Posthumous conception

The Supreme Court heard a case (Astrue v. Capato) on Monday that hinged on determining the inheritance rights of children conceived by artificial insemination after their father’s death.

Robert and Karen Capato’s twins were born in 2003 — 18 months after Robert Capato’s death. And in its first review of “posthumous conception,” the ­Supreme Court on Monday struggled to align modern reproductive techniques to a federal law written in 1939.

In the end, the justices generally sounded disinclined to award Social Security survivor benefits to the Capato children. Theirs is among about 100 cases brought by children of artificial insemination born after the death of a father that the Social Security Administration has turned down.

But it was a tough slog through the details of a law that was written at a time when, as Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said, “they never had any inkling about the situation that has arisen in this case.”

The Capatos married in 1999, and shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Because they feared that his treatments might leave him sterile, Robert Capato began depositing sperm at a sperm bank in Florida.

He rallied at one point, and the couple had a naturally conceived son in 2001. But as his condition worsened, the Capatos began to talk about in vitro fertilization to give their son siblings. They signed a notarized statement that any children “born to us, who were conceived by the use of our embryos” shall in all aspects be their children and entitled to their property.

But the provision was not included in Robert Capato’s will at his death in March 2002.

After the twins were born, Karen Capato applied for Social Security survivor benefits. The Capatos’ naturally conceived son received the benefits; the twins did not. The administrative-law judge said the 1939 federal law looked to state laws to determine whether the benefit seeker is eligible to inherit property, and under Florida law, the twins were not eligible.

An appeals court reversed that decision, saying that the twins only had to meet the definition in another part of the law, which defined an eligible child simply as “the child or legally adopted child of an individual.”

But other appeals courts have found just the opposite, that the state laws are the places to look for determination of eligibility.

Assistant Solicitor General Eric Miller acknowledged that the law was ambiguous, because it seemed to provide two different definitions of a “child.” But he said the Social Security Administration had made the reasonable ­decision to require that a person seeking survivor benefits “must show that he or she would have been able to inherit personal property” under applicable state laws.

Alito seemed most skeptical of the government’s position, saying that perhaps Congress in 1939 did not think there was need to define the meaning of child. “They knew what a child was,” he said.

Charles A. Rothfeld, representing Capato, said the law was clearly meant to cover “the biological child of married parents” and the twins fit that definition.

What about a child born into a marriage but not a biological child, asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She wondered what would be the outcome if Karen Capato remarried but used her deceased husband’s frozen sperm to conceive.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pressed Rothfeld on whether the marriage between the Capatos ended with his death.

Justice Antonin Scalia wondered how children could be “survivors” if they were not conceived before their father’s death.

“What is at issue here is not whether children that have been born through artificial insemination get benefits,” Scalia said. “It’s whether children who are born after the father’s death get benefits.” . . .

“It’s a mess,” piped in Justice Elena Kagan.

via Today’s paper.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    I hear all the time about our Judeo-Christian heritage, so I’m baffled that Ginsburg didn’t immediately seize on the legal practices surrounding levirate marriage and associated laws of inheritance.

    Now, if I understand levirate marriage law well enough, the practice was to insure children for a childless man. In the Capato case, the couple did have a natural son, so even under standard levirate law the children would be disinherited, but I think the sentiments and spirit of levirate law would still apply; having more children would be a blessing, and if they actually are true offsprings, so much the better.

    I’m also musing about how someone can plan ahead by depositing semen for posthumous reproduction, but cannot take the time to dictate a will providing for any issuance from that action.

    I wonder, though, even if the children were pre-acknowledged in a will, their posthumous appearance does prove problematic for a public welfare agency. They probably don’t want to be seen as encouraging a series of octo-mom’s.

  • SKPeterson

    I hear all the time about our Judeo-Christian heritage, so I’m baffled that Ginsburg didn’t immediately seize on the legal practices surrounding levirate marriage and associated laws of inheritance.

    Now, if I understand levirate marriage law well enough, the practice was to insure children for a childless man. In the Capato case, the couple did have a natural son, so even under standard levirate law the children would be disinherited, but I think the sentiments and spirit of levirate law would still apply; having more children would be a blessing, and if they actually are true offsprings, so much the better.

    I’m also musing about how someone can plan ahead by depositing semen for posthumous reproduction, but cannot take the time to dictate a will providing for any issuance from that action.

    I wonder, though, even if the children were pre-acknowledged in a will, their posthumous appearance does prove problematic for a public welfare agency. They probably don’t want to be seen as encouraging a series of octo-mom’s.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Really the man gave implicit consent when he stored his semen for later use and gave power over its use to his wife.

    The 1939 law was just a cruder instrument to guard against illegitimate children stealing from legitimate heirs. In 1939 dead men couldn’t father children. Since the twins paternity is not in question and are indeed his biological issue, they deserve all the protections of any other legitimate issue.

    Seems like pragmatics here. Formerly the laws favored legitimate children, but since the 1960′s illegitimate children (and illegitimate behavior) have been gaining in favor over legitimate children (and behavior). We now punish good behavior and those who practice it and reward bad behavior and those who practice it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Really the man gave implicit consent when he stored his semen for later use and gave power over its use to his wife.

    The 1939 law was just a cruder instrument to guard against illegitimate children stealing from legitimate heirs. In 1939 dead men couldn’t father children. Since the twins paternity is not in question and are indeed his biological issue, they deserve all the protections of any other legitimate issue.

    Seems like pragmatics here. Formerly the laws favored legitimate children, but since the 1960′s illegitimate children (and illegitimate behavior) have been gaining in favor over legitimate children (and behavior). We now punish good behavior and those who practice it and reward bad behavior and those who practice it.

  • Random Lutheran

    I have heard Dr Robert Weise of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, make this point, which has stuck with me: Christians ought — at the very, very least — to be wary of any practice which brings a third (or fourth, or fifth, or…) person into the one-flesh union of marriage. Too often we figure that there is no such rupture when there is no physical contact between two parties; here, as in any instance of IVF, is a case where there must be more than one person involved.

  • Random Lutheran

    I have heard Dr Robert Weise of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, make this point, which has stuck with me: Christians ought — at the very, very least — to be wary of any practice which brings a third (or fourth, or fifth, or…) person into the one-flesh union of marriage. Too often we figure that there is no such rupture when there is no physical contact between two parties; here, as in any instance of IVF, is a case where there must be more than one person involved.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#3 I don’t think this is a case that Dr. Weise is speaking about. In this case, if I remember his lectures correctly the cause of concern is the number of children that die in the course of achieving a successful pregnancy. If I understand correctly, it was her husband’s flesh and hers involved in conception. The means of conceiving are unusual, but by all biological principles the twins are the result of the union of the husband’s and wife’s flesh. The law may have to change, to reflect biological parentage with the exception of those whose rights were terminated via adoption.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#3 I don’t think this is a case that Dr. Weise is speaking about. In this case, if I remember his lectures correctly the cause of concern is the number of children that die in the course of achieving a successful pregnancy. If I understand correctly, it was her husband’s flesh and hers involved in conception. The means of conceiving are unusual, but by all biological principles the twins are the result of the union of the husband’s and wife’s flesh. The law may have to change, to reflect biological parentage with the exception of those whose rights were terminated via adoption.

  • Jon

    “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pressed Rothfeld on whether the marriage between the Capatos ended with his death.”

    Yup. The law presumes that a child born during the marriage is the natural child of the married couple parents–it’s how paternity is normally presumed.

    But they weren’t married when the children were born, ergo, under the legal presumption, he cannot be presumed to be those children’s father.

    This is a case where the law has not caught up to the science and it will be rightly decided according to the legal presumptions of paternity and survivorship.

    Sounds like the Court is not going to make the law here, thank God, but they will suggest that Congress and the states make the law.

