Actor Jason Patric wants to answer the question, “Who’s your
daddy?” That’s because Patric is the (genetic) father to 4-year-old Gus Patric,
the result of planned in vitro fertilization with his then-girlfriend Danielle
Schreiber. The two were never married, but Jason was an active participant in Gus’s life while he and Schreiber dated. When
Patric and Schreiber broke up, Schreiber’s attorney called upon a California
law which states that a sperm donor is not considered a natural father of a
child and therefore has no parental or legal rights.
The law makes sense. If you’re a gal and you go to a sperm
bank for some random guy’s swimmers so you can become a mommy on your own, you
don’t want a knock on your door five years later from that random guy saying,
“Hey, let’s play family.”
But what about if the guy isn’t random, and his swimmers
aren’t unknown, as is the case with Jason Patric? According to his ex, Patric was nothing more
than a sperm donor and his “donation” was nothing more than a transaction—a
favor, if you will. She claims that they
had a deal and Patric agreed he would not be a father to the child.
It’s unrealistic to think an ex is going to help you make a baby and then just disappear without a trace.
According to People Magazine, now Schreiber is going to court saying that Patric shouldn’t even be allowed to say Gus’s name. The result is Patric taking to the Internet with YouTube videos stating his case under his foundation Stand up for Gus.
Confused? Yeah, it’s confusing. You can imagine how the kid feels.
I think there’s something wrong with a world where children
can be birthed through deals and transactions similar to the sale of a house or
car. If Danielle Schreiber really wanted to raise her son on her own with no
follow-up from the sperm donor, why not go to a sperm bank? After a breakup,
exes have a hard enough time agreeing who gets the dog. It’s unrealistic to
think an ex is going to help you make a baby and then just disappear without a
The law is definitely on Danielle Schreiber’s side. Patric
agreed to be “just” a sperm donor. I see why the law protects mothers who use
sperm donations to have a child. But what I don’t understand is why anyone
would deny a parent (mother or father) who actually wants to be present and
involved. The only person who seems to be suffering here is little Gus. Jason
Patric may have agreed to something that he regrets. It seems unfortunate for
his child, and for him, that he should be penalized for a poor choice.
There are a lot of ways to become a parent, and everyone makes
a choice they are comfortable with in relation to getting pregnant. Personally,
I’ll never be comfortable with babies being born out of deals and transactions.
The law may be on Schreiber’s side this time, but I wonder, what’s in the best
interest of the child? Maybe it’s time for Schreiber and Jason Patric to make a
new deal. The old one clearly isn’t working.