Being A Husband and Bio-Dad Not Enough To Establish Paternity? Not In New Hampshire If Child Conceived Posthumously

The New Hampshire Supreme Court held last month that a child conceived after her father’s death via artificial insemination is ineligible to inherit from her father as his surviving issue under New Hampshire intestacy law. The facts:

Donna M. Eng and Rumzi Brian Khabbaz were married in September 1989 and, six years later, had a son together. In April 1997, Mr. Khabbaz was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Subsequently, he began to bank his sperm so that his wife could conceive a child through artificial insemination.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court held last month that a child conceived after her father’s death via artificial insemination is ineligible to inherit from her father as his surviving issue under New Hampshire intestacy law. The facts:

Donna M. Eng and Rumzi Brian Khabbaz were married in September 1989 and, six years later, had a son together. In April 1997, Mr. Khabbaz was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Subsequently, he began to bank his sperm so that his wife could conceive a child through artificial insemination. He also executed a consent form indicating that the sperm could be used by his wife “to achieve a pregnancy” and that it was his “desire and intent to be legally recognized as the father of the child to the fullest extent allowable by law.” Mr. Khabbaz died on May 23, 1998.

Khabbaz v. Commissioner, Social Security Administration (New Hampshire Supreme Court, August 9, 2007), opinion here.

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