Posthumously Conceived Children in New York and Connecticut
As medical technology has developed the capability to store genetic material for an increasing period of time, a child may be conceived after the death of one or both parents. In New York and Connecticut, state legislatures have attempted to determine how posthumously conceived children (“PCC”) should be treated for purposes of inheritance, intestacy and other purposes.
New York Law on Posthumously Conceived Children (“PCC”)According to New York law, a child born after the death of a genetic parent will be deemed a child of that parent if the following conditions are met:
1. The genetic parent, in a written document signed not more than seven (7) years before his or her death, (a) expressly consented to the use of the genetic material for posthumous reproduction and (b) authorized a person to make decisions about the use of the generic material after the genetic person’s death;
2. Within seven months of the issuance of letters, the authorized person must give notice of the existence of the stored genetic material to the personal representative of the genetic parent’s estate;
3. The authorized person must record the writing in the Surrogate’s Court within seven months of the genetic parent’s death; and
4. The genetic child must be in utero within 24 months or born within 33 months of the genetic parent’s death.
If these requirements are met, then a PCC will be considered a child of the genetic parent for purposes of gifts to children, issue, descendants and similar classes in instruments executed by the genetic parent or other individuals. In the event of divorce, the authority under the written instrument signed by the genetic parent is automatically revoked.
Connecticut Law on Posthumously Conceived Children ("PCC")According to Connecticut statute, a PCC is deemed to have been born during the deceased genetic parent’s lifetime if the two following requirements are met:
1. The decedent, in a writing signed and dated by the decedent and the decedent’s spouse, specifies that genetic material may be used for posthumous conception; and
2. The PCC is in utero within one year of the decedent’s death.
The spouse must also give a copy of the signed writing described above to the estate fiduciary with in the later of 30 days of death or appointment of a fiduciary. However, the failure to do so will not prejudice the rights of the PCC.