A federal appeals court ruled this week that a girl conceived in vitro with her deceased father’s sperm is not eligible to receive his Social Security benefits.
Bruce Beeler died from complications from his leukemia in 2001 at age 37, but before chemotherapy (and ultimately, his death), banked his sperm. It was used for in vitro fertilization with his wife Patti, and Brynn Beeler was born in April 2003. Brynn is now 8 years old.
In the Beeler’s home state of Iowa, there’s a little controversy about what constitutes a beneficiary, especially when someone is conceived before a parent’s death but born afterward. Originally in 2003, the Federal government denied Patti her request for Brynn’s benefits. The Iowa law that the federal government used in its decision had been written before genetic material was able to be preserved for in vitro fertilization later. Patti challenged the decision, and in 2009, a federal judge awarded Patti (and Brynn) the rights to the benefits, which, as Fox News says, “would have meant more than $150,000 could be stashed away for her college education.”
But Monday of this week, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals dropped the hammer on Patti, upholding the original interpretation of the old Iowa law, which was actually changed in 2011 to include a wider set of beneficiaries.
And according to Fox News, “Beeler’s case led Iowa to change its law this year to allow children conceived up to two years after a parent dies to receive inheritance rights and Social Security benefits. But the law isn’t retroactive so it doesn’t apply to the Beeler case.”
Sauce: Fox News