Tag Archives: caregiver

Past, Present, Future for Intersex, Immigrant, IVF Families

Living in the past is unhelpful but we all are a sum aggregate of our experiences which is including the past. Living for today is one thing we can be certain of and gandhi-father day-truthallows us an opportunity to make a difference. Living for tomorrow is helpful to set goals and is needed as we think about future generations, especially our children and grandchildren. Feeling threatened by laws (or lack thereof) is one thing but to take it out on innocent children is another. Respect all including innocent, voiceless children is the right way forward just like respecting innocent intersex children or innocent IVF children “born out of wedlock”. Let us not create a whole new generation of children under secrecy and lies because we have seen the effects of it as evidenced by SPLIT innocent IVF siblings. Lies and secrecy helps no one, perhaps honesty and compassion has a shot? We have a choice – to be in the PAST (continue to live in silence while creating more victims) or live for the FUTURE (to UNITE and petition the respective authorities for change and updation of laws). The choice we make TODAY is our PRESENT– depending on what action we take. We support efforts to help infertility but do they have to come at the cost of rights of others including innocent IVF siblings, can’t we find better ways?

This is the approach taken when dealing with intersex rights and IVF rights. Neither the past nor the present offer equal rights for intersex or IVF families. Maybe the future will? Will it happen automatically or will people have to speak up? If equal rights existed for intersex or IVF families, perhaps innocent children “born out of wedlock” of an intersex, immigrant, IVF family would not be split up as no one would feel threatened by the anti-intersex and anti-IVF laws.

It is one thing to say to a intersex, immigrant, IVF survivor to stop living in the past without taking the time to understand the crux of the issues which is lack of equal rights. And silence the survivor will not achieve goals; petitioning, education, awareness will. We tried the silence and compassion approach and has helped no one – especially the innocent siblings who have been willfully split up.

Am pretty sure even the intersex, immigrant, infertile person who masterminded this situation doesn’t feel comfortable knowing that others like them who are intersexed, immigrant, infertile legally still cannot achieve what they have. And we hope that everyone joins us in the fight to get equal rights for intersex and IVF rights. That is the right answer. Living in silence or under threats is certainly not the right answer as is evidenced by the split innocent siblings being punished for crimes they did not commit. The past, present, and future is how do we reconcile the situation for innocent children? And if we are unable to, what answers do we provide them? That breaking laws is right to get what you want and showing compassion where laws itself fall short is evil?

Protecting women from getting raped is about changing mindsets and is a collective responsibility. Instead of using a “blame the victim” approach, the question to ask is what can each one of us do to stop this ghastly crime from occurring in the first place? Protecting against racism is also about changing mindsets and is a collective responsibility as evidenced by recent protests across US. Instead of using a “blame the victim” approach, the question to ask is what have you done to stand up against racism? Protecting IVF child from an IVFphile is about changing mindsets and is a collective responsibility. IVF exists to help infertility but do innocent, voiceless children deserve rights too? Instead of using a “blame the victim” approach against the IVF parent and his IVF children “born out of wedlock”, the question to ask is what have you done to help infertility?

Heard a story about how one woman was being given the cat calls, harassed, eave teasing and so on. It had happened several times before. But that day, she decided to take action and enough is enough, she turned around and slapped the man.

Should she have done this the first time it happened to her? Did the same man also harass her previously or was it the first time by this specific person but she had been a victim of lewd approaches several times before by others? Now that she has slapped him, will this treacherous activity stop for the lady meaning will she not get teased, not get those looks? Sadly, no. She feels confident as a person to speak up, take a stand, and if no one else will, she did something rather than continuing to suffer in silence. Why did she decide to speak up now? Because enough is enough.

When an immigrant, IVF father and his IVF children “born out of wedlock” are split after years of silent suffering and abuse, its the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Is it the first time an IVF family has been discriminated? Now that an IVF parent has decided to speak up, does it mean equal IVF rights for both fertile and infertile people will become a reality? Does it mean the innocent, voiceless siblings will be UNITED? When is/How much “enough” is enough?

Surviving When Held Against Your Will – Forces in Common

As human beings, we are all social animals – something similar was said long ago by a famous author. What is also true that we gravitate towards people who may not be family, or friends and are complete strangers because what bonds us is an individual experience but for a shared cause. Sadly, sexual assault against women is a daily talk to someone - IVFoccurrence in our world ranging from countries in Asia, Africa to Europe to Americas. Lot of women who thankfully may not have been a victim of sexual assault but whenever they hear a story about it, a thought that may run through their mind, “What if it were me?” This is what bonds them to the stranger who is a victim and some become activists by demanding protection for women and some maybe silent activists. The point is there is support and a bond based on the cause which is right and we identify with people who may have had a similar experience although not together. Whether the experience is a breast cancer survivor or a marathon runner or a single parent or a caregiver. Rightfully so, there should better protection for women and also education and awareness that women are also someone’s mother, sister, wife, daughter so harming them as such is not right. Similarly, what is common for an intersex, immigrant, IVF father in 2000s? When a person survives after being held against their will, they have forces in common.

As left-behind IVF father of an abandoned IVF child, one could also become a criminal and abandon an innocent, voiceless child and leave them to their fate at an orphanage and provide no answers for them either now or when they grow older into an adult. Perhaps the threat to an innocent child while 6 months pregnant in a surrogate’s womb and faced with abandonment is more similar to the feelings of a pregnant woman who is kicked in the stomach and the risk of threat to her child.

