Sadly, many fathers will suffer through Father’s Day with a heavy heart, fathers who have lost contact with their children, many through no fault of their own. These fathers are the forgotten ones; who have no voice and no one to listen to them.
Actor Jason Patric is not one of those fathers. As the son of Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winning playwright/actor Jason Miller and mother, Linda Gleason, yes, Jackie Gleason’s daughter, his journey is no less heart-breaking.
Mr. Patric appears to have led a charmed life, starring on Broadway and in movies and television, even turning down the lead role in The Firm, a part that Tom Cruise picked up. He has dated Hollywood’s loveliest including Robin Wright (dazzling as Claire Underwood on “House of Cards”), model Christy Turlington, and the always brilliant Julia Roberts.
Then he met Danielle Schreiber. They stayed together for almost ten years, with several breaks in between. Along the way they had a son, Gus, who was conceived by in vitro fertilization. At the time, he and Danielle were separated and he saw no need to ensure that Gus’ birth registration listed him as “father”. But Jason was Gus’ biological and psychological father since the couple reconnected and lived together for almost two years after Gus’ birth.
So what went wrong? Their relationship ended, and apparently Ms. Schreiber took the view that Mr. Patric was nothing more than a sperm donor, forgetting that he and she played mom and dad for two years before the final curtain fell.
Unfortunately, in February 2013 a California judge saw it the same way Ms. Schreiber did and refused to allow Mr. Patric to make his case for fatherhood and pursue an ongoing relationship with his son.
But yesterday everything changed when the California Court of Appeal overturned the lower court’s decision, opening the door for Mr. Patric to return to Court to prove his parental relationship and argue that his son’s rights have been thwarted by a bitter mother and a wrong-headed judge.
In August 2013 after Mr. Patric’s defeat in the lower court, a Senate bill was presented to the California Legislature which would amend the law in California to provide that where a sperm donor can show a parental relationship with his child, the current law that says sperm donors are not fathers, will not apply.
Mr. Patric and his counsel are confident that the Court of Appeal ruling will give him the chance he deserves to show his true relationship with Gus via photos, videos and cogent evidence that he is more than a donor, he is Gus’ father.
Congratulations Mr. Patric!
To learn more visit standupforgus.com
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang