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Sperm donor bill could give donors parental rights

Many women in Ballantyne are deciding to become single mothers through being inseminated with sperm from a donor. These mothers understand that they will have sole custody and be financially responsible for that child. Because insemination is often a very expensive procedure, women may turn to a male that they know and ask them to be the donor. However, this can lead to a potential child custody dispute if the biological father decides that they want to be a part of the child's life.

This appears to have happened in California and a legislative bill being considered by lawmakers there would provide sperm donors, or biological fathers, with the power to ask for parental rights. The bill is said to be based on the child custody dispute between actor, Jason Patric, and a woman he had a romantic relationship with. The actor, who has an established relationship with the child, donated his sperm for a medical procedure and is asking for parental rights to that child.

The bill has created a split among many groups with some arguing that the bill will violate single mothers’ rights and some arguing that men who donate their sperm in certain cases should have visitation rights and parental roles.

If the bill is passed into law, it could open the door for lawmakers in other states, including South Carolina, to introduce their own bills. When a woman is considering becoming a parent through artificial means, it may be in her best interest to seek the legal advice of an experienced attorney in order to make sure that her rights as a sole parent are protected and preserved.

Source: The Fresno Bee, “Sperm donor or dad? California lawmakers consider the question,” Laurel Rosenhall, June 29, 2013

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