Three and a half years after Lauren and Warren Woodward were married, they were informed that Warren had leukemia. At the time, the couple had no children, and physicians told the Woodwards that the leu-kemia treatment might leave Warren sterile. The couple arranged for Warren’s sperm to be collected and placed in a sperm bank for later use.
Two years after Warren died, Lauren gave birth to twin girls who had been conceived through artificial insemina-tion using his sperm. The following year, Lauren applied for Social Security survivor benefits for the two children. Her application was rejected on the ground that she had not established that the twins were the husband’s children within the meaning of the Social Security Act. Woodward then filed a paternity action in Massachusetts, and the probate court determined that Warren Woodward was the twins’ father. She then filed an action in court to determine the inheritance rights of the twins.
(a) The first group will outline how a court should decide the inheritance rights of children conceived from the sperm of a deceased individual and his surviving spouse.
(b) The second group will decide if children conceived after a parent’s death ( by means of artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization) still inherit under intestate succession laws. Explain the reasoning.
(c) The third group will consider the inheritance rights of a child who was conceived by means of artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, or a surrogate. Should they be different from the rights of a child conceived in the traditional manner? Assuming the biological parent is not part of the child’s life, should the child still be able to inherit from the biological parent? Why or why not?