Question: My husband died soon after the birth of our newborn daughter. It wasn’t until after the funeral that I realized his name was missing from the birth certificate. She is being denied social security benefits until paternity can be established. My husband was cremated and not available for DNA testing. My life has been turned upside down and now my daughter, who will never know her father, is being denied the benefits she is entitled to. Any help will be appreciated.
Answer: More information is needed to provide a solution to your specific situation; however, I had a recent case that is remarkably similar to yours. The child’s father was also cremated prior to having his name added to the birth certificate and the infant was denied benefits. The child’s paternal grandfather and uncle were both deceased and unavailable for testing. Since we could not directly link the daughter to the deceased father, we searched for other family members to test in order to link her indirectly.
We learned this child was the product of a second marriage. The deceased father also produced two children from his first marriage. Since there is proof he fathered the two children from his first marriage, we tested for DNA connections between the children of both marriages. Establishing a strong probability the children of both marriages are related would prove the deceased husband fathered the newborn from the second marriage.
We tested the child and mother from the second marriage, and the two children and mother from the first marriage and determined the children are indeed related with an impressive strength of relationship. The test results proved the children were related at a 99.935% probability, which is a very strong result that the deceased husband indeed was the father of the infant and her benefits were approved. Although the infant will never know her father, she will be financially cared for by him posthumously.