As a person who has constantly been silenced under threats and abused, there are other cases which also bring similarity. The Fritzl case in Austria where an innocent woman was kidnapped and held hostage for 24 years against her will. In a very sad case, a father unleashed horrors unto her own daughter and also fathered children with her. The innocent victim was an adult when she was taken away and held against her will. She found the forces to survive and eventually be freed from a monster. On the outside, we can only gauge what it may have been for her but the true horrors of her ordeal will only be known by her and her innocent children, sadly one of whom died while in captivity. She did not consent to having the children with her own father and captor but the fact remains she is raising the children today and not blaming them because children are innocent and the two discussion are separate. She has NOT abandoned the innocent children.

Another case that comes to mind is that of Ohio man, Ariel Castro who kidnapped innocent women and held them against their will including fathering children with them. Unlike the Fritzl case, he was not a family member but a person in the same neighbourhood. Up until the case broke, his children also spoke of him as a good parent. The women survived and so did their innocent children. Sadly, the true horrors of being held against your will can only be known by the women and the innocent children who suffered. They did not give consent to having a child with Mr. Castro but the fact is there is a child who they are raising and have NOT abandoned the innocent child.

In IVF, there are different kinds of cases of the 21st century which most people are just becoming aware of. There are cases of DNA mismatch and there are cases of intended parents abandoning an IVF child after birth. Just like the women who did not want a child with their abuser but fact is they were being held against their will, what if an IVF father is held against his will and forced to have a child because he happens to be fertile and later is stranded with an abandoned IVF baby? Do you also abandon the child? How did the IVF father who was forced into silence deal with the horrors of a decade? Did the love of the children carry him through? Was it the same love which made him NOT abandon his IVF child?

As time passes, we continue to reach out to people who share a common bond, its natural. After being silenced for so long, it takes a while to get your “teeth again” so to speak. And innocent children and their rights are a strong driver. One begins to discover people in similar plight if not due to the exact same reasons. There was a case of Canadian couple who had an issue of DNA mismatch in India. They did NOT abandon the IVF child but instead moved lock, stock and barrel to India – an unknowing place for them and fought for six years before being allowed to take the IVF child with them on humanitarian grounds. Not just did the child win, the parents won but humanity won. In another case, an IVF father discovered after 5 years there was a DNA mismatch with him and his IVF daughter who happens to be autistic. His wife passed away but he has NOT abandoned his daughter, he will raise her with all the love he has. Humanity wins!

For rest of the world, an abandoned child may be one of millions in the world but for a surviving parent, the innocent child IS THE WORLD, no matter how they were born. To those who are struggling, crying, praying to be freed, hang in there, we have been there and there are forces in common which will eventually free you. And never lose your humanity because it is the greatest gift a human can gift to another.

If a mother can dream of having two lovely siblings growing up together, can a father have the same dream? If an infertile person can dream of having a child thanks to technology like IVF and compassion of fellow human beings, can an IVF father dream of seeing his IVF siblings growing up together? If a woman can ask for equal pay for equal work (which she deserves and has every right), can a man dream of having equal parenting rights in the best interest of children? By continuing to use stereotypes and denying equal rights to a father, are they really hurting the father or his innocent children who are siblings who have never met?

People like Fritzl and Castro are not stereotypes and yet they exist and there are laws to protect and give justice to the ones who suffered, where is the protection and laws for innocent IVF children and families?

East Meets West – Intersex, IVF, Immigration

It is important to talk about facts and state the truth with civility, dignity and humility. It would be wrong to stay silent and further to fointersex-IVF-Immigration-east-meets-westrce silence on truth would be both heinous and undemocratic. Ironically, for decades if not generations, silence is how intersex has been dealt with both in the east and west and the biggest lesson learnt as an intersex, IVF, immigrant family in 2000s is secrecy and lying are the real culprits. So with all due respect to all, let us state the truth so that we can salvage innocent childhoods and not live on false foundations because that is no way to deliver justice. In dealing with these complex issues of the 21st century, patience is the foremost thing required and that we have and let truth prevail. For most people, infertility is a “distant” issue, IVF/surrogacy is even more of a “distant” issue, and having innocent IVF siblings SPLIT is more “distant” and having an abandoned IVF child is “very distant”. To them, injustice to innocent IVF children may represent a very small fraction BUT to us, THEY are our WORLD and everything. We deeply care about equal IVF rights as it affects our family deeply or rather lack of IVF rights is hurting our family immensely.

It is 2014 and the west is still to get up to speed with acknowledging presence of the “third gender”. What is more important is to give them equal rights like marriage, having children despite being infertile, so that unsuspecting compassionate law abiding citizens are not frauded and cheated because laws are not in their favor. Worse, innocent IVF children of an intersex family are NOT SPLIT just so that someone can have a child at any cost. Regardless of what side of the debate you are on, at the end of your justification, add two sentences – “…and therefore its OK to abandon innocent IVF child. And therefore its OK to SPLIT innocent IVF brother and sister who he wanted.”  Laws are man-made and NOT perfect, justice is NOT perfect, Life is NOT fair, but why punish innocent IVF children – the most vulnerable of the vulnerable for that?