    So, this is a good news story coming out of the SCOTUS.

  • Jon

    “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pressed Rothfeld on whether the marriage between the Capatos ended with his death.”

    Yup. The law presumes that a child born during the marriage is the natural child of the married couple parents–it’s how paternity is normally presumed.

    But they weren’t married when the children were born, ergo, under the legal presumption, he cannot be presumed to be those children’s father.

    This is a case where the law has not caught up to the science and it will be rightly decided according to the legal presumptions of paternity and survivorship.

    Sounds like the Court is not going to make the law here, thank God, but they will suggest that Congress and the states make the law.

    So, this is a good news story coming out of the SCOTUS.

  • Kimberly

    Is it just me or is this woman wrong to assume that children born (and conceived) months after her husband’s death deserve survivor’s benefits from the government? If she thought she was going to have financial difficulty in raising them (which is partly why you would apply for such benefits), why did she go ahead with the procedure? Wanting to have more children with your husband is a good thing, but this smacks of poor judgement. They may be able, and I’ll grant, should receive from this man’s estate as their inheritance, but I fail to see how they should receive government money in the form of survivor’s benefits.

  • Kimberly

    Is it just me or is this woman wrong to assume that children born (and conceived) months after her husband’s death deserve survivor’s benefits from the government? If she thought she was going to have financial difficulty in raising them (which is partly why you would apply for such benefits), why did she go ahead with the procedure? Wanting to have more children with your husband is a good thing, but this smacks of poor judgement. They may be able, and I’ll grant, should receive from this man’s estate as their inheritance, but I fail to see how they should receive government money in the form of survivor’s benefits.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I’m a little confused.

    Is this case about who’s allowed inheritance rights, or about who’s allowed taxpayer provided survivors’ benefits?

    I’ve thought deep and hard and profoundly (for about 30 seconds) about this. It seems to me that, yes, the twins are the children of the deceased father, so they should have inheritance rights; but no, they aren’t “survivors” since they weren’t even conceived until after the death of their father, so they shouldn’t be entitled to government handouts that are meant for those who have sadly been left bereaved of support they have come to depend upon.

    What’s so hard about this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I’m a little confused.

    Is this case about who’s allowed inheritance rights, or about who’s allowed taxpayer provided survivors’ benefits?

    I’ve thought deep and hard and profoundly (for about 30 seconds) about this. It seems to me that, yes, the twins are the children of the deceased father, so they should have inheritance rights; but no, they aren’t “survivors” since they weren’t even conceived until after the death of their father, so they shouldn’t be entitled to government handouts that are meant for those who have sadly been left bereaved of support they have come to depend upon.

    What’s so hard about this?

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    What if the will had been executed before the wife/mother bore another child through IVF? I suspect our technology has outstripped our judiciary in many regards.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    What if the will had been executed before the wife/mother bore another child through IVF? I suspect our technology has outstripped our judiciary in many regards.

  • Random Lutheran

    #4: yes, it is still the husband and wife involved — except for the necessity of the third party being involved in the conception/implantation. Dr Weise is certainly concerned with the multiple embryos which are lost (etc., etc.) in the process, but he also brought into question IVF in general, due specifically to the third-party involvement. I’ve never heard him come out and say IVF is right or wrong — rather that we really, really ought to think about what it involves before it is taken up and used.

  • Random Lutheran

    #4: yes, it is still the husband and wife involved — except for the necessity of the third party being involved in the conception/implantation. Dr Weise is certainly concerned with the multiple embryos which are lost (etc., etc.) in the process, but he also brought into question IVF in general, due specifically to the third-party involvement. I’ve never heard him come out and say IVF is right or wrong — rather that we really, really ought to think about what it involves before it is taken up and used.

  • Nancy Young Hart

    I am a good little Lutheran church organist at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Nederland, Texas. More importantly, I am the mother of a posthumously conceived child.

