US court rules that deceased biological father not father by law
Progress Educational Trust28 June 2009
An American girl conceived from sperm three years after the death of the man it came from has been refused survivorship benefits as the biological father was not capable of being the girl's legal father. The sperm, which was removed after the man's death at the request of his wife, was used in an IVF procedure three years later, in 1998, resulting in the birth of Brandalynn in 1999.
The case resulted from the mother's attempt to claim survivorship benefit on behalf of the child, a request first rejected by the social security administration, then the District court and now by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
The latest finding against the claimant stated that in addition to there being no evidence that the biological father had desired a child, even if it had been his intention he could not be the father as the birth occurred more than 300 days after the termination of his marriage (by death). Consequently, there was no presumption of fatherhood and the child, who is now ten years old, could not be legally recognised as his daughter and no insurance payment was due.
The claimant's attorney, also the grandfather of Brandalynn, has stated that the family may attempt to appeal against the decision, taking the matter to the US Supreme Court.
Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.