? Who knows.

        I feel sorry for the kid.

      • Rachel says:

        Sam, have you actually READ the contract??? How can you say with certainty what each party agreed to and who breached without actually knowing the entire written agreement between the parties??? Answer is, you can’t.

      • Embee says:

        Lol. Her consideration was to not seek or try to enforce child support, not to reject/deny it. That’s an absurd construction of the parties’ obligations. She has no duty to stop him from giving her money. What he is doing is extortion, actually.

        Imagine a similar scenario: woman obtains spear from clinic, has baby. The donor, through whatever means discovers the child is his, woos the mom and the files for custody. It’s not too far off from this situation and it is a nightmare.

    • tabasco says:

      @Sam – agree, although I wonder about the wisdom (of the judge) of treating this as a purely contract case (if that’s in fact what happened). there are clearly elements of family law in play and it’s not like the judge is constrained to treat a case as one or the other – most cases involved a little bit of this, a little bit of that. i think the judge going for the stricty contract view, which it sounds like they did, is a policy decision more than anything. i.e., can’t be letting people out of contracts left and right and can’t be messing with sperm donor situations after the fact, etc. i agree there is definitely plenty of room for a potentially successful (whatever that means) appeal here.

  9. MollyB says:

    If he was seeking full custody, I don’t blame the mom for what she did. If he just wanted visitation, I think she should recognize that having contact with a loving father is in her son’s best interests. But the bottom line is, don’t sign documents unless you are sure that’s how you want to live. He signed papers saying he wanted nothing to do with the kids and wanted no rights and responsibilities and that’s just what he got.

  10. Liberty says:

    Thoughts:

    1. It’s always the little kids who pay for this crap. I know two people pulling similar stuff. Ugh.
    2. Can I dub her Unomom (with Octomom’s self-absorption in mind, not because she wanted to have a baby on her own).
    3. She’ll be back.
    4. I know we don’t know all the facts, but in this case, given the circumstances, I am on his team for the child’s sake. Everyone, grow up.
    5. Halle wannabe?

  11. Samigirl says:

    Is it fair? No? But legally, he is only a sperm doner.

    Sad that the mom can’t just budge though. It’s nice that he actually WANTS to be a part of that little guys life.

  12. Sam says:

    It sounds like the judge basically went for a strict “contract” view. A lot of judges wouldn’t. There is a rule that if two people enter into a contract, it’s valid. However, if both of them behave in a way that’s contrary to the contract after it’s signed, then a court can find that they both basically mutually breached and that the contract voids. Presumably, if his ex-girlfriend allowed him to see the child and contribute to the child’s care in some way, she breached the contract, as did he. In most cases of mutual breach, courts tend to throw contracts out, since both parties aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. So basically, I do think he probably has decent grounds to appeal this.

    • lucy2 says:

      This makes sense to me. Pretty clear to me that she changed the terms of the arrangement, if she didn’t want him involved, she should have never gotten back together with him.
      She should have gone with an anonymous donor. The situation is just way too complex.

    • Hautie says:

      I actually have been reading about this in the NY papers.

      And there is a huge piece of the story missing here.

      The ex-girlfriend has never refused to let Jason have contact with the boy. She has encouraged it.

      From what I gather is Jason, whom I have always suspect does not have the most stable personality… started to demand the child on his terms. And when he wanted to see him.

      And the Mother balked at that. She clearly has stated through out this case. She has no problem with Jason being with the boy.

      Her problem was Jason being a big ass bully to her. And making demands. For a child that he has no rights to. On a moments notice.

      They had dated for a decade. And when they broke up Jason claimed he was broke. Had no money. That basically after a ten year relationship that she left with nothing.

      So after the break up. She was getting up there in age, she wanted to have a baby. And ask for a donation. Jason said he would as long as it was documented that he was not the Father. And have no legal, moral or financially responsibility for the child.

      Now he has changed his mind.

      And tried to strong arm the Mother into his demands. And when that failed. He sued her.

      I still think she is right in fighting this case. If she hadn’t the next twenty years of her life was going to be mayhem with demands from a man. Who I still suspect it not too stable.

      But he sure is pretty! :)

      • Miss Bennett says:

        Thanks for this. The case makes more sense now. Obviously Jason has changed his mind regarding the boy and wants to be able to set the terms of his involvement. As he is broke, prior to the couples reconciliation, it’s clear he in no way supported the mother or the child. Now he wants control over the child? No. The mother is his only legal guardian and the decisions regarding visitation are her alone. It would be nice if the parents could come to an agreement for the sake of their son but the mother is under no obligation to allow that. Sorry Jason, our decisions have consequences, you will have to live this decision.