  • Denial or Acceptance – While Asian countries in the East have long acknowledged the existence of the “third gender” and given them a special designation in the society in order to be assimilated. This went on for thousands of years in the east until the west colonialized the east and imposed their “own laws” including discriminatory laws against the “third gender”. The situation today of the “third gender” in countries like India, Pakistan, etc. is a “post-British” situation which is very different than what it was 400-500 years ago when they were in an esteemed position. One has to question, what is better as  a “human being” – DENIAL or ACCEPTANCE? Now the same set of secrecy, lack of laws is being repeated on IVF children and families including crimes and abuse perpetrated.
  • Best of East-West  – The current situation in the East may not be the best for “third gender” when it comes to human rights but at least they can live honestly. There are “third gender” folks in the west who are clamouring for a legal identity which their governments are in denial because of archaic laws from centuries past similar to the laws that British brought with them during colonization. The West is slowly waking up to issues of the “third gender” and accepting the facts. The journey has just begun. Australia and New Zealand recognized the third gender in 2012, then came Germany in 2013 and now there are discussions that UK may be next. Perhaps the US will also wake up to this reality someday. Good news is the West is catching up and taking steps to remedy centuries old wrongs. And what is needed is an amalgamation of both East and West philosophies in dealing with intersex and IVF – both highly taboo subjects but affecting one family deeply and greatly especially innocent siblings.
  • Science and Truth – The West provides a forum to understand and learn topics. There are specialized institutions, professionals, conferences, openness specifically dedicated to dealing with “third gender” issues or known as Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD) or known as intersex (there is controversy among the communities whether the politically correct term is “intersex” or “DSD”). In countries like India, in the local vernacular and a legal term, they are refered to as Eunuchs, again a controversial term depending on who you ask. One has to wonder is it the “terms” which are controversial or the subject itself is controversial since it is taboo to discuss it meaning regardless of what term we come up with, it will be always controversial and if so, how do we honestly and scientifically discuss the issues of an intersex family? For the academicians, lawyers, politicians, activists, etc, their fight maybe of “political correctness”; for victims of lack of laws for intersex and IVF, it is a matter of survival.
  • Statistics – As per NIH, about 1 in 2000 births are born DSD/intersex, which is a generic term. Its important to note that the NIH, a reputable institution also uses both terms which highlights the controversy and confusion. This means its a minority. Most DSD/intersex people are infertile and as per CDC, 1 in 6 couples are infertile. Does this include or exclude intersex/DSD? Does the CDC statistics include LGBTI or are they only looking at heterosexual couples? It is 2014, isn’t it time to update our scientific data gathering to be more reflective of the realities in our society? More importantly, statistics drive change, they drive laws, and if the statistics itself are not reflective (inadvertently or deliberate) of the issues faced  by the population, then how can we expect to get new laws and therefore justice?
  • Medicine – In 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture announced for a STOP to intersex surgeries. This means what the doctors, highly learned academicians, medical professionals had been doing for last 50 years were WRONG! The fraud paperwork to support their lies and wrongs is also wrong, is it a crime? For the reasons why Dr. John Money has been proven wrong today while highly sought after and reputable medical professional during his time, similarly, performing intersex surgeries under secrecy and lies during a marriage with inappropriate resources is WRONG. It is a recipe for disaster to ruin a family and more importantly endangering the welfare of innocent children. Science and wishful thinking don’t go together. Science relies on facts. The medical professionals in their zeal to right “social wrongs” forgot to adhere to facts and science and as a result lost credibility again in dealing with sensitive issues like intersex just like Dr. John Money. Cannibalizing the rights of other humans is no way to give human rights to one human.
  • Change – Today, parents and siblings of intersex/DSD also get treatment and counseling. Given the same logic, why are there NO options for spouses and children of an intersex family especially when the torturous intersex surgery occurred during a marriage? Are the spouses and children of an intersex family supposed to lie, live in silence and suppress their experiences and torture? And how is that exactly different than what was done to intersex people for decades and centuries? It may take a few more decades/centuries for the West and East to understand what happened to spouse and children of an intersex family but silencing them in the meantime is no justice as they are living through an IVF Holocaust.
  • History – Sadly there are people in this world who believe the Holocaust did not occur. There are two issues here. One there is denial of facts and therefore denial of justice to victims and continued victimization and second no lessons learnt and the threat of reoccurrence. Had the world not recognized the Holocaust, perhaps, the story in Bosnia/Serbia, Rwanda, ongoing ISIS may have ended differently with thousands more innocent lives lost. Let us take learning lessons from an intersex, IVF, immigrant family in 2000s so that we can usher change for equal rights for intersex, IVF children and families and caregivers. No one deserves to have their human rights and/or child rights violated. By silencing, we are not going to achieve anything but perhaps by listening to facts and accepting the truth, we may open a door for a better future. What is so wrong about that?

Change is Refreshing – IVF rights

Whether be it spouse caregiver or being an immigrant or being an IVF father or being all of the above – change is required for all. If one does not havechange-refreshing-ivf  the intent to “become the change you want to see in this world”, no person can constantly go through such life-changing events. There is positive change and there is negative change. Positive is sharing and caring while negative is secrecy and lying. What will not ebb is the constant flow of the river of change. Despite seeing all the trauma in life, when one sees the abuse repeated on their innocent children, life stops and makes you wonder, is it time to speak up finally?

There are parents of children with mental disabilities or physical disabilities or victims of bullying or victims of abuse or children with Down’s Syndrome or victims of lies. As a parent, do you abandon the innocent child or do you stand up for what’s right? I am an IVF parent and while IVF may not be a disability, the lack of laws for IVF children and families sure makes it feel like so. The result is the same – unequal rights for innocent children and families. And it is much better to fight for equal rights for all IVF children and families instead of lying about it including breaking laws.  Thats what an IVF father who is also an immigrant and part of an intersex family is doing for his IVF children – standing up finally after years of abuse in secrecy.

