Brooklyn, NY – A bill introduced in the New York State Senate today would make it easier for families who suffer an unexpected death to establish a child as biological after one parents dies. The state legislation, sponsored by Senator Andrew Gounardes, allows the child to inherit their parent’s estate and to receive federal Social Security survivors benefits. It is anticipated that Assemblyman Peter Abbate, Chair of the Governmental Employees Committee, will be sponsoring the bill in the Assembly. This would benefit families like that of Detective Wenjian Liu’s, who was tragically murdered in his vehicle on December 20th, 2014 while on-duty with his partner Detective Rafael Ramos. The hospital set aside Det. Liu’s genetic material, and in July 2017, his widow, Pei Xia Chen, gave birth to a baby girl named Angelina. However, Angelina has since been denied federal social security benefits. “Families like a Detective Liu’s who suffer a terrible unexpected loss should not be prevented from receiving what is theirs because of antiquated laws. Assisted reproductive technology after one partner dies is now a true option for families that deal with tragedy, including first responders in the line of duty. By ensuring Detective Liu’s family and other families in the same situation are cared for, we honor the memory of Detective Liu and the tremendous sacrifice he made,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes.
"I am incredibly hopeful that my husband WenJian Liu’s very own miracle baby, Angelina Liu, will be treated like all other line of duty children. Angelina truly is a miracle, a gift from above. I am humbled and grateful to the Detectives Endowment Association, especially Paul DiGiacomo, who worked tirelessly to help me and all other line of duty families, Attorney Sean Riordan and Senator Gounardes who have all worked so hard to make this legislation a reality. If this bill passes, my daughter would have a better life and be treated like her line of duty peers. We need to pass this legislation not just for me but for all line of duty widows who wish to raise their husbands' children and have the family their loved ones always wanted,” said Pei Xia Chen, widow of Detective WenJian Liu.