By Emily Geiger
I saw an article a while back that dealt with what is now HF 2453, a bill that would allow certain inheritance rights for children that were conceived by artificial means after one parent’s death. This would mean that such children would also be able to receive Social Security benefits, and potentially other state aid.
I have to say that I have very mixed feelings about this bill. On one hand, I’m all for people having babies. Who can argue with that?
Of course, no one is saying that assisted reproductive procedure should be denied to people in this position (so long as the deceased parent clearly agreed to and authorized the use of their genetic materials while still alive). Although, to be very honest, I do have some personal moral qualms about some artificial conception techniques themselves, and also about the idea of bringing a child into the world who has no chance of ever knowing (or receiving support from) one of its parents.
This bill does provide some safeguards along those lines by requiring proof that the deceased parent did in fact approve of the surviving parent pursuing pregnancy.
While I don’t necessarily have a problem with people in this situation seeking to have a child, I do have a problem with the surviving parent expecting the Social Security and other potential state benefits that a child with a deceased parent typically receives. Not to mention the fact that children of single parents are far more likely to need things like food stamps, free school lunches, etc.
It just seems kind of irresponsible to me to knowingly and intentionally bring a child into a situation like this and expect other people to pay for it.
If you want to conceive and raise a child by yourself, I think you should be able to pay to raise the child yourself. If you can’t do that, maybe you shouldn’t be having a child by yourself in the first place.
And if you have enough foresight to have your sperm frozen so you can have children posthumously, perhaps you should also look into life insurance or other methods of supporting those children so others won’t have to.
This bill is still alive and kickin’ in the Statehouse. So, if you have strong feelings about it, make sure you let your local representatives know.
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