TN 27 (12-00)

GN 00306.010 Natural Legitimate Parent-Child Relationship

Citations:

Act - Sec. 216(h)(2)(A), 216(h)(2)(B)

A. Definitions

1. Natural Child

A natural child is a child who is born to the parent, i.e., biological child.

2. Legitimate Child

A legitimate child is a natural child who was born of a valid marriage (including a common-law marriage, where recognized).

B. Policy - Inheritance Rights And Dependency

A natural legitimate child:

  • Has inheritance rights in the parent's estate under the laws of all States, and

  • Is deemed dependent at the applicable time in GN 00306.006 unless adopted by someone other than the NH (see GN 00306.165).

C. Policy - Questionable Relationship

The natural legitimate parent-child relationship is questionable in these situations:

1. Evidence Shows No Biological Paternity

The child was born in wedlock but there is conclusive evidence that the mother's husband is not the child's natural father. State laws concerning the Lord Mansfield Rule (GN 00306.025) apply.

If the evidence is admissible, the child has no natural legitimate relationship to the mother's husband. Unless adopted by the mother's husband, the child has no inheritance rights in his estate. See GN 00306.020 through GN 00306.021.

2. Defective Marriage

The parents' marriage is defective. This raises a question as to the legitimate status of the child and his/her right to inherit from the parent. See GN 00306.035, GN 00306.075 through GN 00306.095, and GN 00306.400 through GN 00306.680.

NOTE: The child may qualify as a child of an invalid ceremonial marriage. See GN 00306.090 through GN 00306.095.

3. Mother Does Not File for Wife's or Mother's Benefits

The child's mother could be entitled to wife's or mother's benefits but does not file. This may raise a question about her marital relationship to the NH (unless her entitlement would affect the benefit rates of the children).

If her explanation for not filing is reasonable (e.g., she did not file due to work, or because the minimum benefit is involved (RS 00208.105)) and no other information in file raises a question about the marital relationship, proof of marriage is not necessary. Otherwise, if the child's entitlement depends on State law status, documentary evidence of marriage is necessary. See GN 00306.090 through GN 00306.130 for possible entitlement of the child under Federal provisions.

4. Child Born Out of Wedlock

A natural child was born out of wedlock. This raises a question as to whether the child:

  1. Has been legitimated or has inheritance rights in the parent's estate under State law (GN 00306.400 through GN 00306.680), or

  2. May be deemed a child under section 216(h)(3) of the Act (GN 00306.090 through GN 00306.095).

5. NH Not Shown as Father on Child's Proof of Age

  1. There is a space for the father's name on the child's proof of age, and

  2. It is blank or shows someone other than the NH as father.

In these cases, evidence of the marriage and development of the child's legitimacy under GN 00306.020 are required.

NOTE: If the child's proof of age (other than a BC) shows only the mother's name, the proof must identify the child's mother as such. For example, an aunt may have named the child as beneficiary on an insurance policy that is being used as proof of age.

6. Mother Over Age 50 When Child Born

The mother was over age 50 when the child was born. This raises a question about the mother- child relationship. In addition to resolving any questions under GN 00306.010C.1. or GN 00306.010C.2., see GN 00306.010E. for development. This applies when the alleged mother is the NH, or the NH's wife or widow. (See GN 00307.678D. when child was born in Mexico.)

D. Procedure - File Raises No Question About Natural Legitimate Status

The child's enumeration at birth (EAB) NUMIDENT, birth certificate (BC), hospital record or religious record may be used as proof of natural legitimate status under the conditions listed below.

1. EAB NUMIDENT Record

a. General

If a child's NUMIDENT record shows a "6" in the FMC field of the INTERNAL section (indicating an EAB record), accept the record as proof of natural legitimate parent-child relationship instead of a birth record showing the parents' names if all of the following conditions are met:

  • There is no evidence in file that the child was born before the parents' marriage.

  • There is no other evidence showing that the child is not the NH's natural legitimate child.

  • The alleged mother's name is shown in the MNA field of the PARENT section of the NUMIDENT, and the alleged father's name is shown in the FNA field. Follow the guidelines in GN 00306.010D.1.b. in comparing the alleged parents' names with those on the NUMIDENT.

