New York Passes Paternity for Inheritance Legislation and Proposes Opt-Out Organ Donation Law

Last week, New York Governor David A. Paterson signed a bill which, according to his press release, "resolves a current split in decisional law in relation to the degree of proof necessary to show paternity after a purported father's death, by allowing two methods for establishing paternity after the death of a father: a genetic marker test or the open and notorious acknowledgement during the father's lifetime."

The Surrogate's Court Advisory Committee to the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts of the State of New York suggested this legislation because appellate courts were split on whether genetic testing needed to be performed during the father's lifetime or could be done after the father's death.

The new law should make it easier for nonmarital children to share in their fathers' estates.  

A newly-proposed bill is also of note this week in New York where State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky introduced Bill Number A09865 that would require individuals to actively opt out of organ donation rather than the current system which requires opt in via a mailed-in form. 

No doubt, this bill will get a lot of opposition from religious groups and privacy advocates but it's the first bill of its kind in the United States so it will be important to watch in the coming months.

CBS News in New York City has an article online that discusses the bill and its issues in detail: