Should some sperm donors have child custody rights?

In Utah and states around the country, divorce and family law is changing at a rapid pace in an attempt to stay relevant and address the needs of modern American families. And while legislation on many issues continues to vary greatly from state to state, it reflects concerns that many people around the country are dealing with at this very moment. For instance, one high-profile child custody dispute may lead to new policies that could potentially set precedence for court rulings everywhere.

Given that more and more heterosexual and same-sex couples alike are creating families out of wedlock, current child custody guidelines fail to address every type of scenario or issue to arise. That’s why one case playing out in California is so compelling.

The dispute involves an on-again-off-again unmarried couple that conceived a child three years ago. The child’s biological father (a Hollywood actor) argues that fertility treatments allowed the couple to have the baby together. However, the mother contends that her ex-boyfriend simply served as a sperm donor.

Because the biological father was originally denied rights to the little boy, he is now accused of seeking to change the law. The new legislation he is promoting would give some men the opportunity to fight for parenting rights to children they father by donating sperm. The actor and his lobbyists argue that the bill simply accounts for discrepancies introduced by an older bill limiting the rights of sperm donors, but the child’s mother and her representatives claim that such a measure would strip the rights of legal parents.

Some gay and lesbian rights supporters also seem to take opposing positions on the bill. Further review of the proposed legislation is slated for August.  

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