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(Jezebel)   In what was not at all an idiotic waste of time, the Supreme Court rules unanimously that children born from the frozen sperm of a dead man are not entitled to Social Security survivor benefits   (jezebel.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, waste of time, supreme courts, social security, supreme court ruling, sperm, zygotes  
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3766 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 May 2012 at 9:07 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-22 09:08:45 PM  
What about all the sperm donor baby daddies?
 
2012-05-22 09:10:47 PM  
Ergh. On the one hand, that sucks considering they are his biological kids. I was expecting this to be about random material ('donations') from a bank, not deceased husbands. On the other hand I guess it's one less drain on Social Security?

/window seat
 
2012-05-22 09:11:30 PM  
Im actually surprised they didnt rule that the child is entitled to benefits. Seriously
 
2012-05-22 09:12:43 PM  
Post-hoc welfare kids? Could have gone either way and made sense.
 
2012-05-22 09:13:22 PM  
If it wasn't settled case law then why is it stupid? The federal government was denying people what they felt was their rights (*ahem* entitlement) no doubt due to some ambiguity in the law.

This decision seals that crack, in what seems to be a sound, logical way.
 
2012-05-22 09:13:34 PM  
They actually read the law. Wow!
 
2012-05-22 09:14:58 PM  

Gdalescrboz: Im actually surprised they didnt rule that the child is entitled to benefits. Seriously


Me, too. The case says "because how could he have known that his wife would give birth to twins a year and a half after he died?"

How would they have gotten the sperm? Isnt that why a man freezes his sperm?
 
2012-05-22 09:15:18 PM  
In Arizona if it was the frozen egg of a female it would be a tougher call. After all, pregnancy begins two weeks before conception. So if the eggs were frozen for one week and on the 5th day the donor died and on the 10th day they were fertilized and implanted, the dead donor is technically the mother.

Thanks Arizona, you farking idiots.
 
2012-05-22 09:17:02 PM  
It's kind of important to figure this out because it would have some pretty wide-ranging implications as far as will/trust/estate law. If they went the other way on this it would have some pretty substantial effects on the Rule Against Perpetuities and the minds of first year law students.
 
2012-05-22 09:17:42 PM  
glad we cleared that up
 
2012-05-22 09:17:44 PM  
I actually think this is kinda bullshiat, but I know a lot of people that have had sperm frozen for this purpose before heading to war.

/army wife
 
2012-05-22 09:19:09 PM  
So these are quasi-children of some sort?

Not a lawyer, nor is this a legitimate argument, but I think it could be funny trying to tie this to the corporate personhood bit...humans aren't entitled to genetically inherited benefits, but a corporation could receive a government bail out long after it's founder is dead.
 
2012-05-22 09:19:19 PM  

markfara: Post-hoc welfare kids? Could have gone either way and made sense.


Meh. When she decided to use the sperm she obviously knew that the husband was not around to provide income. Survivor benefits are a safety net, not a hammock.

/ugh, now I feel like a Republican
 
2012-05-22 09:20:18 PM  

poe_zlaw: How would they have gotten the sperm? Isnt that why a man freezes his sperm?


Seriously. Especially since in this case, if I recall the previous article correctly, the sperm was specifically frozen because the man was planning to undergo medical treatments that could leave him infertile, and he and his wife wanted to use them to have children afterwards.
 
2012-05-22 09:21:07 PM  

ace in your face: I actually think this is kinda bullshiat, but I know a lot of people that have had sperm frozen for this purpose before heading to war.

/army wife


interesting. I didn't even think of it that way. Was thinking old dudes who marry trophy wives.
 
2012-05-22 09:22:19 PM  

ace in your face: I actually think this is kinda bullshiat, but I know a lot of people that have had sperm frozen for this purpose before heading to war.

/army wife


Yeesh. Now that you point that out, yeah. The ruling is BS.
 
2012-05-22 09:22:28 PM  

rudemix: In Arizona if it was the frozen egg of a female it would be a tougher call. After all, pregnancy begins two weeks before conception. So if the eggs were frozen for one week and on the 5th day the donor died and on the 10th day they were fertilized and implanted, the dead donor is technically the mother.

Thanks Arizona, you farking idiots.


Please tell me that was satire. Please.

If it wasn't, that's F ing scary sh*t
 
2012-05-22 09:22:36 PM  
"...the Supreme Court rules unanimously that children born from the frozen sperm of a dead man are not entitled to Social Security survivor benefits"

Guess I'm farked...
 
2012-05-22 09:23:17 PM  
they're not technically "survivors," because they're not "natural children" as defined by state law


Good luck ever becoming President now.
 
2012-05-22 09:26:55 PM  
This should probably be decided on a case-by-case basis, rather than trying to make a "one size fits all" law. There are undoubtedly going to be people with legitimate needs hurt by this broad-brush approach.
 
2012-05-22 09:27:03 PM  
I wonder if this case will be cited when a clone tries to bypass inheritance laws and claim all the property of their DNA donor.
 
2012-05-22 09:27:28 PM  
They said it depends on the states laws. that's all they affirmed.
 
2012-05-22 09:28:01 PM  

naughtyrev: So these are quasi-children of some sort?

Not a lawyer, nor is this a legitimate argument, but I think it could be funny trying to tie this to the corporate personhood bit...humans aren't entitled to genetically inherited benefits, but a corporation could receive a government bail out long after it's founder is dead.


Well, funny in the sense that everyone would laugh at you, but I'm guessing that happens a lot anyway.
 
2012-05-22 09:28:24 PM  
So are republicans pissed that the rights of zygotes have been restricted, or happy that a new group of people got kicked off welfare?
 
2012-05-22 09:28:29 PM  

Starry Heavens: poe_zlaw: How would they have gotten the sperm? Isnt that why a man freezes his sperm?

Seriously. Especially since in this case, if I recall the previous article correctly, the sperm was specifically frozen because the man was planning to undergo medical treatments that could leave him infertile, and he and his wife wanted to use them to have children afterwards.


There was a lady in Austin whose only son was killed by a sucker punch to the back of the head. She was devastated and got permission to pull sperm from his dead body so she could possibly have a grandson of his some day. I could see a circumstance like this not being a candidate for benefits because the son (bilogical father) had nothing to do with the artificial insemination.

If their father willingly froze sperm for the purpose of passing his genes along to offspring some day, then this law is kind of screwed up IMO.
 
2012-05-22 09:28:39 PM  
Those frozen sperms are real live babies and potential voters, mind you!
 
2012-05-22 09:29:02 PM  

LittleSmitty: rudemix: In Arizona if it was the frozen egg of a female it would be a tougher call. After all, pregnancy begins two weeks before conception. So if the eggs were frozen for one week and on the 5th day the donor died and on the 10th day they were fertilized and implanted, the dead donor is technically the mother.

Thanks Arizona, you farking idiots.

Please tell me that was satire. Please.

If it wasn't, that's F ing scary sh*t


My scenario is slippery sloping but I checked the law again to be sure I wasn't misremembering and Arizona Law signed in April this year states pregnancy begins two weeks before conception. I'd link but I'm on a phone.
 
2012-05-22 09:29:48 PM  

dookdookdook: So are republicans pissed that the rights of zygotes have been restricted, or happy that a new group of people got kicked off welfare?


Republicans care about kids.... until they are born-- then they dont give a shiat.
 
2012-05-22 09:29:55 PM  
So if your husband is dying from being shot in combat, and you inseminate yourself with the sperm you saved for that purpose, do you have to provide photographs and a notary public to prove that you were impregnated before he died?
 
2012-05-22 09:33:18 PM  
Actually, what they did was set precedent to HAVE to pay out in most situations. They decided to go by the individual state's laws regarding inheritance from a dead father and a post-death fertilization. According to NPR, currently currently 4 states say "no" but 13 states say "yes," and the rest have no law on the issue yet. But for any who apply from the states that say "yes," they implication of the ruling is that they will pay out.
 
2012-05-22 09:33:22 PM  

poe_zlaw: If their father willingly froze sperm for the purpose of passing his genes along to offspring some day, then this law is kind of screwed up IMO.


I found some articles that say they got married, the man was diagnosed with cancer/they had one child (I'm not sure about the order there), his condition got worse so he froze sperm so they could have more kids, he died, and his wife impregnated herself. So, yes, it seems that was the case.

Here's an excerpt:

Karen Capato was told she had a "very sympathetic case" when she sought benefits for her twins born in September 2003, but her claim was denied nonetheless. She married Robert Capato in 1999, but not long afterward, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. The couple wanted children, and Robert deposited semen in a sperm bank.

Robert Capato's health deteriorated, and he died in March 2002 in Florida. Before his death, he had executed a will that named the couple's son who was born in 2001. He also told his attorney he wanted to provide for any "unborn children," but no such provision was added to his will.
 
2012-05-22 09:34:00 PM  

ladyfortuna: ace in your face: I actually think this is kinda bullshiat, but I know a lot of people that have had sperm frozen for this purpose before heading to war.

/army wife

Yeesh. Now that you point that out, yeah. The ruling is BS.


It's a tough call. On the one hand, if the man knows a long way out that he's going to die, like in the case of terminal illness, then I think it is up to the man and woman to plan ahead for that, and at least make sure he's alive when the children are conceived, which would support the argument that those children don't get death benefits.

On the other hand, people die in accidents or in dangerous occupations, and you can't plan for that. I'm glad I didn't have to make the judgement on this case.
 
2012-05-22 09:34:33 PM  
dookdookdook: So are republicans pissed that the rights of zygotes have been restricted, or happy that a new group of people got kicked off welfare?


You can't get kicked off welfare if you were never on it. Good try though trollololo man
 
2012-05-22 09:34:34 PM  

Manfred J. Hattan: naughtyrev: So these are quasi-children of some sort?

Not a lawyer, nor is this a legitimate argument, but I think it could be funny trying to tie this to the corporate personhood bit...humans aren't entitled to genetically inherited benefits, but a corporation could receive a government bail out long after it's founder is dead.

Well, funny in the sense that everyone would laugh at you, but I'm guessing that happens a lot anyway.


Hence my "nor is this a legitimate argument" statement. Please do try and keep up.
 
2012-05-22 09:38:15 PM  

The Jami Turman Fan Club: So if your husband is dying from being shot in combat, and you inseminate yourself with the sperm you saved for that purpose, do you have to provide photographs and a notary public to prove that you were impregnated before he died?


Clearly the answer is c) hump him silly on his deathbed.
 
2012-05-22 09:38:24 PM  
There are much more accurate reports of this case than Jezebel's. Some of them even spell the family's name correctly. It's "Capato" not "Caputo."

From the AP report: "Justices unanimously ruled that twins born to Robert Capato's surviving wife Karen did not qualify for survivor benefits because of a requirement that the federal government use state inheritance laws."

"The court's opinion in Astrue vs. Capato said the result might well be different in other states, such as California. She said "posthumously conceived children" can inherit property in California "if the child is in utero within two years of a parent's death." She cited similar provisions in Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana and North Dakota."
 
2012-05-22 09:40:15 PM  

GameSprocket: markfara: Post-hoc welfare kids? Could have gone either way and made sense.

Meh. When she decided to use the sperm she obviously knew that the husband was not around to provide income. Survivor benefits are a safety net, not a hammock.

/ugh, now I feel like a Republican


Logic and following the law make you feel sick huh.
 
2012-05-22 09:40:30 PM  
Approves this ruling:

www.mactonnies.com

/SSA vs. Tessier-Ashpool
 
2012-05-22 09:40:53 PM  

poe_zlaw: Gdalescrboz: Im actually surprised they didnt rule that the child is entitled to benefits. Seriously

Me, too. The case says "because how could he have known that his wife would give birth to twins a year and a half after he died?"

How would they have gotten the sperm? Isnt that why a man freezes his sperm?


Not necesarily... they could have frozen them now hoping maybe in a few years they'd be in a better position to conceive, and froze the sperm in case he couldn't produce them for some reason in the future.
 
2012-05-22 09:42:45 PM  
The "benefits" are supposed to compensate for a loss. If the child isn't concieved until after the parent is dead, then there is no "loss." The situation at conception was the same as the situation at birth and thereafter.

Don't get me started on people choosing to have children with only one parent. It happens enough through shiatty things that happen in life without Jolie and Madonna types choosing to deny a child two parents.
 
2012-05-22 09:42:52 PM  

rudemix: LittleSmitty: rudemix: In Arizona if it was the frozen egg of a female it would be a tougher call. After all, pregnancy begins two weeks before conception. So if the eggs were frozen for one week and on the 5th day the donor died and on the 10th day they were fertilized and implanted, the dead donor is technically the mother.

Thanks Arizona, you farking idiots.

Please tell me that was satire. Please.

If it wasn't, that's F ing scary sh*t

My scenario is slippery sloping but I checked the law again to be sure I wasn't misremembering and Arizona Law signed in April this year states pregnancy begins two weeks before conception. I'd link but I'm on a phone.


Not necessary. That wasn't a "citation please".

Now that I think about it, I now vaguely recall the "prenency begins two weeks before conception" thing.

Man, that's insane. A woman is considered pregnant two weeks before she has sex. WOW.
 
2012-05-22 09:44:00 PM  
monocles and faberge eggs are nothing without some bacon, buttered golden toast, coffee and fresh squeeze OJ. that's a meal worth enjoying.
 
2012-05-22 09:44:26 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: There are much more accurate reports of this case than Jezebel's. Some of them even spell the family's name correctly. It's "Capato" not "Caputo."

