Depatment of Justice OK’s Benefits for Children of Disabled Parents in Civil Unions

MONTPELIER — The federal government has ruled that the Social Security Administration must extend benefits to the children of partners in same-sex unions even if the parent is not biologically related.

The U.S. Department of Justice opinion was in response to a case involving a Vermont couple. It says that the federal Defense of Marriage Act does not exclude the nonbiological child of partners in a same-sex union from receiving benefits.

The October 2007 opinion was made public this month.

The opinion refers to two Vermont women who entered into a civil union in 2002 and later tried to pass on the nonbiological parent’s disability benefits to their child born in 2003.

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