Fox news recently had this article covering a topic that few people probably think about unless it affects them. While many people will not encounter this issue it does cause you to think outside of the box and plan for future events that you might not have considered.
Melissa Amen conceived her 3-year-old daughter, Kayah, seven days after Kayah's father died of cancer.
"It's my miracle," the 28-year-old Nebraska resident told FoxNews.com. Melissa and her husband, Joshua, struggled for two years to have a child before she conceived through intrauterine insemination. Joshua had stored his sperm in a bank in case treatments for his cancer rendered him sterile. They were planning to raise a family together despite his three-year battle with cancer.
Now Amen faces her own battle: Winning Social Security benefits for Kayah from a federal government that, in essence, doesn't recognize Joshua as the father.
The Social Security Administration denied Melissa's application seeking survivor benefits for Kayah because she was conceived after the death of her father.
"I was so frustrated. I didn't know what to do," Amen said. "I knew I had to fight for her benefits."
Amen, who is challenging the decision in federal court, is not alone.
The use of assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination, is becoming more widespread among U.S. troops and cancer patients as they are increasingly banking their sperm to prevent a premature death or sterility-inducing injury from allowing them to have children, observers say.
Yet only 11 states recognize the biological relationships of children conceived posthumously: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
Other states grant inheritance rights to children born after one parent dies only if conceived naturally. And although the Social Security Administration generally oversees benefits, it defers to states when determining parentage and children's inheritance rights.
No matter what situation you are planning for Cooper, Adel & Associates can help you plan for the unseen events in your life. Call us at 800-798-5297 to schedule a free a consultation.