Partner Sean Riordan has worked closely with State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, NYC DEA VP Paul DiGiacomo and line of duty widow, Pai Xia Chen to pass a new bill that would ensure the children of uniformed personnel born after their death, with reproductive technology, are covered under their Social Security Benefits.
Detective Wenjian Liu was fatally shot in 2014 in an ambush that resulted in his and his partner Rafael Ramos untimely death. Det. Liu’s wife of three months had his sperm preserved the night of the incident. She gave birth to his miracle child with the help of in-vitro fertilization in 2017. After applying for Social Security benefits to support their daughter, she was denied under federal law. Currently, New York’s inheritance laws do not include children that are conceived this way and do not recognize the child as his “biological” child. Det. Liu did not give written consent for the use of his sperm or file with the Surrogate Court within 7 months of his death. Therefore, his daughter is not legally protected under his benefits.
The Detectives Endowment Association, Sen. Gounardes, Sean Riordan and Paul DiGiacomo worked tirelessly to create a bill that would include children born this way to be covered under their parents’ benefits. They argue that the federal law must change and evolve with the technology that is now available in reproductive assistance. Allowing widows to create the family with their deceased spouses and legally acknowledging them as biological children who automatically receive benefits.
We thank Senator Gounardes for working with us on this legislation and making it a priority to protect uniformed personnel and their families. We look forward to working with Assemblyman Abbate to pass the bill and fight for the rights of these line of duty children.
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