If Jason Patric has his way, sperm donors in California could find themselves with more legal rights regarding their biological children. The Lost Boys actor appeared before the Assembly Judiciary Committee yesterday to ask lawmakers to approve a bill that would expand paternal rights for fathers in IVF conceptions. The bill would allow Patric another chance to seek custody of his 3-year-old son, conceived through in vitro fertilization with an ex-girlfriend. Though Patric says he went to "great lengths" to become a dad and was involved in the boy's life, the ex was awarded sole custody last year. ABC News reports that Patric is considered simply a sperm donor, since he and the mother were not married.
Patric says he and the boy's mother signed an "intended parent" document, but the Christian Science Monitor article is a bit confusing on a few points: It also says a judge awarded the mother full custody because there was no written agreement between the pair ... and it says Patric claims he couldn't make his case before a judge due to current California law. In any case, this bill would give courts greater discretion with regard to fathers in similar custody cases. The issue is a complicated one, and many women's rights groups oppose the bill, but the assemblyman who introduced it says it would only apply in cases where the fathers have been significantly involved already. (Read more Jason Patric stories.)