We do not expect our governments to get rid of our disabilities and help us climb stairs or help us see, but we do expect our governments to pass laws so that there are ramps to buildings and Braille on public boards and so on so people can self-help. We do not expect our governments to give a child to every human but we do expect our governments to have laws for all children (including IVF) to be treated equally. Anything less is a test of time and is discriminatory. December 3 is International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
I love you my children because you are wonderful children and you are a wonderful human being. Second because you are my children and inherently every parent loves their child. Third you symbolize something much bigger than you or me because of the gifted way you came to our world with compassion, struggles, sacrifices of several people – humanity at its best. As part of an international IVF, immigrant family in 2000s with lack of laws, we are rendered effectively with “legal disability” and discrimination. Do we continue to suffer in silence or do we state the truth and ask for help (not pity)? In the near future (I hope but life has taught me it will be distant), gender of a parent or the biology of a parent will not be used to discriminate against innocent children. Over the years, human society has struggled with political correctness on how to deal with disability and discrimination of humans and different societies deal with it differently. What is critical is results count and effects of our actions or inactions count. Can we extend a hand to help or do we chop off the hand that tries to help? Can you help an IVF child get home? – The answer is simple, pass laws for their real-life situations and needs.
In some countries, it may be illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities but still no services are provided that can provide self-help. For example, public signage should be Braille compliant or public buildings should be ramp compliant for wheelchair access and so on. So while there may be laws to punish discrimination, are we providing “help” to seamlessly allow disabled people to grow, develop and feel empowered on their own? Most developed countries have both laws AND services to address the real life issues and concerns, where do innocent IVF children fit in to the puzzle? Neither laws exist for them nor help exist for their specific needs and issues, are they invisible? Are they also equal human beings who deserve basic human rights and decency if not equal? Do surrogates deserve protection and rights for the services they offer in terms of a gift of an IVF child? Or should they be abandoned or mistreated? If intended parents sign up for an IVF child and then file divorce during an ongoing pregnancy, why should that be an issue/problem/denial of basic human rights for the IVF child and/or the surrogate? What counts is the current state rather than how we got here. Current state is that in some cases IVF children are being discriminated due to no fault of theirs. Whether it is an accident in the IVF clinic resulting in a DNA mismatch and thus the immigration laws are triggered separating the parent and IVF child OR a birth mother who used donor eggs and sperm but not having a “biological link” as defined in the laws OR a biological father who used donor eggs and surrogate but has “no legal mother” of the IVF child OR when a divorce is filed during an ongoing IVF pregnancy. These real-life situations are placing innocent IVF children in legal limbo and violating their fundamental and basic rights as a human being. If you are “invisible” in the legal system with no legal identity, can you demand for your legal rights? Do “invisible” human beings have rights?
The special situations create a “disabled” world of legal limbo for innocent IVF children. While the laws may be inadvertent, our inactions and not passing any new laws to protect the innocent IVF children is discriminatory. The IVF child has been made “invisible” of their needs and issues and that causes their “legal disability”. As an IVF parent, I have been through several roller coasters – emotional, financial, social, physical, spiritual, and so on. I love my IVF child so much that went through the roller coasters all over again for another IVF child. And then to have them grow up separately due to no fault of theirs, rather, using my gender as an IVF parent to discriminate and separate them is worse than appalling, it is heinous. One can understand the lack of laws, but to show utter disregard and basic human decency for a human life and that too innocent children is heinous. To the world, deliberately separated IVF children may just be a statistic, for me they are everything (all IVF children). In one case, they are two beautiful IVF brother and sister – who deserve the best and who deserve basic rights if NOT equal. Equal rights for IVF children is a dream that may not be achieved in this lifetime because of the snail’s pace of progress on this sensitive subject, so help us at least by giving us basic human rights, if not equal.