National

Dec 2, 2009 10:43 AM by Associated Press

Social Security benefits awarded to child conceived posthumously

A federal judge has ruled that a girl born almost two years after her father died of leukemia is entitled to the man's Social Security benefits.

A judge ruled that 6-year-old Brynn Beeler of Iowa can collect Social Security survivor benefits.

The girl was conceived through in-vitro fertilization. The federal government had ruled that Brynn was not eligible for the benefits, based upon an interpretation of Iowa law. But the 150-year-old law was written before the technology was available to allow the preservation of genetic material.

If the decision is not reversed, the case could set precedent in the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which covers Iowa and six other Midwestern states.

The court victory also means more than $150,000 for Brynn's college education.

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