Thirty six years ago, he world’s first IVF child was born. Wishing everyone a Happy World Embryology day if you care. Some famous people born in 1978 as well are Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana, Tia and Tamera Mowry, Usher, Kobe Bryant, Katie Holmes, first IVF baby in the world – Louise Brown, India’s first IVF baby – Durga. Sadly, we still do not have equal rights for IVF children and families.
Technology is wonderful when used correctly and thanks to the hard work of scientists, researchers for doing their part for the progress of humanity. Whose job is it to have laws that keep pace with technology? Have they done their job? What happens when the laws fall short and innocent IVF children are victimized with no justice? Whose responsibility and accountability is that?
In 1978, there were about 4.3 billion people and 2 IVF children.
In 2012, there were about 7.1 billion people and the 5 millionth IVF child was delivered.
In 2012, the CDC estimated 1% of all births in US were through IVF and expect all births to be about 5% soon.
By 2020, the population is estimated to be about 7.7 billion and the IVF industry is expected to double (maybe the number of IVF children born will also double as a conservative estimate?)
When will IVF be a “big enough” issue to start caring? And it is about the innocent, voiceless IVF children – the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. When will we as a society wake up? What will it take for us as a society to wake up?
If “IVF” is an “industry”, then what is it “product” and who is protecting their rights? Should any industry be regulated especially where billions of dollars are involved? Especially where innocent children’s lives may be at risk? Especially where innocent children’s welfare may be endangered?
If “IVF” is to help infertile or dysfertile people, who helps the IVF children? What are the rights of IVF children when born during a divorce? Do they deserve a legal identity or should they be shoved under the carpet and make them invisible? Does that solve the problem?
When a straight couple who is dealing with infertility, are both spouses impacted with the lack of laws for IVF children and families? When gay couples, lesbian couples, single men, single women, infertile couples attempt to solve their “dysfertility” with help of other compassionate human beings, should there also be laws to help them and the IVF children? Or should such people be discriminated and falsely persecuted for daring to dream to have a child through help of technology? Worse their innocent IVF children should be punished for crimes they did not commit and for the actions of their parents.
Every IVF journey is unique. Some result in not having a IVF child at all despite multiple attempts which sadly failed. The worst is having an IVF child who is born into legal limbo and not having any rights as a living, breathing human being. Sadly, pets have more rights in some cases.
This year on World Embryology Day, let us pledge for equal rights for IVF children and families. This includes the entire IVF fraternity – the donors, the surrogates, the IVF clinics and medical professionals, the intended parents, and most importantly the IVF child. If there are laws for international child adoption, if there are laws for international child abduction, why are there no laws for international IVF children? More importantly, in absence of these laws, how do innocent victims get justice?
The cornerstone of any IVF cycle is compassion of a fellow human being. It is the essence of our humanity. Let us hope that is NOT lost.