    My daughter was born one year after her father’s death from cancer. The doctor’s at M.D. Anderson recommended that my husband store his sperm because the chemotherapy treatment would make him sterile.

    My husband’s last wish was that I continue with our quest to have a child. I honored that request and our daughter’s due date was one year to the day of his death.

    I don’t understand why God took my precious husband from me, but I do understand that God gave me an incredible gift, our daughter.

    I also had a legal battle with the Social Security Administration. After a five year legal battle they settled with me and agreed to give my daughter the benefits. The benefits allowed me to leave my low paying teaching position and attend law school. I now make 4 times what I made as a teacher, thus I will more than repay the government for the benefits in the added taxes that I pay. In addition, I pay much higher Social Security taxes now. My decision was not a drain on American society. I only mention this because many think these moms had these children just to get benefits. Simply not true.

    Most important of all, I believe that God meant for me to have my child in the way I had her. And, I think God every day for my gift.

  • Nancy Young Hart

    I am a good little Lutheran church organist at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Nederland, Texas. More importantly, I am the mother of a posthumously conceived child.

    My daughter was born one year after her father’s death from cancer. The doctor’s at M.D. Anderson recommended that my husband store his sperm because the chemotherapy treatment would make him sterile.

    My husband’s last wish was that I continue with our quest to have a child. I honored that request and our daughter’s due date was one year to the day of his death.

    I don’t understand why God took my precious husband from me, but I do understand that God gave me an incredible gift, our daughter.

    I also had a legal battle with the Social Security Administration. After a five year legal battle they settled with me and agreed to give my daughter the benefits. The benefits allowed me to leave my low paying teaching position and attend law school. I now make 4 times what I made as a teacher, thus I will more than repay the government for the benefits in the added taxes that I pay. In addition, I pay much higher Social Security taxes now. My decision was not a drain on American society. I only mention this because many think these moms had these children just to get benefits. Simply not true.

    Most important of all, I believe that God meant for me to have my child in the way I had her. And, I think God every day for my gift.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If she thought she was going to have financial difficulty in raising them (which is partly why you would apply for such benefits),

    No, it isn’t. They are an entitlement just like insurance. It is socialized insurance. The premium is variable based on earnings. Now, we could make the case that it is intended for unforeseen circumstance and since the man is already dead, it was not unforeseen. However, it seems that definition of insurance has been greatly obscured over the years. Now, it just seem to mean “someone else pays” instead of shared cost of risk.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If she thought she was going to have financial difficulty in raising them (which is partly why you would apply for such benefits),

    No, it isn’t. They are an entitlement just like insurance. It is socialized insurance. The premium is variable based on earnings. Now, we could make the case that it is intended for unforeseen circumstance and since the man is already dead, it was not unforeseen. However, it seems that definition of insurance has been greatly obscured over the years. Now, it just seem to mean “someone else pays” instead of shared cost of risk.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Most important of all, I believe that God meant for me to have my child in the way I had her.”

    I was with ya up to here. All we can know of the will of God is revealed in his word. Still, I can’t help but feel empathy for your joy in having a precious little girl. May God bless you both.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Most important of all, I believe that God meant for me to have my child in the way I had her.”

    I was with ya up to here. All we can know of the will of God is revealed in his word. Still, I can’t help but feel empathy for your joy in having a precious little girl. May God bless you both.

  • DonS

    This is clearly a sticky case, where the laws and regulations have not anticipated the advance of technology allowing for this kind of anomaly. Ultimately, the Court will muddle through and decide this particular case, but it’s up to Congress to address the issue and establish a law to govern such situations in the future.

    If Social Security continues to retain its historic role as social insurance , rather than simply a welfare program, then this child should not be entitled to benefits. Insurance is designed to protect existing beneficiaries, at the time of a covered event, to provide benefits to compensate for their change of circumstances as a result of that event. In the case of survivor’s insurance, it covers minor dependent children of a covered worker who dies. These children are not survivors, having been conceived after the covered event, and were conceived with full knowledge that they would be raised by a single parent.