It is obvious that an intersex, immigrant, international IVF family should not exist legally in the 2000s. Unless some laws were broken, this would not be possible. Even in 2014, it is taboo to talk about an intersex, immigrant, IVF family. But truth always finds a way and time always supports the truth. People can choose to be secretive and lie about the facts for personal benefits OR speak up and fight for the truth for themselves and others to come. After all, what is so WRONG about helping a fellow human being who is intersex, infertile and an immigrant for whom laws itself fall short? Why should one continue to lie while other intersex or infertile or immigrant children and families are suffering due to lack of laws?

A murderer is also a man or woman, someone’s son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister BUT still a murderer. They are right here amongst us.  Just like that an intended IVF parent is also someone’s daughter or son, sister or brother, mother or father BUT may also be an IVF criminal. By fighting for the truth, we hope to address the rights of the IVF children, what are the rights of the IVF child when born during a divorce? Are IVF children a “commodity” OR are they real human beings with equal protection as children? What happens when laws fall short and people take advantage and break the laws?

With cases like “baby Gammy” or “baby Medhavi” becoming a common occurrence, it is time to speak up, especially the people who are affected by these lack of laws. One can appreciate that the IVF community is a minority and there may not be many takers but if you are a parent, you would care because you care about any child as a loving parent. If you are a law-abiding human being, you would care because humanity is our cornerstone and when people break laws for personal benefit while placing innocent children as shields, there has to be consequences.

It is very traumatic to live as an intersex, immigrant, IVF family. But it is far more traumatic to knowingly split innocent IVF siblings and place them in legal limbo. Sadly love and compassion do not matter but laws do as our lives are ruled by laws. By UNITING the innocent IVF siblings we send two messages that laws matter AND so restores faith in humanity where compassion matters. Are we ready to do the right thing in 2014 or do we have to wait a century for equal rights for IVF children and families and give them justice?

Respect – Living the Life as A Woman

I am a male. I am not transgender, I am not intersex/DSD, I am not a woman. But having experiences like family caregiving, infertility, primary care provider for children which are “traditionally” associated with women has provided me with a fresh perspective on what it may have been like to live as a woman and undergo abuse for centuries. The worst is that my gender is punishing my innocent children which has forced me to speak up. I have learnt a lot from Susan Anthony’s, Rosa Parks’s and other women in the world and also from likes of Scotsboro boys’. While there is no comparison to what women have gone through for centuries; the injustice, neglect, abuse is what is in common – which is why there is Respect for living as a woman. Sadly, it is a cycle of being used, abused and discarded by others that we find in common. When will we have laws to protect hate crimes against IVF children and families?

1) When I was abused, I stayed silent. The law enforcement tells me that I should have spoken up then and its too late to get justice now. Does that mean the abuse did not occur? When laws were broken forcefully, I stayed silent. The law enforcement tells me that I should have reported the crimes. Does that mean the crimes did not occur? Ironically, plight of some IVF children today is what was done to innocent intersex children which is lies, fraud and manipulation.

2) If there are rape trauma crises centers, if there are sexual abuse trauma crises centers, if there are child abuse trauma crises centers, where are the IVF trauma crises centers? Having crises centers for different issues implies two things – 1) There is acceptance of facts and the need to act to protect the innocent and 2) Qualified professionals trained to act in the best interest of the victim – medical, legal, financial, etc.

In the absence of IVF trauma centers, are we as a society not wanting to accept the facts and that IVF trauma does not exist and it is better to shove the truth under the carpet like the way our society dealt with concealment based approach in treating intersex people or taking away innocent children from their biological mothers during the government approved “baby scoop era”? In the absence of IVF trauma centers, are we as a society failing to provide qualified professionals to victims including innocent IVF children and until justice is received, does it mean the victimization and abuse continues which is blessed by the system due to its inaction and lack of laws?

3) If a woman is pregnant and her spouse abandons the child and the mother-to-be, it is a sinking feeling. Is it like getting kicked in the stomach as a pregnant woman? As a left-behind parent, one moves on for the sake of the child with no child support, loss of dignity and respect for innocent child, possible character humiliations, loss of job, career, separation from family and friends, etc. Same is true for a left-behind IVF parent of an abandoned IVF child, one finds the strength and courage to move on for the sake of the child despite being a male as the society and laws deem “fathers” are “second-class” parents.

If a woman who is abandoned while pregnant, what if the spouse runs away with the older child? This leaves the woman to deal with her pregnancy all alone, provide welfare of the child on her own AND the trauma of losing a child whom she loves. Worse, the older child will not be afforded the love of a sibling he wanted because the parent has split them. In all this, the mother raises the abandoned child through the trauma and hopes someday her children will be UNITED. Is an IVF father of two split siblings allowed to have the same feeling?

If an intended parent abandons an IVF pregnancy after giving consent, who pays the surrogate and what are her rights and whose responsibility it it to raise the IVF child? Is the surrogate also considered a woman whose rights have been violated if left abandoned with an IVF child?

4) For centuries women have been the “traditional family caregiver” and for most part they still are in a majority now. A family caregiver can be in multiple roles – as a parent, child, sibling, etc. However, insenuations have existed like “being a housewife is not a real job”, “stay at home mothers” do not contribute to society, etc. Yet as loving mothers or spouses or daughters or sisters as they are, they continue to spread their love (often in silence) regardless of what laws say or what society thinks while giving up their true potential, ambitions, careers. Same is true as a spouse caregiver of intersex/DSD who is forced into silence.

And when women started asking for their rights be it rape, disenfranchisement, abuse, violence, sexual harassment, etc. initially, it was written off as “being emotional”. That was last century and it may be true even today in several parts of the world. An immigrant, IVF father feels the same way and demand for rights is discarded as “being emotional” while failing to recognize that it is the innocent IVF children who are the ones being punished because of their parent’s gender. Just like Susan Anthony’s of the world, one must continue to fight for the truth regardless of how long it takes.

5) If a woman uses her egg and gets help from a sperm donor and surrogate, she can legally take the child anywhere while if a man uses his sperm and gets help from a egg donor and surrogate, the same is not true. Who is the real victim – the IVF father or the innocent IVF child? Like any parent – mother or father, gay or straight, black or white or Asian, child with Autism or a learning challenge, etc, etc – any parent will speak up when their child is abused, violated and worse used as a “tool”. Every human being has rights, including an innocent IVF child of an IVF father.

6) There is no “I” in infertility or IVF. Dealing with infertility first requires lot of patience and compassion from fellow human beings. “I” cannot do anything. The anxiety, the sleepless nights, the pain, the suffering, the trauma, the loss of child, the failed IVF cycles, the multiple trips to the IVF clinic filled with hope, the thumbing through online forums, the blessing of a IVF child, the joy and celebration of an IVF child, etc etc affects any person dealing with IVF and infertility – it is NOT a woman or man thing, it is a HUMAN thing. Having lived through these experiences which are traditionally associated with women dealing with fertility, it has given a unique perspective on even how innocent IVF children are victimized due to being born to a “man” VS. “woman”. Our society and laws have a long way to catch up.

7) It has taken centuries and lots of abuse, violation of rights, trauma for women to begin to get equal rights in the workplace. When will men get equal rights at home in the family especially in the best interest of innocent children?

8) To the naysayers, I ask a simple question, exactly what more do you want out of a spouse – male, female, straight, gay, lesbian, intersex, otherwise?

  • You have a traumatic condition, you deal with it together and become a spouse caregiver,
  • One spouse wants silence at the cost of abuse to the other spouse, you give silence,
  • One spouse wants to lie, fraud and break the laws, you give in to the threats and abuse in silence,
  • One spouse is infertile, you deal with it together using IVF,
  • One spouse is under medical treatment and trauma preventing to be a “primary care provider” for the child, you become a primary care provider for the IVF child in silence,
  • The IVF child both love wants a sibling, both give joint consent to have a second IVF child, one spouse decides to abandon the child while the other is left to pick up the pieces including giving up his son whom he loves AND his son having to give up his primary care provider and a sister he wanted.

Perhaps the spouse is looking for slaves including innocent children with no human rights in 2014? 

Don’t give me love, don’t give me compassion, just give me respect and truth.

If being in a intersex/DSD marriage which the laws do not recognize, if becoming a spouse caregiver of DSD/intersex for a surgery which UN considers torture, if dealing with infertility with respect for the infertile spouse, if raising IVF children due to ongoing medical treatment of the spouse, if dealing with multiple lack of laws for issues like intersex, IVF, immigration in 2014 is too new is RESPECT, then all I ask is to give RESPECT to my innocent children if not me and UNITE them.

Had equal rights for intersex, equal rights for IVF children and families existed, would innocent IVF siblings have been SPLIT? Economic deprivation and loss of financial resources directly threatens the right to get justice in 2014 because no counsel works for free.

I got it wrong – Plain and Simple with IVF

Are we ready to UNITE and not DIVIDE innocent IVF siblings and stop punishing them for crimes they did not commit?  There is a common theme between the story of an intersex spouse and an immigrant IVF father  in 2000s and a recent published memoir, Hard Choices, by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had this to say about her voting for the Iraq warhillary-clinton-iraq-war-ivf in 2002.

1) “I got it wrong. Plain and simple.”

Being a spouse in an intersex marriage is not wrong but it may be illegal, having a child through IVF is not wrong, being an immigrant is not wrong, being a primary care provider for your child as a father is not wrong, helping a fellow human being who happens to lie and break laws is wrong. I got it wrong as an intersex spouse, IVF father, immigrant. Plain and Simple.

2) “As the war dragged on, with every letter I sent to a family in New York who had lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, my mistake (became) more painful,” Clinton adds.

As the fraud marriage dragged on and more truth got revealed, I realized I had been lied to and that is not love under any circumstances. I had followed my heart like my family taught me and that is not wrong. With every day passing in abuse for me and my innocent child, my mistake became more painful not due to intersex, IVF, or being an immigrant but due to lies, secrecy and breaking the laws.

3) “I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn’t alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”

I thought I had acted in good faith in helping a fellow human being who happens to be intersex, infertile and an immigrant. I did not realize the severe lack of laws for our situation. I did not realize that showing compassion and respect where the laws itself falls short was such a heinous crime that my innocent IVF children had to be punished for it. I did the best I could in being a spouse caregiver of intersex, a loving IVF father, a primary care provider for my child in silence and secrecy despite the lack of laws. But I still got it wrong because I trusted a person who lies and breaks laws like a common criminal. Plain and simple.

I never dreamt that my innocent IVF children would be used as human chatal and “property” in the war on fertility. I never dreamt that innocent, voiceless children would be made victims rather than being given equal rights as a human being. I never dreamt that being born IVF would be used as discrimination rather than as celebration.

Lying for the sake of your children should not become the weapon of choice for seasoned liars. What is better? To lie to save a life or to lie to take a life?