  13. Maria says:

    i think in terms of fathers rights we still have a very long way to go.

    • Claire says:

      Yes the laws should be changed so men can change their minds when they like on a whim and demand a child be taken from his mother for 50% of his life. She did after all bring him into the world alone with someone who couldn’t have cared less that he had fathered a child.

    • Auruor says:

      Interesting side note here — at least in my state (Minnesota) the state protects fathers’ rights to an almost irrational degree. The father of my oldest son (I have since married and have more children) developed a serious drug problem and disappeared. He would emerge periodically just long enough to give my son hope for a relationship with him, raise some hell, threaten me, and then leave again.

      After he got high WHILE WATCHING my son once, I stopped allowing him unsupervised visits. He spiraled downward, but because he never hurt my son (I never gave him a chance to) I couldn’t have his parental rights removed, even though he was willing to give them up (to get out of paying child support).

      Why? Because a parent who already has rights to a child CANNOT legally give up their rights in the absence of some abuse or neglect UNLESS another parent is willing to step up and adopt the child. I couldn’t have his rights terminated until I married my husband and my husband adopted my son. In my case the state seemed to think that a terrible dangerous “father” was better than me raising my son alone… which is what I did anyway.

  14. po says:

    If this is her way of protecting her rights as the person who is allowed to make decisions on the child’s behalf and keep full custody, I understand. Hopefully, that’s all this is and she will let him see the child and build a relationship. For all we know she was allowing him to see the child but he wanted legal custody. She probably got very nervous about that.

  15. Little Darling says:

    Woah talk about a complicated mess. I actually only fault the woman/mother. How dare she let her child experience this your and then ultimately ban him from his fathers life? There really is no excuse for a mother to deny a perfectly “good” (speculation here) father who wants in.

    However this is the arrangement legally.

    • Miss Bennett says:

      Ummmmm…………
      The sperm donor bears more than 50% of the blame here. He didn’t want the child because he didn’t want to pay for it, either with money or emotional and physical involvement. He didn’t want to give anything to this child period. She had the kid on her own, bearing the expense and birth alone. Now that the sacrifices both financial and emotional have been borne by mom he wants a piece of the kid on his terms? No! The mom is willing to let him see the child on her terms, he should be grateful for that.

  16. Dawn says:

    Well this woman needs to count herself lucky that he wants to be in his child’s life. This kid is going to be so mad at her if she doesn’t rethink this. Using your child for revenge is never a good thing. Never.

  17. tracking says:

    He’s an *ss who went out of his way to contractually stipulate no obligation to any child she might conceive with his sperm. No sympathy for him, but plenty of sympathy for the child.

    • jinni says:

      I’m with you. He gave his sperm to her in order as a way of getting out of giving her money after break up their ten year relationship. On top of that HE stipulated that not only did he not want to have to financially support the kid in anyway (which is fine if he’s only a sperm donor), but he also didn’t want to publicly acknowledge his son’s existence. That last part is what makes it hard for me to have any sympathy for him, the fact that he didn’t even want people to know that his son was his.

    • mercy says:

      He went out of his way to give her a child, too. I don’t understand either of their actions at all (why did he owe her money? why was a sperm donation considered a payment?), but the child is here and his feelings should come first. If Patric genuinely had a change of heart (as people often do) and has been good to the child he helped create, the child deserves the opportunity to have a father.

  18. Kim says:

    Yeah but there was no Poor Ex crying in interviews or holding pity parties on Oprah in Julia’s case.As for Jason unfortunately this is similar to a person with a child getting married.The step parent loves and raises the child then they get divorced.A step parent or sperm donor dont have legal rights.If he gets custody or visitation then any sperm donor who has relationship with the child can file for joint custody.

  19. Inconceivable! says:

    How can someone like Octomom be legally married to a man while going through IVF resulting in her first three kids, but that man was NEVER on the hook for child support? But it makes sense that here is a man who was not married to this woman, signs papers and can absolve himself of any legal responsibility.

    • mercy says:

      Because sperm and egg donation, fertility treatments, surrogacy, etc. are sometimes wildly unregulated industries where profits and what the adults want come first. Octomom’s doctor wanted money. She wanted attention. The kids suffer to this day. I don’t believe she was married, by the way. If I remember correctly, she got an ex-boyfriend to make donations.

