There was the Apollo mission and then there is the international IVF by a binational immigrant mission and we have NOTHING. One does IVF (in vitro fertilization) due to infertility or dysfertility. And a trace do it for “cosmetic” reasons. Maybe the notion of having a baby is more important than actually caring for a baby. Regardless of why one does IVF, the chances of success are pegged at 33%, the medical treatment is not easily affordable and therefore not easily accessible by all who need it, and the end objective is to be blessed with a baby. The point is there is careful planning, deliberate sacrifices, and lot of struggles to get to the final stage when the baby arrives. So what does one do when the IVF baby is born into our wonderful world?
We Have Nothing?
In hindsight, when one embarks on international IVF as a binational immigrant, the first thing to strike you is NOT the money, NOT the sacrifices, NOT the distance, NOT the remote logistics, NOT the so many “what ifs”, NOT the trauma and anxiety and uncertainty, NOT the secrecy and lying, it should be the LAWS. Which by the way are non-existant for IVF children born of binational immigrants. Rather one embarks as a human being due to love, honesty, truth and respect.
Love : A deep loving bond has to exist in order for two people to commit to have an IVF child remotely in another country and agree to raise the IVF child together.
Honesty : There is honesty between two people who know the facts as to who is the biological parent of the IVF child – something required by law. Or else one would need to adopt – again something required by law. The honesty also entails a pact between two people that the IVF child shall remain with the biological parent at all times.
Truth : There is truth between two people to abide by the prevailing laws especially when transfer of a human being (the IVF child) is concerned across international boundaries which requires legal paperwork including a valid passport and visa. There is an agreement between two people to show up in a foreign country when the IVF child is born and return to the resident country with the IVF child and raise the two siblings together.
Respect : There is respect for the infertile person that despite their condition which is naturally occurring meaning it is NOT in their control.
There are lot of undeclared points between two people which are NOT on a legal contract. Does that mean LAWS have NOT been broken? Does that mean other binational immigrants who choose to do international IVF can successfully bring an IVF child born outside the US to the US? In order for that to happen, laws will have to CHANGE. For now, all we have is love, honesty, truth and respect to show. Or is that NOTHING?
The IVF children
It is one thing to hate your spouse. That is nothing uncommon, just ask several of the married and divorced people including heterosexuals, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, intersex (GLBTI). It is completely separate to DENY a child their rights, to DENY a legal identity to an innocent child, to DENY siblings a chance to grow up together as was planned and agreed upon, to DENY a son his loving father’s affection. It is about time to speak up against the heinous and torturous situation for the sake of the IVF children, if not NOW then when? What did the secrecy and lying achieve? Had the Apollo astronauts not said the now famous words, “Houston, we have a problem”, how could the ground staff and the crew have manged to work together to get out of a less than “sticky and messy” situation? Only truth is the way to move forward or we have NOTHING.
Challenge : If the intersex person is so sure about having done the right thing, the challenge is to make it repeatable. Find one person out of 7 billion in the world willing to go through the same thing. And will make the challenge little easier, one can start with saying the truth instead of secrecy and lying. If you find such a person, the good news is you will have another child and there will be a “sibling to grow up with” for the older child. If not, the answer is we have NOTHING.
Practice what you preach. This case is “reverse” in every sense of the way where the father has stepped out of the stereotype in every way possible. So first practice and then preach.
The proud IVF father understands the reasons why an infertile person would lie at any cost to have a child. In fact, he considers himself lucky that he has been left alive, there are cases where infertile people have murdered fertile people to take away their child. After living with love, honesty, truth, respect, the proud IVF father has got NOTHING. He understands the right answer is to get LAWS passed so people do not have the need to lie or break the laws. And that’s where he is focused now, to get EQUAL rights for IVF children and families. It will benefit him and his IVF children and the millions of other IVF children born and yet to be born.
The principles of love, honesty, truth, and respect have NOT changed. The mission has. The mission for Apollo 11 was to land on the moon which CHANGED unexpectedly to a rescue mission to just safely land on earth and be with family. The proud IVF father is just wanting to live “normally” with truth and honesty with family on earth. Do we have something or nothing?