Posthumous Parentage Planning

When a person freezes gametes or embryos, they should enter into a Gamete/Embryo Disposition Agreement or Statement . If they choose to allow posthumous (post-death) use of their gametes/embryos, they should also consider and set forth their wishes with respect to whether they want to be a parent of the resulting child. This is allowed in New York under certain circumstances but must be considered carefully. Under certain circumstances, the child will inherit from the deceased parent (even if conceived after the parent’s death) and also be eligible for social security survivor benefits associated with the deceased parent.

A person can also execute a consent to have additional gametes retrieved in the event they suffer brain death and specify who shall have control of the gametes and for what purposes they may be used. Absent such a consent, an emergency court proceeding is needed for posthumous gamete retrieval.

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