So, is a baby conceived after a parent’s death still considered that parent’s child? 20 years ago, this question would be ridiculous. Last Monday, it was debated in the Supreme Court. Through in vitro fertilization, Karen Coapto conceived twins with her husband after his death, and then applied for his Social Security benefits for their children. The state denied her request since inheritance law only recognizes children alive at the time of death. A lower court agreed, but the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the mother.
As World Magazine’s Mindy Belz reports, “this case is a twisted knot of issues.” Award the benefits, and there’s a big mess for cases of anonymous sperm donors and adoption. Deny the benefits, and you redefine child and parent in law.
But these cases will become more common as long as the doing of science precedes the thinking about ethics, especially in a culture that’s failed to define human value. We need to ask if, not just how. For thePointRadio.org, I’m John Stonestreet.