In Vitro Case Shows Social Security Laws Need Updating

Massachusetts Social Security and Estate Planning Attorney Neal Winston reveals in a recent blog post a case of a child born via in vitro fertilization after the death of the father, which illustrates the need for Social Security and the courts to recognize the realities of reproductive technologies. Attorney Winston recounts the case of a family who was trying to get pregnant using in vitro, when the father died unexpectedly in an auto accident. When the child was born and the mother, now single, applied for Social Security survivor benefits, she was turned down by the agency. Winston was able to successful challenge the child's eligibility in an 8-year battle, including an appeal in the United States District Court. To read the full account, please see: Social Security Out of Step with Modern Reproductive Technology on the Moschella & Winston Trust and Estate Planning Blog.

In closing Neal comments,
"This is another situation in which society, medicine, and science have progressed well beyond the understanding and words put into law many decades ago, and the Congress could review and amend the law to fit contemporary technology and standards if it so chose. In default, they have left the decision up to a majority of nine individuals to apply their own interpretation. The Supreme Court is expected to release its decision in June."

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