  • DonS

    This is clearly a sticky case, where the laws and regulations have not anticipated the advance of technology allowing for this kind of anomaly. Ultimately, the Court will muddle through and decide this particular case, but it’s up to Congress to address the issue and establish a law to govern such situations in the future.

    If Social Security continues to retain its historic role as social insurance , rather than simply a welfare program, then this child should not be entitled to benefits. Insurance is designed to protect existing beneficiaries, at the time of a covered event, to provide benefits to compensate for their change of circumstances as a result of that event. In the case of survivor’s insurance, it covers minor dependent children of a covered worker who dies. These children are not survivors, having been conceived after the covered event, and were conceived with full knowledge that they would be raised by a single parent.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “multiple embryos which are lost (etc., etc.) in the process”

    It is my understanding that human embryos have a high death rate just in general. I remember reading some research on it and the researchers were surprised at how high it was. Does anyone else know more about this?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “multiple embryos which are lost (etc., etc.) in the process”

    It is my understanding that human embryos have a high death rate just in general. I remember reading some research on it and the researchers were surprised at how high it was. Does anyone else know more about this?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @13 To make it even stickier, the child’s entitlement is based on when he is conceived, not when he is born.

    Think about that for a minute. As the law now stands, he has survivor’s benefits even if his father dies one minute after the sexual act and even before he implants in the womb.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @13 To make it even stickier, the child’s entitlement is based on when he is conceived, not when he is born.

    Think about that for a minute. As the law now stands, he has survivor’s benefits even if his father dies one minute after the sexual act and even before he implants in the womb.

  • Helen K.

    I know my comment is not particulary germaine to this discussion, but I have always thought that if a married couple are unable to conceive, that adoption is a desirable and viable option.

    Years ago my husband and I went through fairly extensive infertility testing and when AI was suggested I asked who the donor might be….I knew right then that we would adopt rather than have a child that was not my husband’s. There are untold numbers of children waiting for solid, loving homes and yet couples go through all sorts of hoops to bear offspring of their own. I can understand their desire, but somehow…….just my humble, uneducated opinion.

    By the way, I congratulate Nancy @10 for her heartfelt testimony and decision to honor her husband’s wishes. What a wondering story. God Bess and keep her and her little daughter!

  • Helen K.

    I know my comment is not particulary germaine to this discussion, but I have always thought that if a married couple are unable to conceive, that adoption is a desirable and viable option.

    Years ago my husband and I went through fairly extensive infertility testing and when AI was suggested I asked who the donor might be….I knew right then that we would adopt rather than have a child that was not my husband’s. There are untold numbers of children waiting for solid, loving homes and yet couples go through all sorts of hoops to bear offspring of their own. I can understand their desire, but somehow…….just my humble, uneducated opinion.

    By the way, I congratulate Nancy @10 for her heartfelt testimony and decision to honor her husband’s wishes. What a wondering story. God Bess and keep her and her little daughter!

  • Nancy Young Hart

    Thank you, Helen K. for your sweet remarks. I also am thankful to find a site where the postings are not mean spirited. I have been horrified by the postings that I have read on other sites about this issue. I have no problem with postings that are of a different opinion, I do have a problem with mean hateful postings. We moms have been accused of having children to just get the Social Security benefits. Anyone that has raised a child knows that there is no harder job in life than raising a child. It was the Social Security Administration that told me to apply for the benefits. They called me several months after my husband’s death about the one time $255 death benefit. They asked me if I had any children. I told them, “No, but I am pregnant.” They said that my child would qualify for benefits. I then told them the whole story of how she was conceived and the Social Security person told me that it did not matter as long as the baby was my late husband’s biological child. I was honest with the SSA from the very beginning.

