Legally, I cannot give a sister to my son and a big brother to my daughter because I am an IVF parent and an IVF family must be punished and discriminated. Innocent, voiceless children must be punished because for crimes they did not commit and for being born through IVF. January 12 is World Daughter Day and today let us celebrate all daughters – future sisters, wives, mothers, aunts and maybe someday there will be IVF children day when world is more accommodating. In 2014, having children through compassion from anonymous egg donor and surrogate is such a terrible crime that the innocent IVF brother and sister must be punished for crimes they did not commit. I kept my IVF son’s dream to have a sibling. A father’s dream should become his innocent children’s nightmare because he dared to be compassionate and wanted to have children. I have a dream…that someday siblings will be able to grow up together happily despite their primary care provider being a father. I have a dream…that the love and character of a parent counts more than gender of a parent.
I gave a piece of myself, I gave multiple sleepless nights, I fought with infertility in a marriage, I gave multiple international lonely trips to have a child through IVF, I sought help and compassion of other women including egg donors and surrogates, I stayed persistent and kept trying despite multiple failed IVF attempts, I am responsible for my children, I physically had two IVF children but one thing I cannot give my IVF children is a physical hug, kiss, embrace, love, companionship of a brother and sister. One thing I cannot give my IVF children is a valid legal identity. One thing I cannot give my IVF children is freedom because I am an IVF parent. I miss him on missing out because of my gender.
I have hit the pavement, endeared abuses in your name, endeared abuses in my name because I dared to have children through IVF, I have seen doors slammed in my face because I ask for your IVF child rights, I have seen offensive and abusive legal language in prevailing laws against IVF children and families, I have felt that doing IVF is a crime, I have felt that having IVF children is a crime, I have felt that my IVF children should be punished like criminals. No one’s innocent children are criminals just based on their birth type – it is discrimination. Just like discrimination that occurred during slavery, women suffrage, civil rights, colonialism, apartheid, gay rights and so on. If the laws have not caught up with technology, it is a legislative issue, that does not mean innocent IVF children are criminals. NO “parent” including a traditional parent or a statesperson of a country or an entrepreneur or a politician for the lack of laws likes to hear their “baby” called ugly. Why is it OK to treat an IVF child without basic human dignity or respect?
While most US family courts are based on love and character of a parent, the US Immigration laws are based on biology and gender of a parent – a stark contradiction. While most US family courts consider the woman who gave birth to the child as the mother, the US immigration laws require a genetic link which means a surrogate in an IVF child is immaterial as per US laws – a stark contradiction. While most US family courts consider a child born during a marriage as a “child of the marriage”, the US immigration laws consider an IVF child as “child born out of wedlock” – a stark contradiction. While US family courts would see that a person is a caring primary care provider for his child regardless of the parent’s gender being male, the US immigration law requires an immigrant father to have a “US mother” to bring an IVF child to the US – a stark contradiction.
Since US Immigration laws require a “genetic link” between a US parent and child born outside the US, here are some thoughts.
1) Should infertile parents take their 9-month term pregnant surrogate to the nearest US consulate or Embassy to give birth to their US citizen child to bypass the immigration laws?
2) Should infertile parents be treated like military families who give birth to their child born outside the US but due to circumstances are deployed outside of the US?
3) Should innocent children of Americans who dare to innovate and think outside the box be punished because of their parents actions?
4) Do infertile middle-class Americans who are infertile deserve to be childless as per laws requiring a “genetic link”?
Reproduction is a human right and regardless of laws, people are going to continue and try to procreate with the tools available. How do we protect the innocent children? Do fruits of fertility treatments like IVF children deserve equal respect and protection under the laws? Is it time for laws to catch up with technology?
While every child is special, an IVF child is coming together of more than just two parents. It embodies the best of humanity. Dehumanizing and disrespecting an IVF child is also disrespecting the best of humanity starting with the innocent IVF child.