So, too, In re Wall's Will, 216 N.C. 805, 5 S.E.2d 837, also cited by counsel for the administrator, is not apposite, because the statute there involved was expressly limited to " collateral relations of the half-blood". Gen.Statutes of North Carolina (1950) Vol. 2A, c. 29-1, Rule 6, p. 111.
Thus authorities referred to by counsel for the Administrator deal with statutes of a different kind from the broad law of the District of Columbia.
The conclusion follows that under the District of Columbia statute, a stepchild may inherit from a stepparent who dies intestate. The construction being placed by this Court on the District of Columbia law, is not only a necessary conclusion from the broad language of the statute, but is also in accord with public policy, as evidenced by the trend of modern Congressional legislation. The tendency of recent Congressional enactments in different situations, is to recognize stepchildren as having the same rights as natural children.
Thus the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (which is also the Workmen's Compensation Act for the District of Columbia), provides that the term "child" shall include "stepchild", 33 U.S.C. § 902(14). The Civil Service Retirement Act defines the term "child" in connection with the provision relating to survivors' annuities as including "stepchild", 5 U.S.C. § 2251(j). The provisions of the Social Security Act relating to old age, survivors' and disability insurance, define the term "child" as including "stepchild" who had been such for not less than one year immediately preceding the day on which an application for child's insurance benefits is filed, 42 U.S.C. § 416(e).
It may perhaps be said that when Congress intended that the term "child" should include "stepchild", it explicitly so stated. On the other hand, it may perhaps be said with equal force that the purpose of the express provisions was to allay any doubt as to the intention of Congress to include stepchildren in the definition of children and thereby avoid controversy. These statutes are cited here merely for the purpose of indicating that it is the modern public policy of Congress to accord to stepchildren the same rights as to natural children.
In the light of the foregoing discussion, the Court concludes that under the law of the District of Columbia, i.e., the provisions of Section 19-306 and 19-315 of the District of Columbia Code, a stepchild may inherit from a stepparent who dies intestate.
The Administrator's motion to dismiss the cross-petition is denied.
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