  • Nancy Young Hart

    Thank you, Helen K. for your sweet remarks. I also am thankful to find a site where the postings are not mean spirited. I have been horrified by the postings that I have read on other sites about this issue. I have no problem with postings that are of a different opinion, I do have a problem with mean hateful postings. We moms have been accused of having children to just get the Social Security benefits. Anyone that has raised a child knows that there is no harder job in life than raising a child. It was the Social Security Administration that told me to apply for the benefits. They called me several months after my husband’s death about the one time $255 death benefit. They asked me if I had any children. I told them, “No, but I am pregnant.” They said that my child would qualify for benefits. I then told them the whole story of how she was conceived and the Social Security person told me that it did not matter as long as the baby was my late husband’s biological child. I was honest with the SSA from the very beginning.

  • Jonathan

    Nancy, I heartily second Helen K’s comments @16.
    Best wishes to you and your daughter. I feel sick at what some ‘pro life’ fundys are saying here and elsewhere about such circumstances.

  • Jonathan

    Nancy, I heartily second Helen K’s comments @16.
    Best wishes to you and your daughter. I feel sick at what some ‘pro life’ fundys are saying here and elsewhere about such circumstances.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Jonathan,

    What, exactly, are some ‘pro life’ fundys saying here that makes you feel sick?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Jonathan,

    What, exactly, are some ‘pro life’ fundys saying here that makes you feel sick?

  • SKPeterson

    Mike – don’t you get it? Pro-life fundy’s want everyone to die. Painfully if at all possible. But, die, die, die.

    At least I think that’s the implication.

  • SKPeterson

    Mike – don’t you get it? Pro-life fundy’s want everyone to die. Painfully if at all possible. But, die, die, die.

    At least I think that’s the implication.

  • Nancy Young Hart

    Before this groups erupts into a discussion about pro-life vs. pro-choice, etc. let me share with you how we handled the posthumously conceived child issue in Louisiana. The Governor of Louisiana appointed a task force on reproductive technologies and the law. The task force was made up of law professors, clergy, and medical professionals. I attended all the meetings in Baton Rouge. The very first meeting got off to a very rocky start with the pro-life vs. pro-choice people trying to stake their ground. A very wise person at the meeting said, how about we start with something easy. They decided to start with posthumously conceived children having a legal father. All groups agreed that it would be a good thing for a posthumously conceived child to have a legal father. They did not agree that a person should be allowed to bring a posthumously conceived child into the world, but they all agreed that once that child is here, that child deserves to have a legal father. The task force drafted a statute to present to the state legislature. The statute basically says that any child conceived after a parent’s death, the deceased parent will be considered to be the legal parent if the parent consented in writing to the use of the sperm/eggs and the sperm/eggs by the decedent’s spouse within two years of the decedent’s death. I testified before several committees in Baton Rouge and the committees all agreed that the proposed statute should move forward to the full legislature. The statute passed very easily. We really need to find common ground on some of these very difficult issues. I am amazed at the difference in public comments from when I fought my legal battle back in 1995-96 and the same legal battle being fought today by Karen Capato. I had a lot of support from the public back in 1995-96 and this was even when the U.S. Congress was Republican and led by Newt Gingrich. There were very few nasty comments back in 1995-96. However, I am appalled at the nasty comments that are being posted about Karen Capato in several major newspapers, including the Washington Post. I am really saddened by how mean Americans have become towards each other over the last 15 years.

