Love, money and the government


How I love the unforeseen effects of procreation. Who knew my kids would expect to be fed every day? Who knew they would grow out of their size 4 designer shoes? And when will there be a satisfying answer to the question “why?”

But my problems are nothing compared to the children conceived through in vitro after the death of one of the biological parents. Follow me: potential father has a terminal illness and freezes his sperm for his wife’s future use. After his death, she conceives and gives birth to a bouncing recipient of Social Security benefits. The government hardly knows what to do. The survivor benefits program guarantees monthly checks to these bundles of joy.

So far the Social Security office has managed to control this by making rulings on a case by case basis, and they will apply state laws which vary widely. The Wall Street Journal reports that 11 states recognize a parent-child relationship that begins at conception, even after the death of one of the parents. But most states require the parent actually be alive at conception.

“We’re in a brave new world here,” said Sonny Miller, a member of the legislative committee of the state bar association’s probate and trust law section. “Technology has gone far beyond where the law ever dreamed it would.” He explained that survivor benefits are meant to assist the surviving parent after the unexpected loss of the partner.

Naturally everyone wants a piece of this action and the ambiguities make it all the more fun and challenging. States have ruled definitively in both directions. Lawmakers are being charged with not keeping up with technology but there is nothing new about that. Those wheels turn slowly. No one, especially if they are elected, wants to make a mistake.

But seriously, what’s the difference? If the money is meant to help a surviving parent, well, that still applies. Maybe the death wasn’t a surprise, but the tragedy remains. And the taxpayer paid. We can laugh at the government’s inability to make a decision, especially when the answer seems so crystal clear: take care of that family. That baby lost big before he was even born.

Source: Wall Street Journal, National Partnership for Women & Families


This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, family planning, child psychology, marriage counseling and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care or mental health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, application of medication or any other action involving the care of yourself or any family members which results from reading this site. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

What does your weekly dinner look like?
The whole family dines together at home
The whole family dines together at a restaurant
Parents and children eat separately
Whoever is around eats together
Every family member for themselves!
Total votes: 5755