      • Laurie M. says:

        She was married to a man named Marcos Gutierrez while the first three kids were conceived through IVF and born. That why one of her names is Natalie Gutierrez. Also according to the court documents from her doctor’s trial, her husband came to several appointments & was there afterwards to help take care of Octo since she has had a debilitating back injury since 1999.

  20. SleepyJane says:

    From a legal standpoint I agree with the judge’s ruling. I wonder if Jason ever pursued adoption while he was with the mother.

    I hope they can work this out. Those photos are heart-wrenching in light of the outcome.

  21. mercy says:

    At least he’s not anonymous and his son will have the chance to know him if the son wants to. Kids deserve the right to know all of the people responsible for their existence, if at all possible (eg. no crime involved in conception, person is alive, not abusive, etc.), and if they so choose. Too many adults make choices that are all about what they want, without respect for their kids feelings, or potential feelings.

  22. Buckwild says:

    It’s morally conflicted in the sense that there is a child being deprived of a father. But it is fair in the sense that the same agreement depriving him of the fathers rights is also what would have protected him if the mother wanted to sue him for financial support or parenting.

    Contracts cut both ways, it’s fair if both parties got legal counsel and understood the content.

  23. bella says:

    as if this woman hasn’t manipulated this guy from the start.
    why ask for his sperm after they broke up?????????
    she did it to maintain a hold on him.
    and the terms that he wouldn’t have to be involved in the child’s life?
    part of the manipulation to have his child under the guise that there were no strings attached.
    now to deny him any claim to the child after they have again broken up?
    obvious that she did not do the breaking up…he must have.
    and she’s using an innocent child to punish him…

    • jinni says:

      It’s not like she stole his sperm or something. He gave it to her willingly in order to get out of paying her money that I believe a person who stays in a 10 year relationship (common law ?) in the state of California are due to them.

      Plus HE was the one who made sure that in the contract they both signed that he wouldn’t be involved in the kid’s life, wouldn’t have to pay child support, or publicly acknowledge his son’s existence. So, he’s the one who manipulated himself into this situation.

    • minime says:

      wow, our society doesn’t really evolve isn’t it? No matter what, people will always throw the first stone at the women. The guy has all the evidence of being a total prick, he made sure since the beginning that he wouldn’t be involved in anything concerning this child, then he decided to reappear 2y after the child was born and she is the manipulative in this story? You don’t even know how much time he was present or how much he really contributed to the raising of this child. Also it says in there that she let’s him visit the child, so it doesn’t seem to me that she is being that evil by not wanting to give full parental rights to a guy that never wanted to be involved.

  24. Jayna says:

    They broke up after a long relationship together. He says he has no money to give her but offers his sperm if she agrees never to come after him for child support, no part in raising her baby. She agrees and is inseminated, no sex. Several years later he comes back into back into her life and I guess then get develops a relationship with the child. They break up and now he wants full custody? LOL. It sounds again like he wants no part of child support trying to get custody is the way I read it. I thought I read she was letting him see the child, too, after this recent split-up. Now after a lawsuit I hope she still does that even with no enforced order requiring her to.

  25. lem says:

    I dunno. There is nothing to say that she wouldn’t let him see her son still, but more that she didn’t want him to legally have any parental rights. And I can see her stand point– originally, he said no, but now that he’s enjoying it, he says yes. What happens if he changes his mind again? She wants to be the one to determine how much contact her son has with a guy that has already flip-flopped on the issue of “do i want to be the daddy or not?”
    This situation is really no different than if he had gotten involved with her after she used an anonymous sperm donor. He wouldn’t have any right to claim custody in that situation if they had broken up, and he shouldn’t have any right to it now.

  26. Oi says:

    Well she just sounds like a real sweet’ardt. She shouldn’t have let him in the kid’s life unless she was ready for it to be a permanent situation. Donor or not, he is the kid’s dad and she let him be after saying she didn’t want him to. Deal with it and use an anonymous donor next time. I agree with the posters above that said they were both in breech of their agreement. I hope the judge reconsiders, or he gets a different one. I typed up a whole tirade about women like this but I’ll just leave it at this: she shouldn’t be having kids if this is what she thinks is an adult way to act.

  27. Memphis says:

    From a legal standpoint, I get it. But she let her son spend time bonding with his father then decides to cut that off. That’s just wrong and hurtful to Gus IMO..

