The selection of the Symposium topic was a result of the recent Supreme Court decision in Astrue v. Capato, 132 S. Ct. 995 (2012). In that case, the Supreme Court held that children conceived through in vitro fertilization after the death of a parent were not automatically entitled to survivor benefits under the Social Security law. The Court stated that the children’s eligibility to receive the benefits depended upon their ability to inheritance under the state’s intestacy system. The facts of the Astrue case indicate just one of the legal consequences of posthumous reproduction. The Symposium aims to give judges, legislators, practicing attorneys and academics the opportunity to present research that highlights the legal and ethical issues that may occur because of the availability of posthumous reproduction.
- Hilary Young, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of New Brunswick, will discuss why presuming consent to some kinds of posthumous reproduction situations maximizes the positive outcomes for the living partner while minimizing the risk of interferences with the interest in not becoming a posthumous parent against one’s will.
- Dr. Saby Ghoshray, President of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, will discuss a derivative inheritance rights framework where the rights of both descendants and the dead are balanced against cultural norms, technological capabilities and individual’s right to legacy.
- Maya Sabatello of Columbia University Law School will focus her discussion on the children born from posthumous reproduction and the challenges each one faces.
- Jessica Knouse from the University of Toledo Law School will broadly discuss constitutional rights arguments concerning posthumous reproduction. She will assess to what extent the deceased should possess procreational rights, concluding that the postmodern theory should be applied to develop a framework for mediating between the multiple procreational rights that may be implicated in posthumous reproduction cases.
A reception will immediately follow the symposium at 4 p.m. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.