Supreme Court to Decide if Kids Conceived with Dead Dad’s Sperm Can Collect Survivor Benefits

ABA Journal:

Supreme Court to Decide if Kids Conceived with Dead Dad’s Sperm Can Collect Survivor Benefits

  	 												 			      The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether children  conceived by in vitro fertilization after the death of their biological  father are entitled to collect Social Security survivor benefits.

The court granted cert today in the case, Astrue v. Capato, report SCOTUSblog, Courthouse News Service and Bloomberg News.
The case involves twins conceived after their father, Robert Capato, died of cancer. Capato’s widow, Karen, used frozen sperm for the in vitro process. The Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in January that the twins fit the definition of “child” in the Social Security Act.
The issue is surfacing more often, according to government court papers cited by Bloomberg. More than 100 applications have been filed for survivor benefits for children conceived posthumously.
The government contends the children are not entitled to benefits because they could not inherit from their father under applicable state law in Florida. SCOTUSblog posted the cert petition (PDF).

Stop the world, I want to get off!!

If the child was conceived after the father’s death, then how could the child be considered a survivor? The child didn’t survive the father, the child was conceived later.

A better case might be if the child was conceived via in vitro fertilization, and then frozen. But if that ruling came down, wouldn’t it be a backdoor to restricting abortion? If the zygote or embryo is a child with full inheritance rights, then how could such a child be killed merely at the decision of his or her mother?

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