Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Commentary on Jason P v. Danielle S

From Naomi Cahn, writing for the American Fertility Association:

Last week, the California Court of Appeal for Los Angeles County issued its opinion in Jason P v. Danielle S.  In this highly publicized decision, the court allowed a known sperm donor to try to prove his paternity, and the case has sent ripples throughout the world of people who have used – or are thinking about using – known donors to build their families.

As most of us know, Jason P. is the actor Jason Patric, and Danielle S. is Danielle Schreiber. As has been reported in multiple news outlets, Patric and Schreiber were involved romantically for a number of years, and the two of them tried for a pregnancy via sexual intercourse as well as through intrauterine insemination procedures. None of their attempts were successful and ultimately, Schreiber moved out of Patric’s house, tried to become pregnant with an anonymous sperm donor, and informed Patric that she was going to become a single mother.  Patric reportedly then gave Schreiber a letter stating that, although he was not ready to be a father, he would provide his sperm to her if she kept the arrangement confidential and did not let anyone else know about his “gift.”   Around that time, Schreiber decided to try In Vitro Fertilization.  Both Schreiber and Patric signed informed consent forms provided by the clinic and Schreiber allegedly filled in both her name and Patric’s name where the form asked for the “Intended Parent.’”[1] Using Patric’s sperm, Schreiber then became pregnant with Gus.  
The Jason Patric case does not mean that all known donors suddenly become fathers or mothers in the eyes of the law.  In this case, the wrinkle added by Patric's claim to paternity occurred, because the court decided to look at events which happened after Gus was born.  

Read more here.


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