Throughout history, we have had our shares of horror step-parenting tales like “Cinderella” or “Snow White” or “Hansel and Gretel” or “Rapunzel” and the list goes on. The typical fairy tale is about the “best interest of the child” and how these stories help them navigate through the world WITHOUT their birth parents. Most are written where the victim is a child, typically a girl child and the perpetrator is a stepmother. How do we reconcile this in a world of in vitro fertilization (IVF)? Who is the mother? Is it the egg donor, the surrogate or the intended mother? In a case where the IVF is commissioned by two genetic males, who is the “mother”? As times are changing, we have to change with it. Just like the marketing powers to be slowly started making adverts which included African Americans and the related toys like African American “doll”, books, movies, shows with positive African American characters followed. Not that there were no good role models in the African American community before the adverts or the shows but it needed to be highlighted. Sometimes thats how we learn TRUTH and FACTS.
With changing times, should we be changing our “fairy tales”? Should we have fairy tales for gay parenting or lesbian parenting or intersex parenting? Obviously, such parents are NOT even accepted widely and neither are there LAWS to support such parenting everywhere, how can we talk about making it “mainstream”? So if a fertile straight guy has a child with an intersex person through IVF, is that a symbol of something good or bad in our society? Should others be encouraged to do the same or should the intersex people continue to be oppressed? Ironically, intersex children are abused as per UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in a complex web of secrecy and lies at the hands of the medical professionals and sometimes parents. Why REPEAT this failed approach of secrecy and lies on IVF children?
The Fairy Tales
Like Hansel and Gratel, should the brother and sister be discarded? And will the spineless father go along with the “stepmother’s” wish? Thankfully, our life is NOT as cruel and such wishes of a stepmother cannot be entertained. Or are they? Should innocent IVF siblings never have a chance to visit each other in childhood? What is the Child’s Best Interest?
Like Rapunzel, should the child be locked up from rest of the world with NO travel outside the US? Travel is a key learning and development tool, especially in the world of globalization. Should the rest of the world be forced to LIE to the innocent child? How will the child know the TRUTH and fight for his OWN rights? And eventually when he does find out the TRUTH, what will he feel like? What is the Child’s Best Interest?
Should the IVF father be spineless like the father of Cinderella, Rapunzel and Hansel and Gratel? Or should he be HONEST and RESPECT the laws and seek justice for both his IVF children? Or should he abandon the IVF children? What is of utmost importance is NOT intersex or infertility but the TRUTH and respect for law. If justice is based on truth and prevailing laws, then how do we reconcile SPLITTING IVF children from biological family of a binational immigrant dysfunctional intersex family? What is the Child’s Best Interest?
Reality in the 2000s
Mothers are great and are the primary care provider in every way. It is NOT the meals they serve or the clothes they dress up a child with or the books they provide for the child or thousands of other things but it is the loving and caring nurture of the parent that defines “primary care provider”. Above all, it is done with unconditional love and with TRUTH. Lying is NOT utilized and lies are NOT repeated to hide one lie. Ann Pettway kidnapped a girl child at the tender age of 19 days only for the child to figure out the TRUTH eventually. Assuming Ms. Pettway loved the innocent girl child and provided her food, clothes, toys, home, education, development, but does it make it right? David Goldman was reunited with his son after 5 years even though he was being raised by his maternal biological grandparents with love who provided clothes, food, shelter, education, and other development needs. Wasn’t that enough? Freedom is critical. And TRUTH provides freedom. That is the Best Interest of the Child.
Let us HOPE and PRAY that TRUTH prevails and the “happy ending” for the children in this case is like their counterparts in the fairy tales. Punishing the innocent is worst form of injustice. Being “invisible” in the eyes of law creates an uphill path to seek justice. Let us hope a “prince charming” or “the dying of the witch” or the “truth” comes to the rescue of innocent and voiceless IVF children.
An IVF Father
While the IVF father has been conveniently FORCED out from his IVF son’s life with a Nazi like choice as in the Hollywood depicted movie, Sophie’s choice of having to choose one kid Vs. the other. He is a proud IVF father meaning someone who used their sperm and had an IVF child with help of egg donor and surrogate much like a woman who would use her egg to have an IVF child with help of a sperm donor and surrogate. The IVF father hopes that even though he is “dead” to his IVF son, like Cinderella planting a tree on her mother’s grave granting her wishes, maybe the IVF father can convey his love, values and care for his IVF son. When he grows up, if he wants to marry an infertile and/or intersex person and have an IVF child, there should be honesty between the two and respect for the laws. Lying and breaking the laws will lead to the current situation.