On March 16, 2017, the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, found that Actor Jason Patric is the presumed parent of Gus (his biological son) who was conceived through in vitro fertilization (“IVF”). Furthermore, the Court of Appeal affirmed the family law court’s determination that Jason held Gus “out as his own” and engaged in a parental relationship with him.
While the Court of Appeal held that Jason is a presumed parent, the court remanded the matter to the family law court to determine whether Jason can successfully rebut Danielle’s (Gus’ mother) assertion of the California Family Code (Cal. Fam. Code) § 3044 presumption. (Cal. Fam. Code § 3044 discusses the rebuttable presumption for showing that a person seeking custody has perpetrated domestic violence.) On remand, if Jason successfully rebuts the § 4033 presumption, the family law court may enter a joint custody order.
Jason and Danielle were involved in a romantic relationship that lasted “on and off” for multiple years. During an “off” period of their relationship, Danielle begin looking to conceive a child through the process of anonymous sperm donations. Upon learning this information, Jason offered to donate his sperm to Danielle. After undergoing IVF using Jason’s sperm, Danielle was successfully pregnant. This information was not relied upon in the court’s determination. However, the court determined that Danielle and Jason’s extended romantic relationship in which the parties moved in together and attempted to conceive a child, were some of the many factors considered in determining that Jason is the presumed father.
Gus, Jason and Danielle’s biological son, was born in December 2009. After Gus’ birth, Jason engaged in multiple activities which the court considered when determining his parental relationship. These activities include, but are not limited to, possessing baby items in his apartment, feeding and playing with Gus, and co-signing Gus’ enrollment school contract. (Please note that many of these activities are expressed through witness testimony.)
During their relationship, Danielle testified that “Jason started to become more abusive and began to insert himself into how she was parenting and raising Gus.” In addition to this and other abuse allegations, Danielle requested a domestic violence restraining order against Jason. These domestic violence allegations will be primarily considered by the family law court when the court determine custody.
Jason Patric Is Legal Parent of IVF-Conceived Child, Appeals Court Rules, The Hollywood Reporter, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/jason-patric-is-legal-parent-ivf-conceived-child-appeals-court-rules-986902