    I doubt he was going for full custody.. I’m sure he had a lawyer telling him that was an impossibility due to the documents he signed, so I’m assuming he only wanted (at most) joint custody, or even just legal visitation with his son.

  28. Redheadwriter says:

    Interesting sidenote: Jason Patric is Jackie Gleason’s grandson.

  29. tabasco says:

    Lawyer here! There is, as Bedhead pointed out, very likely a crapload of enforceable agreements denying Jason any kind of anything. In adoption terms he essentially did a TPR (termination of parental rights) which is usually considered uber-serious and not undone. That said, given the obviously highly personal and individual case-by-case nature of stuff like this, judges can exercise a lot of discretion and you never know. The view that is sympathetic to Jason is obvious, but you could argue that Jason knew what he was doing when he signed away his rights, knew what he was doing (or should have) when he was developing a relationship with a child who, legally, is not “his” child and that his desire to parent will go away as quickly as it came. Adopting the kid in this case since he is legally not the parent might also be an option, but it doesnt sounds like the mother is down with that. I think if I were the judge….if the mother is adamant about no Jason, then Jason is out of luck. But, if she allows further visitation/contact, then she has to agree to a modification of the original TPR b/c she should also be held responsible for not confusing the hell out of this kid and torturing Jason. A lawyer for Jason might well argue that she’s already effectively agreed to a modification of the original TPR by her actions during their most recent relationship. But, I think the policy issue of letting society know that giving up parental rights forever is a big damn deal and won’t be undone could/will easily trump.

    • Sam says:

      I think the issue here is that in a lot of states, TPR can be undone through ratification behavior (there’s also the issue that we don’t know the actual language of the contract and what it actually obligates the parties to do). The two types of TPRs are radically different – there are the contractual ones (like this) and the ones created by courts, which are far more severe and harder to void. I know that in many states, an informal TPR can be undone if the terminated parent subsequently returns, resumes support and a parental relationship and (this is the biggie) the other parent PERMITS it – so basically, you have ratification behavior on both sides. It’s the same principle that happens when a man learns a child is not biologically his – if he continues to support and/or parent the child, he ratifies the parental relationship and can be help responsible for the child’s care from that date on. I think that’s the issue here – not what happened in the actual contract, but what has happened afterwards.

      • tabasco says:

        agree. court-style TPR is usually b/c the parent is a totally insane crackhead, the kid’s been abused, in foster care, etc, and that’s extremely hard to undo for obvious reasons. and yeah, agree there is conduct here on *both* sides that may have already modified whatever contract was in place, although i think that would still be up to a judge. are the informal TPRs that can be subsequently undone you mention usually situations where the TPR happened at some point *after* the child’s birth? like, would that be different from a situation like this one where it was contemplated from the get that he’d never had rights to the kid? (this is why i don’t practice in this area, too much awful stuff that really has no business being decided by law, but there it is)

      • Sam says:

        Tabasco: I don’t practice much in family law either (I only get into it when it comes into some other area I do). But I do know contracts pretty well. The first thing is that all contracts for donation of gametes (egg and sperm) usually have pre-emptive TPR clauses that say that the donor disavows any parental rights to any resultant child and that the donee cannot pursue the donor for support and the like. HOWEVER (and this is the biggie), its a contract, just like any other. There have been cases in which donors come into kids’ lives and they start supporting them and then a court basically says “yeah, you have a contract, but you voided it by coming back into their life and acting like a parent” and the other parent allows it. That’s what I’m seeing here – basically, they had a valid donor/donee contract, but when Patric resumed his support obligations and the ex allowed it, they ratified a parent-child relationship and the donor contract largely voided. At least, that’s my personal opinion. I see grounds for appeal here, but that’s just me.

  30. Joyce says:

    He was also in Sleeper with Brad Pitt and Kevin Bacon. I hope he can be part of his son’s life. There are so many men who don’t want to be part of their son’s life. Why is this woman denying his son’s from his dad. She probably wants more from him.

  31. tabasco says:

    Non-legal, regular human person viewpoint: She opened the door to the building of a relationship between Jason and the baby – - as in any breakup, she should not be using the kid as a “pawn” after the fact. It’s not clear though whether she’s denying him the ability to hang out with the kid. If she’s saying, sure, have a relationship with your son, but I’m not giving you legal rights, I think that would be okay, considering. But maybe he’s concerned about having it all legally set up b/c he figures if she gets a new boyfriend or just gets mad at him and decides to not let him see the kid, he has no recourse. So, maybe a compromise could be that he doesn’t get custody (he doesnt get to make big decisions, etc), but he has a court-filed visitation agreement that she has to comply with, maybe that would work? Or maybe he wants to have an in on the big decisions and be a full-on parent. Who the hell knows.

