Partner, Sean Riordan was asked to assist in drafting a new bill that was unanimously passed by the New York State Legislature last week. This bill allowed for Angelina Liu, a child conceived through in-vitro technologies, after her father’s death, to be recognized as his biological child which allows for mother and widower Pai Xia Chen to receive Social Security benefits. Chen was originally denied benefits as under the current New York State inheritance laws there was no allowance made for children conceived this way.
In 2014, NYPD Detective Wenjian Liu was shot and killed alongside his partner, Officer Rafael Ramos, in an ambush in Brooklyn. Detective Liu’s widow, Pai Xia Chen, used in vitro fertilization to become pregnant after his death. She was denied Social Security benefits at the time because Angelina was not considered Liu’s “biological” child under existing Federal, nor State, law. This was due to Liu not providing written consent for the use of his sperm or filing consent with the Surrogate Court within seven months of his death because the procedure took place after his death.
This new bill, dubbed “Angelina’s Law” paves the way for state inheritance laws that haven’t caught up with in-vitro technology yet.
Note: Currently, this bill only applies to Angelina, not children in general.