Truth on Mother’s Day

This could have been a great mother’s day story and how a “village” helped to make a mother – the difference is truth Vs. lies, the difference is respect Vs.ivf-mothers-day  secrecy. A lovely IVF child was born due to blessings of a lot of good-hearted people. They deserve the thanks and recognition. The year was 2004. The month was June. A lovely IVF child was born after our first successful attempt. We were young, we were naive, we knew hat the failure rates are twice that of success rates for IVF but did not experience it. Plus it was all remote for us and done in high secrecy. The chances of failure far outweighed chances of success and there he was, our lovely IVF son, thanks to the compassion of so many people. If an intersex, infertile, immigrant parent is happy to be a mother of a non-biological IVF child today separated from his sibling and biological family, they should be thanking the GRANDMOTHER of the IVF child who taught her son to show respect for all, compassion and forgiveness. Because if we go by the laws, every law as it pertains to intersex, immigration, IVF has been BROKEN in 2000s, now what? Maulik as a father thanks his mother for all who she is and came to the rescue again at age 68 when an innocent IVF sibling was abandoned. Words cannot describe what a mother is but her actions and what she teaches her children are far more powerful.

So who is the mother? The egg donor as the laws recognize, the surrogate as the laws recognize provided she gives birth on US soil, or the biological father who was the primary care provider for the infant after birth due to the traumatic medical condition of the spouse? Since laws rule our lives, it is important to discuss based on facts and not offend anyone.

1) It was the compassion of the egg donor that gave us our IVF son and recognizing and thanking her is long overdue.

2) It was the compassion of a surrogate who carried the IVF child to term and recognizing and thanking her is long overdue.

3) The biological father stepped in as the “primary care provider” for his IVF son out of love and because the spouse was still recovering from some very traumatic medical surgeries. He did not speak up but that does NOT mean he is NOT the primary care provider. When sickness is extended over a long period of time, it takes a toll on everyone in the family, not just the patient. Add to this the complexity of secrecy, lies, breaking the laws, crimes, lack of laws, and so on makes it only worse.

4) As far as laws go, our IVF son should not exist. So what should we do with him? Is that his fault? Do we punish him into IVF purgatory for life?

5) As far as the laws go, a US parent must have a genetic link to a child born outside the US, so how do infertile Americans bring a child born outside the US legally? Does this force infertile people to lie, cheat, fraud and/or abandon innocent children so that they can have a child at any cost?

6) It was the biological father who first agreed to IVF meaning he does NOT think that infertile people are any less of a parent. He is humble and so kept the “secret”. Secrecy, lies, crimes is what is bad parenting and bad as a human being. What if truth instead of lies were allowed, what if there was respect instead of secrecy, an immigrant couple from the US coming to India to have an IVF child with help of anonymous egg donor and surrogate delivering India’s and probably the world’s first IVF child of an intersex couple. That’s the truth. Should that be celebrated with truth and respect or twisted with secrecy and lies?

7) It may be convenient to lie to others including legal authorities about being a “biological mother” of an IVF child, but does it help the child? Does it help the IVF child out of legal limbo without changing the laws? Is that being a good mother?

8) It may be convenient to hide one’s intersex surgery, one’s intersex status but does that help other intersex, infertile people get equal rights without changing the laws? Does it help the spouse caregiver of intersex who suffered in silence because technically due to fraud medical records the surgery NEVER occurred, however the abuse, the violence is real just like yesterday even after all these years.

9) Apart from being a good parent, is it equally important to to see how a parent treats others kids when it comes to good parenting? What do you think the children of Ariel Castro are thinking about their parent? Abandoning an IVF sibling, a sister, and using her as leverage with full knowledge of lack of laws for IVF children and families, just to acquire effective sole custody of the IVF brother, what is that? Is that a mother? Is that a loving mother?

10) A mother is someone who gives unconditional love and also teaches the difference between right Vs wrong, truth Vs lies, respect Vs secrecy. By living in secrecy and forcing secrecy on others, other than breaking laws, one is disrespecting the contribution of others. It is NOT about right or wrong, as humans we all make mistakes; it is about being on the right path.

11) A loving mother and father taught their son to respect all, love his spouse dearly through thick and thin, and do the “right” thing. He stayed in an intersex marriage despite being illegal and having been frauded, he became a spouse caregiver of intersex despite 83% males leaving a spouse when diagnosed with a traumatic condition, he had a child through IVF despite immigrant, IVF fathers do not exist as per prevailing laws, he raised his IVF son as a primary care provider due to the spouse’s illness and kept it all a secret as the spouse wanted and what happens in return? An abandoned IVF daughter, split IVF siblings, loss of job, career, reputation, a life created with hard work over 21 years, innocent victims of fertility. It is one thing to abuse a male, a parent, an IVF parent (lack of laws) but to abuse his IVF children is a whole another issue. No parent can stay quiet.

This Mother’s day, let’s pray and hope what all mothers do which is to bless them and more importantly, bless their children and teach compassion. If a mother of an intersex child who may go to any lengths to ensure their infertile child gets a child at any cost, what should an IVF parent do for his IVF child? What we pray for is equal rights for IVF children and families, equal intersex rights because if they existed in 2000s then a person who happens to be intersex, infertile, immigrant would have not felt threatened enough to split IVF siblings but keep them UNITED as intended.