From the AP report: "Justices unanimously ruled that twins born to Robert Capato's surviving wife Karen did not qualify for survivor benefits because of a requirement that the federal government use state inheritance laws."

"The court's opinion in Astrue vs. Capato said the result might well be different in other states, such as California. She said "posthumously conceived children" can inherit property in California "if the child is in utero within two years of a parent's death." She cited similar provisions in Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana and North Dakota."


I interned for the guy who wrote the CA bill. He heard about basically this exact scenario, thought it was wrong, wrote the bill and got it passed. Which, since he was a Republican in the CA State Senate, is a pretty impressive feat.
 
2012-05-22 09:44:50 PM  
Yeah but more importantly, what does the Catholic church say about this!
Will they be sentenced to Limbo?

Just kidding...don't give a fark what they think!
 
2012-05-22 09:46:14 PM  
Wow! Think if they were entitled to survivor benefits from conception. You could milk the system dry. Mass produce precious snowflakes on a scale that would make Octo-Mom look artisinal.

Every sperm is sacred: 50-150 million of the feckers per cubic centimeter--that's billions and trillions of dollars!

And since life now begins two weeks before conception, nobody could touch one of the little feckers without committing murder. And throwing away ANY sperm would be genocide on a scale only contemplated by History's Greatest Monsters and a few Christian Pastors and homophobes of that ilk.

Get the rights to a man's junk and you could be the richest woman in the history of the world. Or richest gay man, perhaps. Hell, richest lesbian provided you had power of attorney or something.

Yee-haw! That kind of fiscal opportunity combined with the insanity of religion and the courts would make a thirteen year old boy think twice about masturbation.

Hey! A man's junk only exists for one purpose--two if you count peeing. Being paid for it is every boy's dream.

Show me the money!
 
2012-05-22 09:48:22 PM  

rudemix: LittleSmitty: rudemix: In Arizona if it was the frozen egg of a female it would be a tougher call. After all, pregnancy begins two weeks before conception. So if the eggs were frozen for one week and on the 5th day the donor died and on the 10th day they were fertilized and implanted, the dead donor is technically the mother.

Thanks Arizona, you farking idiots.

Please tell me that was satire. Please.

If it wasn't, that's F ing scary sh*t

My scenario is slippery sloping but I checked the law again to be sure I wasn't misremembering and Arizona Law signed in April this year states pregnancy begins two weeks before conception. I'd link but I'm on a phone.


LOL. I love how liberals love to lie about the bill. The bill actually uses a defined date to begin the legal abortion window based on the last menstral cycle since actual conception is a fuzy time frame. Nobody knows that conception was seeded on exactly May 21st, so they set a time frame that WAS STANDARD for legal representation. This time frame begins counting at the last menstral cycle, up to 2 weeks before suspected conception. It is done to actually define when the 18 week legal abortion period begins. Liberals are too farking stupid to understand how laws attempt to define actual definitions so there isn't hazy ambiguity in when various cycles begin. God forbid someone actually define the start of a time period of a law differentiating when abortion becomes illegal. We should leave that up to lawyers arguing in court! A law is made more static, clear, and defined and liberals find a way to misrepresent it. What a farking joke.
 
2012-05-22 09:51:11 PM  

Starry Heavens: The Jami Turman Fan Club: So if your husband is dying from being shot in combat, and you inseminate yourself with the sperm you saved for that purpose, do you have to provide photographs and a notary public to prove that you were impregnated before he died?

Clearly the answer is c) hump him silly on his deathbed.


Approves: Link
 
2012-05-22 09:51:31 PM  

MyRandomName: GameSprocket: markfara: Post-hoc welfare kids? Could have gone either way and made sense.

Meh. When she decided to use the sperm she obviously knew that the husband was not around to provide income. Survivor benefits are a safety net, not a hammock.

/ugh, now I feel like a Republican

Logic and following the law make you feel sick huh.


No, just using a Republican catch phrase. They usually use it to promote cutting unemployment compensation. This lady was just well outside the bounds.
 
2012-05-22 09:53:04 PM  

stonicus: poe_zlaw: Gdalescrboz: Im actually surprised they didnt rule that the child is entitled to benefits. Seriously

Me, too. The case says "because how could he have known that his wife would give birth to twins a year and a half after he died?"

How would they have gotten the sperm? Isnt that why a man freezes his sperm?

Not necesarily... they could have frozen them now hoping maybe in a few years they'd be in a better position to conceive, and froze the sperm in case he couldn't produce them for some reason in the future.


Like a dog chasing his tail.
 
2012-05-22 09:55:17 PM  
I didn't think kids were entitled to survivor benefits at all? WTF?
 
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