  • Nancy Young Hart

    Before this groups erupts into a discussion about pro-life vs. pro-choice, etc. let me share with you how we handled the posthumously conceived child issue in Louisiana. The Governor of Louisiana appointed a task force on reproductive technologies and the law. The task force was made up of law professors, clergy, and medical professionals. I attended all the meetings in Baton Rouge. The very first meeting got off to a very rocky start with the pro-life vs. pro-choice people trying to stake their ground. A very wise person at the meeting said, how about we start with something easy. They decided to start with posthumously conceived children having a legal father. All groups agreed that it would be a good thing for a posthumously conceived child to have a legal father. They did not agree that a person should be allowed to bring a posthumously conceived child into the world, but they all agreed that once that child is here, that child deserves to have a legal father. The task force drafted a statute to present to the state legislature. The statute basically says that any child conceived after a parent’s death, the deceased parent will be considered to be the legal parent if the parent consented in writing to the use of the sperm/eggs and the sperm/eggs by the decedent’s spouse within two years of the decedent’s death. I testified before several committees in Baton Rouge and the committees all agreed that the proposed statute should move forward to the full legislature. The statute passed very easily. We really need to find common ground on some of these very difficult issues. I am amazed at the difference in public comments from when I fought my legal battle back in 1995-96 and the same legal battle being fought today by Karen Capato. I had a lot of support from the public back in 1995-96 and this was even when the U.S. Congress was Republican and led by Newt Gingrich. There were very few nasty comments back in 1995-96. However, I am appalled at the nasty comments that are being posted about Karen Capato in several major newspapers, including the Washington Post. I am really saddened by how mean Americans have become towards each other over the last 15 years.

  • Helen K.

    Nancy @17. You are more than welcome. I think you are a brave and noble mother to be raising your little girl by yourself. I ended up never having children, my own nor adopted, something I regret but the Lord knows best.
    This is a great blog although I’m out of my depth with many of the discussions and the educations of many of the contributors. I discovered the blogsite due to reading several of Gene Veith’s books. In fact his “Spirituality of the Cross” is what led me to become a LCMS Lutheran last year. I’ve enjoyed many various subjects here and have learned lots of new things, not to mention some views of theology I didn’t grow up with. I hope you continue to follow some of the discussions. Have a wonderful day!
    Jonathan @ 18…thanks!

  • Helen K.

    Nancy @17. You are more than welcome. I think you are a brave and noble mother to be raising your little girl by yourself. I ended up never having children, my own nor adopted, something I regret but the Lord knows best.
    This is a great blog although I’m out of my depth with many of the discussions and the educations of many of the contributors. I discovered the blogsite due to reading several of Gene Veith’s books. In fact his “Spirituality of the Cross” is what led me to become a LCMS Lutheran last year. I’ve enjoyed many various subjects here and have learned lots of new things, not to mention some views of theology I didn’t grow up with. I hope you continue to follow some of the discussions. Have a wonderful day!
    Jonathan @ 18…thanks!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I feel sick at what some ‘pro life’ fundys are saying here and elsewhere about such circumstances.”

    LOL

    What a crack up.

    First, what fundies? Most here are Lutherans not fundies.

    Second, you must be a really fragile flower if the talk here is too strong for your constitution.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I feel sick at what some ‘pro life’ fundys are saying here and elsewhere about such circumstances.”

    LOL

    What a crack up.

    First, what fundies? Most here are Lutherans not fundies.

    Second, you must be a really fragile flower if the talk here is too strong for your constitution.

  • fws

    im with steve and legalists everywhere. we have a precident in levirate law where the brother of a a dead man is supposed to have sex with his wife and the offspring from that are to be the children of the dead brother.

    can someone here explain to me how this is not a direct violation of what Jesus says about marriage and Paul says about that one flesh union? yet God commanded that it be done. it feels sorta yucky today. try to imagine ‘doing ‘ your sister in law as a religious requirement that your pastor was ordering you to do. and imagine being struck dead by God as onan was for refusing to do that and masturbating instead.

    alot of what people say today about marriage is not very well contextualized as to the bible is it?

  • fws

    im with steve and legalists everywhere. we have a precident in levirate law where the brother of a a dead man is supposed to have sex with his wife and the offspring from that are to be the children of the dead brother.

    can someone here explain to me how this is not a direct violation of what Jesus says about marriage and Paul says about that one flesh union? yet God commanded that it be done. it feels sorta yucky today. try to imagine ‘doing ‘ your sister in law as a religious requirement that your pastor was ordering you to do. and imagine being struck dead by God as onan was for refusing to do that and masturbating instead.

    alot of what people say today about marriage is not very well contextualized as to the bible is it?


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