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Results of Jason Patric's Appeal of the Lower Court Decision Denying Him Shared Custody of Gus

A blog by Rhonda Levy, May 15, 2014

Sometimes I hate myself for leaving things to the last minute. But sometimes my tendency to do so turns out to be a blessing in disguise. I had made a commitment to produce this blog for publication on FertilityAuthority today. But when I sat down at my computer to write it at 9 pm last night, I didn't have even the slightest clue what I would write about. In an effort to distract myself from my misery, I began to cruise the Internet and there it was: news about the outcome of Jason Patric's appeal of the trial court decision denying him shared custody of his biological son Gus. I was no longer at a loss for what to write about!

As you may recall, the title of my blog last week was, Thoughts on Jason Patric's Appeal of the Lower Court Decision Denying Him Shared Custody of Gus. I ended it expressing the following hope:

It is tragic when a man who is genetically related to a child and wants desperately to form a deep parental bond with him is denied the right to do so. It is even more heartbreaking when a vulnerable child is denied the opportunity to have a loving and committed father who wants nothing more than to play a significant role in his life. For Gus' sake if for no other, I hope the Los Angeles Appellate Court will find a way to reintroduce Mr. Patric into his life.

It seems that the Los Angeles Appellate Court did exactly as I hoped it would. In its decision released yesterday, the Appellate Court held that the California statute that applies in this case, precludes a sperm donor from establishing paternity based on his biological connection to the child if he provides sperm to a woman who is not his wife via a licensed physician in a clinical setting, unless an agreement stating otherwise is entered into by the man and the woman prior to the conception. However, the statute does not preclude him, said the Appellate Court, from establishing that he is a "presumed parent" based upon post-birth conduct. The Court reversed the lower court's decision and sent the matter back to the trial court to determine if Jason Patric qualifies as Gus' presumed parent. Although the Appellate Court did not establish Mr. Patric's paternity rights yesterday, it gave him a chance to establish that, based upon a demonstrated familial relationship, his relationship with Gus rose to the level of presumed parent.

I believe that Mr. Patric got much closer to being able to share custody of Gus with the child's mother yesterday. It is my hope that the trial court will accept that Mr. Patric demonstrated a commitment to Gus and Gus' welfare and establish his parental rights over the child.


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