sleeping baby

The Controversy of Posthumously Conceived Babies

sleeping baby

For you, Ayla.

Every so often I get wind of a story like mine, “Young Widow Conceives Dead Husband’s Baby” or something to that nature. I just talked to a young lady from Australia who won her court case that took 22 months. She is now able to use her partner’s specimen to make a baby with the blessing of both of their families, and a judge who deemed her stable enough to conceive. Her news article is now circulating throughout the Facebook groups such as Word Porn, and others I am sure. Well, I read it and wanted to show support on my personal page for her naturally. It is a beautiful blessing for some of us young widows who have done it.  However, I also did something that I knew I shouldn’t have. I read the commentary on her article.  Mind you, I haven’t read the comments on any articles since my own news story came out, where people had the audacity to spew uneducated madness in my direction. Prior to that, people infuriated me when the news article came out about my husband’s fatal accident. They blamed my husband, the biker, for riding a motorcycle instead of the negligent driver who ignored laws. My point is that I am no stranger to people who pop off hurtful comments because they sit behind a computer screen or their phone devising ways to do so. Nonetheless, I noticed a common theme among the naysayers that I want to address regarding posthumous conception and our choices. Here is a comprehensive list of the issues that the ever-so-wise public is concerned about.

What a Selfish Thing To Do, How Could You Think of Raising A Child Without A Father?

I hate to break it to the masses out there, but in the United States there is a rising number of single parents. Get this America, people who are living willfully abandon their kids every single day for a variety of reasons. I am not casting judgment towards those that do this, it is not my path to walk. I am merely stating a point, people are forced to raise children without a significant other in some circumstances unwillingly. Yet, no one casts judgment against these individuals because they chose to conceive in spite of a possibility that they may raise a child in a split household, or without the child’s other parent altogether. Now, yes, the case is a bit different because our child’s father is no longer living and we knew it from the get-go. However, MANY of us conceived knowing that we were planning for a child with our spouse prior to death. In my case, my husband and I were actively saving for IVF due to his 15-year-old, irreversible vasectomy. My husband gave me specific consent to conceive his daughter. We even had her name picked out prior to his death, and we had a baby shower planned. What a dishonor it would have been for me to ignore our wishes for a child, merely for the sake of other people’s comfort levels or outdated value systems. Chances are these naysayers known or have been single parents themselves with the divorce rates at an all-time high. Let’s not pretend that virtuosity is the commonplace anymore if it was people would mindfully hold on to their opinions. Those who judge are less likely to live by their own ridiculous standards these days. In my mind, I don’t know of a better way to honor my husband other than raising his legacy with the exact principals that he instilled in our little family. I don’t know a better way to remember him than to teach our posthumously conceived daughter his life lessons. I don’t know a better way to make sure his name is spoken other than to walk my daughter around our house and tell every single one of his pictures, “Good Morning Daddy”. Raising our daughter has given us all a way to remember who he was. We cannot forget the little things because we are constantly teaching her. In essence, she will never be raised without her Daddy. We carry him with us throughout our lives. We keep his memory very much alive.

She Only Conceived For A Free Hand Out From Social Security (Or Other Government Entity).

First off, I don’t know about other places around the world so I will speak from my experiences in the states. Only seven states thus far will recognize posthumously conceived children as LEGAL dependents and heirs to their parent’s estate. The remaining states deem these children illegitimate. They simply will not grant these children any rights because, from the law’s perspective, widows(ers) are no longer legally married to their deceased spouses. One of my closest friends cannot even add her deceased husband to her posthumously conceived child’s birth certificate because of the outdated legal system. How horrible is that? For the judicial system to ignore a deceased man’s child, and deny any legal entitlement is plain wrong. Even as much as to deny their child (who they planned for and wanted) the benefit of seeing their father’s name on a birth certificate. Backasswards if you ask me, there are plenty of people who did not want to be parents named on their biological child’s birth certificate. Should they die, that child would get benefits regardless of a marriage certificate because of their biological connection. Now having stated all that mess, let me get back to the concept of a “free handout”. In most states, it is impossible for these children to get their parent’s benefits because of this matter. What does that mean, oh judgemental ones? Yes, we posthumous parents have to raise our children on our own, with our own money. Every day. We conceived knowing that we would have to be the sole financial supporters of these babies. Guess what? The mothers I have talked to have a great handle on raising their children, and are economically sound. We have to be because our babies are not getting handouts.

Let me throw a little disclaimer out there for myself. I live in a state that DOES recognize posthumously conceived children. California Probate Code 249.5 has some criteria that must be met in order for a child to qualify for his/her parent’s estate. It is increasingly hard to prove, and numerous parents have been shot down here (which supports my claims that you have to be financially responsible on your own). I have fought for my daughter’s rights in a wrongful death lawsuit though and I won. I fought hard to get her recognized for a measly amount, the very minimal that can be placed in a trust till she is 18. The money didn’t matter to me, the principal did. I wanted the world to see that she was planned for, loved and wanted. A judge that presided over mediation recommended her entitlement based on this code, as did a second judge who stamped off on the orders. Get this, it was despite certain people saying that I was a liar and she wasn’t wanted. I had to fight harder to get them to understand that I was telling the truth because I only had text messages from my husband. Good old California, our state’s evidence code also allows for all electronic communication to be admissible in a court of law. My daughter is the FIRST child to be recognized in this legal domain. I am now an advocate for others, which is why I am writing this.

For all you naysayers, I AM fighting for my daughter’s rightful inheritance.  The purpose of me fighting for these things is to show the world that my daughter belongs to my husband 100 percent in terms of a biological connection and an emotional one as well. No child should be denied in the eyes of the law, but these ones are. These babies who had a very slim chance of even making their appearance in the world.  I will never stop fighting for my daughter’s rights even if it costs me more than what the monetary value of the case is actually worth. She is my daughter, he is my husband. They have rights, and I will die fighting for them. They mean that much to me. They were denied the right to a lifelong relationship by a negligent driver, but the tragedy will not be in vain. I am hoping that this will help ensure the rights of other posthumously conceived babies worldwide. I am not in any way shape or form using my daughter, I have no reason to. I have a stable career. However, I will make sure that I fight like a lioness for my cub’s honor with or without the approval of others. In some cases I am successful, in some cases, I may not be but I will never stop until I am forced to.

There are many other opinions I have to address, but that likely will have to be a part two. My rant is already too long, and I know it. I am laughing because I probably lost half my readers in the second paragraph.


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