CAN A SPERM DONOR OBTAIN CUSTODY OR VISITATION USING A PATERNITY ACTION?
May 2014, California Court of Appeals says: Maybe.
Jason P. v. Danielle S., Los Angeles Superior Court. Jason, a sperm donor to Danielle, sought to be named a presumed parent under California Family Code section 7611. Danielle opposed. Jason and Danielle had lived together for some time. Their son was conceived using IVF but Jason was not put on the birth certificate. After many tries, and after Danielle and Jason chose to live apart, Danielle had an IVF using Jason's sperm and completed the sperm donor form using the term "intended parent." They continued to have a relationship and the son called Jason "Dada". This, of course, is not a typical sperm donor case.
The California Court of Appeal decided that Family Code § 7613 should be read to stop a sperm donor from establishing paternity based on his biological connection to the child. But it did not stop a plaintiff from establishing he is a presumed parent based on his post-birth conduct. Based on this decision, if you act like a parent, are biologically connected, and the mother agrees in writing before conception that you're an intended parent, you may have a chance at visitation.
More family law updates to follow!