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Paternity issues are changing in Texas and elsewhere

There is a paternity issue that has come to light recently between actor, Jason Patric from "The Lost Boys" and his former girlfriend. The court upheld the paternity rights Patric, who was the sperm donor, because he had proven himself interested and committed to a relationship with the child.

An earlier court ruling denied the visitation and custody arrangement that he and the mother of his child had. The child is a 4-year-old boy. He was born due to artificial insemination between Patric and his former girlfriend.

This could be quite a game changer for fathers who have a paternity issue because the court system in that state has never granted visitation or custody rights to sperm donors who have not been married to the mother of the child in question.

The new court ruling states that a sperm donor can have a domestic relationship when he demonstrates an assurance that the child's welfare is a priority. This is even in cases where paternity is not established based on the man's biological connection.

The win for Jason Patric could prove important for father's rights in that it serves as a message to mothers who may be unsure regarding custody when a paternity suit is filed. There is now more than one route to father's rights and paternity.

In 2008, Mr. Patric made a decision to be a sperm donor to his ex-girlfriend even though they were no longer a couple. He stayed in a relationship with his son and was referred to as "dada" to the boy.

In 2012, the relationship between the two adults terminated and this affected Patric's ability to continue a relationship with his son. The sticking point for this case was the interpretation of the law saying that a person may be deemed a natural parent if the person in question receives the child into his home and holds the child out as his natural relation.

For many fathers, this is a step in the right direction to obtaining parental rights to the child they helped conceive.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "Paternity rights of sperm donors expanded in actor’s custody dispute" Jacob Gershman, May. 14, 2014

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