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The Father’s Day I Was Forced to Miss

Every IVF journey is unique in its own way. Regardless of the fertility issues, the wanting to have a child is common to being a human not whether youfathers-day-ivf are fertile or infertile or married or unmarried or male or female. That’s why our society allows heterosexuals, singles, married, gays, lesbians and whatever other segmentation to be loving parents. Good parenting is based on being a good human being and not your gender or your sexual orientation or you immigration status. For any IVF parent – whether they are successful or not with an IVF child, wanting to have a child is innate and tugs at every emotion that a human is known to have. Then why can’t an IVF father celebrate Father’s Day on becoming a happy father? The Father’s Day I NEVER had.

It was ten years ago, my first child was born through IVF, a lovely son. He was born a few days ahead of Father’s day that year BUT I could not celebrate and jump with joy for my child because the SECRET might be out that my spouse is infertile. I was forced to miss my First Father’s Day. Today, the lies have caught up because my innocent IVF children are paying the price for it and it is time to speak up for their sake. Due to my spouse’s infertility and respecting that, I am the biological father and with help of compassionate egg donor and surrogate, we were blessed with a lovely IVF son. But the IVF was a secret and we could not tell anyone because the infertile spouse did not want to reveal to anyone about the infertility. To the select few, we could talk about surrogacy but under NO circumstances we could reveal that there was NO BIOLOGICAL LINK between the infertile spouse and the IVF child because god forbid, what if people find out the truth? Of course, due to the LIES, not only the innocent child got placed in LEGAL LIMBO but ended up disrespecting the compassion of the egg donor and surrogate for not giving them due credit. As the saying goes, when you live with a criminal who breaks laws, you pick up bad habits. Having a child through IVF is not a bad habit, LYING and continuing to LIE is the bad habit. Infertility is NOT bad, it is natural. How one deals with infertility is what is bad like secrecy and lies for personal advantage.

  • Can an IVF father be allowed to celebrate his child’s birth?
  • Can an IVF father be allowed to share his emotions from a traumatic IVF journey?
  • Can an IVF father be allowed to enjoy the company of all his IVF children as he wanted?
  • Should the innocent children of an IVF father be discriminated because of the gender of their father?
  • Is infertility so traumatic that the ONLY way to solve it is by SPLITTING innocent IVF siblings?
  • Is infertility so traumatic that the ONLY way to solve it is by alienating an IVF father from his lovely son and vice versa?
  • As a fertile IVF father, I have STARED infertility in its face. I know infertility. I have tried to defeat infertility. I know the trauma. I know the emotions. I know the lack of laws. I know that it is the LOVE and CHARACTER of a parent that counts and NOT the gender or genetic link of a parent with a child like the laws demand.
  • IVF is meant to help with infertility. Regardless of the trauma of infertility, what is happening to innocent IVF children who are siblings is far MORE traumatic. I am their IVF father and I intend to protect my IVF children and get them their rights. This fight is NO different than slavery, women suffrage, Brown Vs. Board of education, civil rights, gay rights, transgender rights, and now IVF rights. Personally I believe that over the history, every social struggle has needed a catalyst like Rosa Parks. Who is the Rosa Parks for IVF? Who is the Harvey Milk for IVF? Who is the Laverne Cox for IVF?

A shout out to all fathers – IVF, white, black, brown, blue, maroon, single, married, divorced, straight, gay, intersex, otherwise – Have a Happy Father’s Day and may you NEVER be forced to MISS a father’s day.

As another year goes by and with tears in my eyes as I get cake and card for my alienated son on father’s day and his birthday (they happen to be very close, if you recall), I wonder why should a brother be SPLIT from his sister, why should a son be separated from his IVF parent and what did all the lies achieve? Divorces are not new, they happen. But should the “best interest of the child” be maintained in any divorce? Should innocent IVF children be placed in legal limbo due to divorce? Should innocent IVF siblings be SPLIT? Should innocent IVF children be abandoned with no recourse for justice? If you consent to IVF, you are responsible for welfare of the IVF child – simple. Not the donor, not the surrogate, not the IVF clinic, not the orphanage where the innocent IVF child may end up, but the consenting IVF parent has to be held accountable and responsible. Its a new century and the crimes are new, have the laws caught up yet for IVF children and families?