    • j.eyre says:

      Gossip Viewpoint – if I had seen this story written into a soap opera, I would have cried incredulity – wow!

      Not-a-lawyer but surrounded by them viewpoint – I feel like Jason should have taken measures while with the girlfriend when they reunited. He knows he is legally not the father; he knows things don’t generally go well after breakups; he knows he is falling in love with the child. He was stupid to wait until she was hostile to try and undo his claim on that child.

      In total agreement with Non-legal, regular human person tabasco – she should be ashamed of herself for using the child as a pawn (unless Jason did something violent or otherwise untoward to cause the breakup and this is for the child’s safety)

      I have a hard time living with myself viewpoint – I can’t quit Kiefer. I just adore all of his craziness and “oops, I drank too much again” excuses and forgiving people because he can’t be bothered to be too upset anymore. I just love him.

  32. Kim says:

    You can’t give up parental rights and then years later decide I want to be a parent.

  33. CC says:

    Judges have to be careful regarding this issue due to the can of worms that would open in adoption cases, if biological parent(s) managed to reconnect with their biological kids and wanted them back. Especially in US law where such a precedent would be used forever.

    Maybe the judge should informally advise mother to allow informal contact but as far as legal rights? No way.

    • tabasco says:

      yeah, it’s a massive “open the floodgates” thing, which i think is why a lot of judges take a hard line on it and say no is no, even if the “justice” of the situation dictates otherwise and they know it. as we all know, “justice system” does NOT equal “legal system.” i had a professor in law school who i think sums it up well: the best legal advice you can give anyone is to do everything you can to NOT wind up engaged with the legal system. truth. i’m a sort-of lawyer (i only actually practice when it comes to pro bono adoption cases cuz that’s one thing that won’t make me feel dirty) but am a legal writer b/c i wanted to work *with* the law and legal stories, which i find interesting, but not *in* the law/legal system, which is revolting. one thing you hear a lot (at least in my law school) is that no matter what the legal question is, the answer is ALWAYS “maybe” – - i.e., there’s no (or too little) consistency, rationality, “justice”, etc.

      rant over.

  34. anonymous fan says:

    These 2 people are idiots.How could they have not known that this situation would get complicated.But if we’re all going to take sides then I don’t know how Bedhead or any of you can be symapthetic to Jason Patric at all.He signed away his rights to avoid paying child suppport?And now he still doesn’t want to pay or support the child but wants him in his life?What.He should’ve thought about his child before he agreed to this idiotic arrangement.It didn’t cross his mind thathe would see his child and love it?I am starting to think that Jason wanted a child but not the financial responsibility and thought this was a way of getting both.I am glad she won.Start to pay or go away.

    • greenmonster says:

      You almost took the words right out of my mouth. I think both of them are absolutely self-centered and complete idiots. Who would think donating sperm to an ex-girlfriend would be a good idea to begin with? I agree with you, Jason probably thought it would be cool to have a child, but he wasn’t interested in taking care of the child in any way – now he changed his mind. Too bad for him. And SHE either thought that having his baby would bring them back together or she wanted just a baby and didn’t think at all. It might suprise them later in life, but children grow up and ask questions. Some of them even go so far and want to know who their Daddy is. Good luck with explaining that f#cked up situation to Gus.

  35. Isa says:

    My issue is that she was okay with him being involved when it was convienent for her.
    But at the same time he should have thought about this when he provided the sperm and made an agreement that he could be a part of his life.
    There’s no way I could donate any of my eggs without wanting to be a part of that child’s life. I know some people can and that’s fine. But it’s something you have to think of when giving this gift.
    I feel bad for the kid. Not only involved in all this drama but he’s also named Gus!

  36. Claire says:

    Imagine if a woman gave her child up for adoption but then years later became friends with the new parents and then decided she wanted custody of the child?

    Umm I don’t think so.

  37. Malificent says:

    One of the problems is that law and society haven’t caught up with technology. As I understand, no state in the US recognized the concept of a “donor” — legally, a man is the father or he is not. However, these states also recognize contracts — with various spins by state. Therefore, at this point, it comes down to a case-by-case basis for most of these custody arguments.

    What needs to happen is a formal legal recognition of a concept of “donor” in each state, with standards that can be applied to all.

