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Jason Patric struggles to obtain parental rights with his son

A generation or two ago, many family law issues seemed less complex. While children were born out of wedlock, they tended to be infrequent, with most children having a married mother and father. Even for questions of paternity, a husband was presumed the father of a child and there was a blood test, if he had doubts.

But today, with in vitro fertilization and egg donation, the questions and the answers have become more complex. You have married couples having children with surrogate mothers and donated eggs and sperm. There are same-sex couples who also are able to become parents. All of this change has made it more difficult for courts to easily apply paternity law.

A case in point is from California, where actor Jason Patric is attempting to regain access to his son, Gus. Patric and his girlfriend had been trying to have a child for a long time and it was not successful, so the used in vitro fertilization with Patric providing the sperm. They did not enter into a contract prior to the conception of the child that Patric would be the father.

Under California law, a sperm donor who is not married to the mother has no parental rights and has no child support obligation to the child. This is to protect donors from suffering the fate of the man from Kansas, who was sued by the state for child support payments when he had merely helped a same-sex couple to have a child, but had no intention of taking on parental responsibilities.

Because of the importance of the issues, if you have any paternity or child custody questions, ask an experienced Oklahoma family law attorney before making any decisions.