IVF – 21st Century Problem

While IVF was invented in the 20th century, its true potential will be felt in the 21st century. While humans live through their emotions, our lives areemotional-abuse run by laws and publicly we are forced to live hypocritically showing no emotions. A human being with no emotions is not a human being, so lets get real. While publicly we are not supposed to talk about “personal” issues, when laws are anti-children, like anti-IVF children, it is every parent’s right to make it personal because the lack of laws have made it personal. The question is – is it a “reactive” step or a “proactive” step – regardless of the intellectual debate, its the result that counts which is innocent, voiceless IVF children need a voice and equal rights in 21st century.

1) As an IVF parent, regardless of your status – all IVF children born abroad are subjected to restrictive immigration laws.

2) US laws require a genetic link between US parent and child born abroad, then how do infertile Americans legally bring a child born outside the US? Are they forced to fraud, lie, cheat? And what if that places innocent children in legal limbo? Not ALL infertile people lie, or cheat or fraud.

3) Laws in most countries are based on “genetic link” between a parent and child meaning the person who gave sperm or egg or gave birth (womb) would be held accountable for the welfare of the child by laws. Why are “non-biological” parents not treated equally?

4) If an intended IVF parent abandons an IVF pregnancy, then only the “biological parent” is held accountable and responsible, why not the “non-biological parent” also? If you want the “gift of the child”, then you should also accept responsibility for the welfare of the child regardless of “genetic link”, right?

5) A person can be a very good parent but that’s not the point. One has to take a hollistic approach. Ms. Ann Pettway was a good parent, and from what is reported, Mr. Ariel Castro was a good parent. But once the truth came out, they were both held accountable for their crimes. Where do you rank a person who abandons one child for another child? Where do you rank a person who abandons a sister for her brother? Where do you rank a person who alienates a brother from a sister that he wanted? Some infertile people, NOT ALL, do bizarre things in the white collar crime world to have a child at any costs, where do you fit in this international, immigrant, IVF conspiracy of the 2000s to have a child at any and all costs?

6) The prevailing laws do not allow an intersex person to marry, an infertile person who is an immigrant to bring a child born outside the US as per laws, and lets say someone consistently lies and breaks the laws, they have helped themselves, have the helped the innocent child? Has his rights been protected or has he been placed in legal limbo? Have they helped other intersex people to be able to marry legally, have they helped other infertile people to legally have an IVF child?

There are laws for domestic violence, domestic abuse, physical abuse. As we fast forward through the information age, mental health is going to become a critical aspect of hollistic care in 21st century. A human being’s health solution will become part of both physical health and mental health. There will be laws against mental abuse, mental violence, mental hardships irrespective of gender, nationality, immigration status, etc. There will be family caregiver rights. As humans, we move forward and using, abusing, and discarding people is NOT moving forward.

Just like the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has called for a STOP to intersex surgeries begun in the 20th century, for the same reason to split up IVF siblings, IVF families on the basis of 20th century archaic laws is also torture and abuse. To people who are still reading this, some may agree and some may not, but then again being an immigrant, intersex, IVF family in 2000s is too early for its time. It will take some time to sink in and understand how the secrecy and lies do not help anyone. And how the lack of laws ruin even the best of intentions. The lack of laws exist because of secrecy and lies. And this cycle has to be broken through education and awareness. In a democracy, any minority  gets equal rights only through support of the unaffected majority. That is civil disobedience as Gandhiji championed and then Dr. King and then Madiba – some parts of the 20th century worth taking with us into the 21st century.

Effects of Secrecy and Lies

There are long ranging effects of secrecy and lies especially ones that breaks the laws. Gandhiji was proud to call himself as the “God’s Eunuch for the nation” and it is fitting that 67 years after independence that Gandhiji fought for, the Indian Supreme Court has given rights to Eunuchs. It is good to see the progress for the third gender when Indian secrecy-lies-closet-ivfSupreme Court recognized the rights of the “third gender”. This proves two things – 1) Third gender exists and its not a myth and its just a matter of time before others also follow like the US, UK, etc. (2) The rights of third gender did not exist before now and when will there be rights for spouse and innocent children of a third gender marriage who are equally affected by the lack of laws. What about the rights of a spouse and innocent children of a third gender marriage? Is the lack of laws adversely affecting the individual who third gender and also the spouse and children of a third gender marriage? What if a spouse and children have given the human rights to a third gender person which the court has only done now, do the spouse and children also have human rights and who protects them? An individual can be a great parent while they may be the worst criminal – two roles, same individual. Ariel Castro, the infamous father who apparently was a great parent but had abducted and tortured innocent girls including some knew his own children. No one could believe that Ariel Castro was the same person as depicted in the news or as facts started pouring out. A life of secrecy and lies is very troubling for anyone. It is one thing to abuse an adult but to abuse an innocent child leaving them in legal limbo is whole another issue and the truth has to come out to get justice for innocent children. If a mother stays silent through the abuse, is the best solution to split her children because she failed to report the abuse? Is that creating more victims and punishing the innocent? At the end of the day, parent-child relationship is a matter of heart between two individuals and not what the law or court thinks. US laws do not recognize parents of IVF children who do not have a genetic link as parents, does that mean its true?

