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Proposed law could help advance fathers' rights for some

Families today often bear little resemblance to ones from previous generations. This is one reason why it becomes necessary at times to update laws that help ensure that involved parties are fairly represented, especially those that govern fathers' rights. In light of the many new forms that families are taking these days, it is becoming more common for many states -- including Louisiana -- to move to safeguard the rights of all that may be involved in the raising of children.

One such law that is being proposed would help sperm donors that wish to be a part of a child's life. This bill would state that in order for the sperm donor to qualify for fathers' rights, he would need to have been open about stating he is the father and he must have spent time with the child in his home. He would further also have to share in the responsibilities of caring for the child, including financial support.

The reason such a bill has been presented is that some agreements between biological mothers and fathers are not being honored. Not every sperm donor wishes to be anonymous and may want to be a part of the potential baby's life. In order for this law to be used, though, there needs to have been an agreement before pregnancy that states the desired inclusion of the father in the child's life. The bill would not protect a man that changed his mind after the child was born.

The fate of this proposed bill has not yet been decided. If it were to pass and other states such as Louisiana were to enact similar measures, if could be a useful means to also ensure that child support and custody agreements could be settled. In the meantime, there are resources that are available that can offer information on how to ensure that families are provided for including protecting fathers' rights.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, "A sperm donor's rights," July 12, 2013

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