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Child custody case could impact in vitro, sperm donor cases

A paternity case in California could have a significant impact on future child custody cases in the state. The actor Jason Patric has been seeking custody of his four-year-old son who was conceived through in vitro fertilization with his former girlfriend. After seeking paternity rights, a court ruled that he didn't have any paternity rights because the child was conceived through in vitro fertilization and the couple didn't sign a co-parenting contract. 

A California appeals court disagreed with the original ruling and will let the actor have his day in court. The appeals court ruled that the actor does have paternity rights and can seek custody in court. The actor wants to prove that he is more than just his son's biological father and that he wants to have a real relationship with his son.

The actor will likely use evidence such as photos, videos and other documents that show his close relationship with his son proves that he should be able to spend more time with him. While his new case has yet to be heard, it is making waves in the media and could have a huge impact on future child custody cases. 

How so, you may be asking? Since the child was conceived through in vitro fertilization, this custody case could impact other cases involving sperm donors who are seeking custody or visitation rights. If the court rules in the actor's new case that he is allowed custody and visitation rights, sperm donors may follow suit and file for custody or for more parental involvement in the future. 

Child custody cases can be complex, especially when sperm donors or other family members are involved. Parents in custody battles should pay attention to this case to see how the court's ruling could impact any possible custody cases in the future.

Source: CNN, "Paternity Precedent: Actor Jason Patric Can Now Seek Custody of Son," May 15, 2014

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