If one has lied about their marriage, then how can they ask for justice when they wake up?  If one has lied about their child having been born naturally when in fact it is through IVF, how can one ask for justice when they wake up? If one has stayed silent about their second IVF child and when that child gets abandoned, how can one ask for rights of the innocent abandoned child? If one has stayed silent through the abuse, criminal acts, breaking the laws, then how can one expect justice when they wake up? If a rape victim or a sexual abuse victim reports the facts after years of trauma and abuse, does that mean it didn’t occur even if statute of limitations may have passed? The effects of secrecy and lying are long-term and they stay with the victim forever. No amount of apologies even from a Pope may be enough. Acceptance of facts is the FIRST thing because first there was the crime which followed by years of denial and persecution of victims. Victims of white collar crime like victims of Bernie Madoff or other fraud victims or victims of sexual abuse from clergy are same as victims of an international, intersex, immigrant, IVF fraud. There is no objection to intersex or immigrant or IVF, it happens that this triple whammy has no laws and when someone frauds innocent IVF siblings of growing up together, the facts have to be stated for two main reasons – 1) Change the laws so other immigrant, or IVF, or intersex families don’t have to use secrecy and lies and victimize innocents. (2) Two innocent IVF siblings deserve better than being punished in legal limbo for crimes they did not commit.

Lying about an intersex marriage as an heterosexual marriage is ignoring the facts, especially when intersex marriages are illegal but heterosexual marriages are not. An illegal marriage affects both spouses – intersex spouse and the non-intersex spouse.  Further, other intersex people still cannot legally marry if they want to be honest. A life of dishonesty leads to other issues including adversely creating innocent victims out of others.

Calling an intersex surgery as “removal of ovaries” is ignoring the facts, especially when other intersex people have to move court to get the same surgery done while if one lies, they get away with it including the insurance fraud since insurance does not cover such surgeries.

If one were honest about an intersex surgery, it would have allowed to know that it is torture and very traumatic and as per the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, it should be stopped. However, it requires one to be honest first. There is no doubt it is torturous being a first-hand witness as a spouse caregiver of intersex, what is it for the spouse and child of an intersex marriage recovering from intersex surgery in silence?

Infertile people in the US cannot legally bring a child born outside the US without a “genetic link”, so they may “marry fraudulently with a fertile person” or steal a child or kidnap a child or abandon one IVF child in a foreign land while abducting their IVF Sibling in another country. Isn’t it better to ask for equal rights instead? Why victimize and punish innocent children? Why be an Ariel Castro?

A life of lies cannot be lived forever. A life of white collar crimes cannot be lived forever. A life of alienating innocent siblings cannot be lived forever. It is time for change but with honesty. Giving human rights to others in the privacy of your own four walls is not advisable especially when intersex people lack basic human rights like marriage rights, fertility rights, immigration rights, etc. Instead we continue our struggle to give the same human rights to all but do it so publicly because that’s how our society works.  Don’t try this at home, kids! seriously or the biggest victims will be your innocent, voiceless kids.

After Five Failed IVF Attempts, An IVF Sibling is Abandoned

It’s a wonderful life, the American dream of an immigrant. Come to the US for education, get a job, work hard, get a home, get a family, have children Failed-IVF-Learningand live happily everafter. Wrong…if you are a proud IVF father like Maulik, these are not your rights and worse, neither are they rights of your innocent IVF children. More than the material comforts, more than an academic education at the highest levels, one thing America teaches is all humans are equal and all have an opportunity to live freely. One should have the courage to say the truth and fight for what’s right. Whether these “ideals” hold true for an immigrant, IVF father part of an intersex family in 2014 or whether he and his innocent, voiceless IVF children will be persecuted remains to be seen. After 5 failed IVF attempts, one cannot ask an IVF father to just abandon his IVF child. She is very much wanted. Maulik can come to America but not without his daughter as was intended.

When someone is a criminal who breaks laws, it is not about their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, it is about the person having criminal intent. Abandoning an IVF child is wrong today and regardless of any future laws passed, abandoning children will remain criminal and a crime against the humanity of the innocent child. It is one thing to abuse a man for being born a man but to abuse his IVF children is whole another issue. The trauma of an IVF journey unfolds in different ways for every person going through it – fertile or infertile, male or female, donor or surrogate, and yes most importantly the IVF child! For an intended parent to have given consent for an IVF child and not declare the IVF pregnancy in a divorce filing is ignoring their basic rights as a human being and using them as a “tool” in the war on fertility. The innocent, voiceless IVF child is NOT A TOOL. What next, create clones for heart transplants because the patient needs a heart and when the heart is removed from the clone, let the clone die? No, the clone also has human rights because they are born human.

Follow your heart -its the inside that counts, right? In any person’s life, in any person’s married life, the true test comes when one of the spouse is struck with a traumatic situation. Will the other spouse or partner stay in the relationship, offer support to a fellow human being, even become a caregiver if need be? It is not the material benefits like a house, cars, luxury, etc. that make up a life, when a human is in need, the one thing they MOST VALUE is support of a fellow human being. Does being a young, male, spouse caregiver of an intersex patient who just had intersex surgery count?

One of the WORST ways you can hurt a fellow human being is by hurting their innocent, voiceless children. It is not ruining a person financially, legally, or even killing them, when you abuse someone’s children with NO JUSTICE, a person breaks down and is living dead but has to continue living for the sake of their victimized children. Is alienating one IVF sibling from rest of his loving, biological family AND abandoning another IVF sibling in legal limbo count as the worst way to treat a human being in a white collar crime? Would water boarding of an adult which has been called as a torture be better than this because the real victims here are innocent IVF siblings who are being punished for crimes they did not commit.

For any parent, injustice and abuse against their children is intolerable. If parents speak up not using the “R” word for their children or wanting inclusion in school activities for all children or wanting a foot bridge over a bayou for their children on their way to school, is it too much to ask for an IVF parent to have proper LEGAL status for their IVF children? Only if a person has proper legal identity then they have legal rights until then they have no legal rights because they legally do not exist even though they exist physically.