In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 26, 2014 / 26 Iyar, 5774

Splitting the IVF Baby

By Debra J. Saunders

JewishWorldReview.com | If his story were a movie, then Gus' tale would start before he was born in December 2009. It would begin in a fertility clinic, where actor Jason Patric donated sperm so that his ex-girlfriend Danielle Schreiber could have a baby. Later, his parents would reunite and then split up and then, after a contentious custody battle, find the love they always knew was there, wed and live happily ever after.

But this story begins in Hollywood, so there is no marriage; there are many breakups, separate residences and legions of lawyers — and there is a cause that other celebrities can get behind.

Patric is fighting a California law that limits parental rights of most sperm donors. After Gus was born, Schreiber and Patric did not live together, although she did visit Patric in New York. Gus called Patric "Dada." When the couple split for good in 2012, Patric sued for joint custody, and Schreiber withheld visits.

If the couple had married, then Patric would have parental rights. (Yes, I know, it's 2014, and many couples have children out of wedlock, but men who complain about their lack of parental rights should know they have a ready remedy: to marry the mother.)

If Gus were the product of sexual intercourse, then Patric could have claimed paternity.

But because Gus is the result of in vitro fertilization, a court ruled Patric could not claim paternity. State law only recognizes as fathers those sperm donors who have a written agreement prior to conception with a single mother.

On May 14, however, state appellate Judge Thomas Willhite overturned the old ruling as inimical to the interests of the child. He gave Patric the chance to legally establish that he is the boy's father. Patric still has to make his case in court, his attorney, Fred Silberberg, told me; the ruling simply means that the actor will have the same opportunity as a non-sperm donor to convince a court that he is a "presumed father" based on his role in the boy's life.

Who doesn't want a chance for a father to fight for his son's best interests?

Well, if Patric is successful, the fallout from this case could bring unexpected litigation to parents of IVF babies who have maintained informal relations with donors. Silberberg sees the Willhite ruling as a victory for sperm donors involved with their offspring. Willhite drily observed, "A mother wishing to retain her sole right to parent her child conceived through assisted reproduction can limit the kind of contact she allows the sperm donor to have with her child to ensure that the relationship does not rise to the level of presumed parent and child."

But as Schreiber's attorney, Patty Glaser, argued, countless single women relied on the sperm donor law to protect their decision to raise a child independently. Schreiber is one — and now a judge says the law unfairly excludes sperm donors seeking custody. The law also protects same-sex couples with IVF children, as well as sperm donors who want to avoid real parenting and child-support claims. The Willhite decision casts uncertainty over IVF families, and that's hardly a positive.

"Predictability is a significant part of democracy," said Glaser.

Patric has tried to move beyond the sperm donor angle — a smart move. He has started an organization, Stand Up For Gus, subtitled "The voice of the child." His new cause is to fight "parental alienation or estrangement" — the practice of one parent's withholding visitation from the other. It's "child abuse," he says.

I have no idea what outcome is in the best interests of Gus. I know that reluctant fathers can turn into doting parents and that some fathers don't have custody for good reason. Judges want to determine what is best for a minor now, not who behaved better five years ago.

The thing is that if Willhite is right that mothers can avoid custody suits simply by keeping sperm donors out of their children's lives, then men can avoid litigation simply by putting terms in writing when they give sperm to their ex-girlfriends.

"The voice of the child" is a great slogan, conceived too late.

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Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2014, Creators Syndicate.