  • There is no NUMIDENT record created later than the EAB NUMIDENT that shows different parents' names than those on the EAB NUMIDENT.

b. Name Discrepancies

Accept only the following types of differences between an alleged parent's name and the parent's name shown on the EAB NUMIDENT:

  • Minor differences in the first and/or middle names.

    EXAMPLE: Mary Ann/Marianne; Catherine/Katherine; John/Jon

  • Use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name, when the initial corresponds to the first letter of the middle name.

    EXAMPLE: "S" instead of "Susan"

  • Use of a nickname commonly derived from the name.

    EXAMPLE: Sarah/Sally; Theodore/Ted; Edward/Ned

c. Father's Name Not Provided by State

Some States do not provide the father's name for EAB purposes. The NUMIDENT record may show "Unknown," "State Withheld," or "City Withheld." Do not accept such a NUMIDENT record as proof of legitimate parent-child relationship.

2. BC or Record With Spaces for Parents' Names Submitted

a. Parents' Names Shown

If a BC, hospital record, or religious record of a child with the father's surname contains spaces for entry of the parents' names and the names of the alleged parents appear there, you may accept this as proof that a natural legitimate parent-child relationship exists, unless there is other evidence to the contrary or the claims file shows that the child was born before the parents' marriage.

b. BC Shows Female NH's Maiden Name

Compare the maiden name to that shown on the SSA-4-BK (item 17), SSA-47-F4 (in BL survivor claims), or the SSA-1 and SSA-16 (in life claims), to determine whether the necessary mother-child relationship exists. (In MCS cases, compare the maiden name to that shown on the applicable MCS screen.)

3. BC or Record Without Spaces for Parents' Names Submitted

a. Concurrent Filing

Accept the BC, hospital BC or religious record as proof of natural legitimate parent-child relationship if:

  • It is submitted with the child's claim when the child's parent is applying for spouse's benefits, RIB, or DIB (and therefore the parent's application shows their marital status); and

  • The BC gives the child's surname the same as the father's; and

  • There is no reason to doubt the parents' marital relationship or that the child is theirs.

b. Nonconcurrent Filing

If you cannot readily determine from other information in file (or from MCS screens from a prior claim filed by the child's parent) that the date of marriage preceded the child's birth, document the file with a statement by at least one of the child's parents showing the date of marriage. If the date is prior to the date of birth, assume that the child is the NH's natural legitimate child.

E. Procedure - Mother Over Age 50 When Child Born

1. BC

  1. Request a BC showing the parents' names if:

    • Evidence in file (such as an application) shows that the alleged mother was over age 50 when the child was born, or

    • Upon questioning, the mother alleges that she was over age 50 at the time.

  2. If the BC is obtained:

    • Verify that the alleged mother's name is listed as the name of the child's mother.

    • Compare the mother's maiden name, if shown, to the maiden name shown for the alleged mother on her application, if it is in file.

    • Compare the signature of the child's mother, if shown, to that of the alleged mother if it is in file.

2. Physician's Statement

  1. Ask the alleged mother to submit a signed statement from the physician or other medical personnel who treated her during her pregnancy or assisted in the delivery of the child if:

    • A BC showing the parents' names cannot be obtained, or

    • There is a question as to whether the maiden names or signatures match, or

    • Other evidence in file casts doubt as to whether the alleged mother is the child's mother.

  2. The statement should support her allegation that the child is her natural child (e.g., physical description, her age at time of birth).

3. Evidence Is Questionable or Shows No Mother-Child Relationship

  1. Contact the alleged mother and tell her the outcome of the development. Give her a chance to submit additional evidence.

  2. Does the alleged mother acknowledge that she is not the child's natural mother?

    • If yes, get a signed statement from her and go to GN 00306.010E.3.c.

    • If no, prepare a special determination as to whether the child is her natural child.

  3. Is the claim on her earnings record (ER)?

    • If yes, deny the claim.

    • If no, (claim is on father's ER), obtain additional evidence of paternity. The child may have been born to another couple.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200306010
GN 00306.010 - Natural Legitimate Parent-Child Relationship - 06/26/2012
Batch run: 06/26/2012
Rev:06/26/2012