It's about to go down in New Jersey!
Francia Prystauk stood before state pension board members earlier this month with a kind of story they had never heard before. Her husband, Gary, a retired Newark police captain, had died in a scuba diving accident in 2006, and she was there to seek pension benefits for their son. A routine enough request, except for one crucial detail — the child was conceived after her husband’s death. Doctors had removed her husband’s sperm within hours of his death. The following year, Prystauk became pregnant through in vitro fertilization and gave birth to Jacob Gary Stephen Prystauk nine months later. He’s now 3 years old and recognized by court order as Gary Prystauk’s son. But is he entitled to pension benefits? The police and firefighter’s pension board simply doesn’t know what to do. So it is referring the case to the Attorney General’s Office for legal review....If the board rules in her favor, she will receive an additional $1,282.05 a month, on top of the monthly $5,598 she receives as the widow of a retired police officer.Being the widow of retired Jersey cop is very lucrative. If what we read is correct, as a widow, Francia is entitled to 50% of the dead husband's last monthly salary and an additional 15% for the first child (plus, she possibly received health care insurance at no cost) and, as you see and ob-vi-ously, it takes $1,282 a month to raise a child in New Jersey and there are no jobs to be had in that state. But we digress. Although children who were conceived via in vitro and were born after a parent's death are awarded Social Security and pension benefits every day, the difference here is Gary's sperm was harvested after his death.
Update: After this writing, we found some additional information about Miss Prystauk and how she came about harvesting her dead husband's sperm.
During 18 years of marriage, the Prystauks tried to have children several times, but their plans were derailed by miscarriages. Each one weighed heavily on Gary Prystauk, who was eager to start a family, his widow said. “He saw that dream further and further from his reach,” said Prystauk, 40, who lives in Clark. “He wanted to be a father so bad.” Finally, in November 2006, she convinced him to visit a fertility clinic with her. Two weeks later, he died in a scuba diving accident in the Shrewsbury River at the age of 50. Doctors said he had a heart attack while underwater. When Prystauk arrived at the hospital and learned that he died, she fumbled through her belongings to find a phone number for his parents. The business card for the fertility clinic fell out of her wallet. “I had a moment of clarity,” she said. “I took it as a sign.” She asked the doctors if they could remove her husband’s sperm. They had to act quickly, before the body began breaking down, and a specimen was removed about six hours after his death. The following month Prystauk began fertility treatments.Ka-ching! This ought to be interesting. Stay tuned.
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