May 21st, 2012|
The Supreme Court ruled that a man’s children who were conceived through artificial insemination after his death are not eligible for Social Security survivor benefits, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Because of a requirement that the federal government use state inheritance laws, the justices unanimously agreed that the Florida twins, conceived using their father’s frozen sperm and born 18 months after their father died, did not qualify for survivor benefits.
The mother’s application for survivor benefits was rejected by the Social Security Administration. The agency said that the father needed to be alive during the children’s conception to qualify, and a federal judge agreed.
The father was a Florida resident when he died, and Florida law bars children conceived posthumously from inheritance, unless they are named in the will.
The third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia overturned that decision, saying that the twins were the biological children and deserved survivor benefits. The case was heard by the Philadelphia appeals court because the mother had moved the twins to New Jersey, which has different inheritance laws from Florida.
The Supreme Court came to its final decision on this case last Monday.