by Joal Ryan | Sun., Sep. 6, 2009 1:00 PM
Michael Jackson was his children's parent. He was his children's father. For all intents and purposes, he was the baby daddy.
Time to move along, folks. Nothing to see here.
What about Arnold Klein? What about Mark Lester? What about Macaulay Culkin?
What about them?
Culkin was dragged into the story by a denounced British tabloid report. Time to move along, folks.
And even though Klein and Lester thrust themselves into the story with talk of their generous contributions, so to speak, there is still nothing to see here.
Klein and Lester, sperm donors though they may be, are not dads, daddies or baby daddies. They are, as Stephanie M. Caballero, an attorney specializing in reproductive law, explained it to us, "genetic contributors."
"If you have no other documentation, or no other action that shows you as the parent…then you're not a daddy," Caballero says.
True, anyone can challenge anything—sperm donors (such as the one in this Texas case) have even sued for custody. But when we asked Theresa Errickson, a surrogacy lawyer, whether she could recall any instance in California, Jackson's home state, in which a sperm donor prevailed, she said, "Not that I'm aware of at all."
So, to sum up, the law favors the parent. The parent being the one who is parenting. Like Michael Jackson was.
"The public wants to know who quote the 'dad' is," Caballero says, "but legally Michael Jackson is."
By all accounts and appearances, Michael Jackson's three children aren't confused about the arrangement, either. They are his children. He was their father. Those were their tears they shed after his death. If someday they want answers as to the particulars of their DNA, then that's their right.
But until that day, and maybe even after it, we don't need the record set straight by anyone other than Prince, Paris or Blanket on something that isn't crooked. Even Klein and Lester have essentially acknowledged, if not celebrated, Jackson's fatherhood.
In the end, there is no mystery. There is no scandal. There is no story.
Except there is.
Last month, a British tab—consider the source—quoted Lester as saying he made a sperm donation to Jackson's parenting cause in 1996.
This week, Klein attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan told E! News that his client, who has acknowledged donating sperm to a sperm bank, but hasn't denied said sperm produced Prince and Paris, would like "input" into the two children's education.
A story that shouldn't have lived hasn't died.
"In general, you are supposed to remain confidential," Errickson says of sperm donors, adding of the reputed Jackson ones, "Now I think it's like they're trying to get their 15 minutes of fame."
It's about time for the clock to wind down.
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