    On a personal level, I think this woman was unwise to choose an ex as her donor — I’ve known a couple of situations where this worked — but it’s rare. If she really wanted a known donor, she should have picked a friend that she didn’t have a prior romantic relationship so that there would be less confusion about boundaries.

    Now that this is a done deal, they should both do what is morally correct even if it isn’t legally required. Now that the father has established a parenting bond with the child, the mother should allow very liberal visitation and support that bond. The barn door is already closed on that one.

    And he should choose to honor the emotional commitment that he made to this child — even if it was 2 years after birth — and voluntarily provide financial support and co-parent.

    I’m a firm believer that once an adult chooses to be part of a child’s life — that commitment should never go away as long as the adult is a healthy presence for the child.

  38. Jayna says:

    I am on her side. Here’s why. He wanted no part of the child, no child support. Later he comes back in her life what what appears to be under a year. They are over. She gives him visitation but nothing formal. He sues for half custody. I have always said this. If I had a small baby or toddler and I was left and he got my little munchkin 50 percent of the time, it would kill me. I could handle normal visitation, not losing out on half my child’s life from an early stage. This is a guy who deserves to be in the child’s life as a father now since he has spent some time with him, but I wouldn’t agree to 50 percent of the time and him an actor, living all over doing different roles, different women if I didn’t have to. She has said she’s more than happy for him to have
    visitation on an informal basis. This is a man who offered up his sperm just so she wouldn’t sue him for palimony as long as he didn’t have to be involved financially or parentally.

    • Gemini08 says:

      You are missing the glaring fact that she made the decision to get back together with him in the first place! Which made him a part of the child’s life. He spent time with the boy as his father! And she was fine with it while they were together. Now that they are broken up again it’s an issue. Can you imagine how confusing this is for that child?? She should have gone to a sperm bank instead of hitting up an ex for his stuff and then flaking out.

  39. Gemini08 says:

    What an irresponsible thing to do. If she truly only wanted a sperm donor she should not have gotten back together with him! Or she could have went to a sperm bank. But to have him in the child’s life and then kick him out is the height of selfishness.

  40. truthful says:

    God, I used to love him.

    He was sooo good in RUSH.

    He has no claim to the child, unfortunately.

    he still looks pretty good though.

  41. swack says:

    I’m torn on this one. My daughter had a baby at 16 and the father denied it and wanted nothing to do with the child. At 4, she went for medicaid for her son and had to name the father. It has been a very up and down situation – some real highs and then some real lows. But I will say this – if Jason wants to be in his sons life then he needs to pay child support.

  42. Thiajoka says:

    Once having deemed him only a sperm donor legally and him allowing himself to be deemed as such, no more contact for the sake of the kid.

    What the hell is it about having kids that people don’t realize they are actually responsible for a mini-human being with feelings and memories–you have to have a license and sign contracts and give blood for most important crap in life but anybody can spill some seed and bring a new life into a world of chaos anytime they want to.

  43. Loira says:

    He is getting the slam, but she went back to him after getting his sperm. That was a bad move.
    He decided at first that he would not have any contact, and then after that she decides it is a good idea to get back with him?I know it was a decision of the two of them to reconcile, but She did not think that both the baby and him would get attached?

    That is mean on her part. Legality aside, he should probably get visitation with the boy.

  44. Jen34 says:

    I don’t have a shred of sympathy for either of them. Why would he give sperm (SPERM!) to a woman he no longer wanted to be with? Why on earth would she want to have the child of a man she was in a failed relationship with? None of this makes sense to me, and the only person I feel for is that innocent child.

  45. OriginalMe says:

    All I can say is, ah…Modern Love. I feel like I need a flow chart to understand this whole situation. I can just imagine my parents trying to make sense of this relationship. They would be all “Is that what the kids are doing nowadays”?

  46. Jennifer12 says:

    Great. Yet more people who see children as pawns and possessions. Get over yourself and let the kid have a relationship with both parents.

  47. Maritza says:

    If the judge were to grant him his parental rights who’s to say any sperm donor out there would want to do the same? I’m with the judge in this case.

  48. ViloDeMenus says:

    Any judge should know that if a man is simply a “sperm donor” he never meets the child. Clearly Jason and the child have a relationship and possibly even lived together, vacationed together, ate together, slept in the same home, etc…

    That’s not a sperm donor, Jason is a father.

  49. Team Six says:

    Sad that the best interests of the child have no role in these decisions.