Assisted Reproductive Technology

Lessons Learned from the Jason Patric Case

I’m sure many of you have been following the Jason Patric case in California. Jason Patric was a sperm donor for a woman who wished to have a child. Ultimately a child was born and Mr. Patric, a well known actor, became involved in the child’s life. Problems arose when the child’s mother did not want him to be involved with the child in the future.

This has caused a several year battle as to what are the legal rights of a “sperm donor” with regard to being a legal parent of a child conceived through these methods.

Although the case is still winding its way through the courts in California, there are lessons to be learned. First and foremost is that anytime anyone is contemplating family formation through the use of assisted reproductive technology, an attorney experienced in assisted reproductive technology law should be consulted. It is absolutely essential to have a written document setting forth the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved. It is also extremely important that any and all laws of the state where the procedures are to take place are followed to the letter. This is especially true in cases involving a known sperm donor as opposed to an anonymous sperm donor.

As an example, in many states, including New Jersey, the Artificial Insemination Statute specifically dictates that where a child is created from such an arrangement, if the procedure is performed by a doctor or through a medical clinic, the donor shall have no rights, duties, or responsibilities relating to the child. While this could change if the donor ends up serving as a parent under the theory of “psychological parent,” it provides certainty and clarity for all concerned.

Too many times we have seen the situation where individuals, in order to save money, prepare their own agreement and do not go through a clinic, thus resorting to the old “turkey-baster” form of insemination. In those cases, neither the donor nor the recipient receive the benefits and protections of the artificial insemination statute.

Reproductive technology law is in its infancy. Many states do not have any laws that guide this, and some of the states that do have such laws have yet to have them interpreted by the courts. It is therefore absolutely essential that if you are considering family formation through assisted reproductive technology, you contact an attorney experienced in this area of the law, such as a Fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology attorneys so that we may help you.

Adoption Attorneys in New Jersey

At the law office of Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC, our lawyers bring more than 25 years of experience to every matter we handle. Attorney Donald C. Cofsky has personally handled more than 1,500 adoption proceedings since joining the bar in 1974. Attorney Bruce D. Zeidman has protected the interests of clients in state and federal courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1984. We understand the challenges you face, and can help you identify all your options so that you can make good decisions that are in your best long-term interests.

Contact our office online or call us at (856) 429-5005 in Haddonfield, NJ, at (856) 429-5005 in Woodbury, NJ, or in Philadelphia, PA, at (856) 429-5005. We also provide a free initial consultation in personal injury and workers’ compensation matters.

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