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Jason P. v. Danielle S.
California Court of Appeal
171 Cal. Rptr. 3d 789 (Ct. App. 2014)
Jason P. (plaintiff) and Danielle S. (defendant) cohabited but never married. The couple tried unsuccessfully to have a child naturally. After several attempted in-utero and in-vitro fertilizations (IVFs), Danielle moved out. Jason said he was not ready to be a father but consented to her using his sperm. Jason took Danielle for another IVF, both signed forms with their names as the intended parents, and Danielle conceived a child with Jason’s sperm. Over the next two and a half years, Jason continued contacts with the child, who called him Dada. Danielle and the child visited Jason when work took him to New York for six months and talked via Skype. After Danielle ended their relationship, Jason sued to establish a parental relationship. The trial court granted Danielle a nonsuit, reasoning that state public policy protected the right of both married and unmarried women to conceive using donated sperm without a paternity claim, and the right of donors to provide sperm without liability for child support. Therefore, the trial court ruled that Jason had no right to custody or visitation. Jason appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Willhite, J.)
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