 

Helping is a SIN, Being Compassionate is a Crime for your IVF Children

In 2014, it is still a crime for a father to have IVF children with help of compassionate egg donor and surrogate. It is such a heinous crime that his IVF father-sin-ivf-children-crime-compassion-helpchildren must be punished by splitting them. It is such an atrocious crime for a parent to have children that the only way to resolve it is by splitting the IVF siblings and splitting an innocent child from his primary care provider. It is such a barbaric crime that the innocent, voiceless IVF children deserve to be in IVF purgatory with denial of their rights as a human being as they are “legally invisible”. It is such an heinous crime to be compassionate and helpful towards fertility that a fertile parent must choose between two IVF children on two different continents! The Nazi lifestyle from Sophie’s Choice is a stark reminder of the barbaric choices a parent is forced to make among their children whom they love equally. Secrecy and stigma are the real culprits. In honest cultures, the genetic father gets sole custody of both IVF siblings provided there is no fraud, conspiracy, lies or breaking laws.For those who want to pontificate about how “offensive” it is to talk about someone’s infertility need to first deal with infertility in a marriage without the “I”, what is offensive is to “commodify” innocent IVF children and deny them basic human rights, dignity and respect of a human being. Regardless of who you are, as a parent, it behooves you to speak up when your child does not get the basic human dignity and respect they deserve. That is not offensive, that is stating facts. And if you do not like the truth, maybe you shouldn’t have committed such horrible crimes. The US laws require a “genetic link” between a parent and a child born outside the US, then how will infertile parents get a child legally? Is helping an infertile person a SIN? Is it so terrible that their child should be taken away from them? Is it so terrible that their child should be split from his siblings? Is it so terrible that an innocent child has to be abandoned in order to get her brother as a trophy of an infertile person? Do children have rights? Are children human beings? Or are IVF children “manufactured” people purely for the whims of people? What’s next, human cloning and skip IVF? If you are infertile, you do IVF for a child and if you need a heart or a kidney or a liver, you do human cloning, right? In plane flights, passengers with small children are given preference in seating, but no similar compassion for IVF children who are in legal limbo? When crossing the street with children, traffic stops to let the children cross but no similar treatment for IVF children in legal limbo? When children are abused within the four walls of a home, it is a crime but no similar treatment for abusing and silencing IVF children?

The issue here is stereotypes and bias being used against innocent children. The issue here is lack of laws for IVF children and families has been maliciously used against the children. The issue here is it is one thing to silence and abuse an adult but when you abuse someone’s child(ren), then the parent speaks up against the atrocities and crimes regardless of whether one is immigrant, IVF, intersex, infertile, straight, gay, lesbian, white, black, Asian, whatever. Don’t mess with Texas, don’t mess with children of a loving parent. Where is the justice for an abandoned child? Where is the justice for a brother wanting a sibling? Where is the justice for a sister wanting to meet her big brother? Where is the basic human dignity and respect that every child deserves? No more discrimination based on birth type.

As a member of an immigrant, intersex, infertile family, we had children through IVF – probably a dream come true for most intersex people. What has the government done to pass laws to make all this legal so that ALL intersex, infertile, immigrants can also ENJOY the same? Is splitting innocent IVF siblings the ONLY way to achieve this? Where is the legislative help when we need it if not in the adults best interest than at least in the best interest of the children?  Don’t try to give human rights within the confines of your private home; do it publicly. Because when laws cannot guarantee basic human rights to an immigrant, intersex, IVF family, the same lack of laws can be used against your humanity to be helpful, compassionate and understanding. The very ideals that you stand for can be turned around against you. If the US justice system believes that infertile parents deserve children then why aren’t their laws in sync in the best interest of the child? That way infertile people do not have the need to break the laws and manipulate the justice system for personal, selfish ulterior motives which places innocent children at risk and in legal limbo. That way when well-intentioned parents of IVF children born outside the US have an unforeseen “DNA mismatch”, they can still bring their child to the US and raise them lovingly rather than breaking laws or living in exile. Or should we punish the innocent, voiceless IVF children for crimes they did not commit by sticking them in an orphanage? That would be “commodifying”. It is already happening, question is when will we wake up?

In an intersex marriage, only one spouse is fertile. If they do IVF then they use an egg donor and a surrogate using the husband’s sperm. Legally, the child born out of this arrangement is termed “child born out of wedlock”. Why? There is a term in the English dictionary and it is OFFENSIVE. Why is this offensive language denigrating all IVF children still on the law books in 2014? Does this mean all intersex, infertile couples children are “child born out of wedlock”? Are there legal ramifications, stigma, secrecy on the innocent IVF child? Its a vicious circle – due to secrecy and stigma, there is not enough education and awareness and therefore it is not a political issue and therefore there is no need to change the offensive and unequal prevailing laws for IVF children and families. It is 2014 and it is time to speak up looking ahead at the 21st century. It is time to have equal rights for IVF children and families. It is time to have a dream when the love and character of a parent will count more than the biology and gender of a parent both in family courts and immigration courts so that the justice system is NOT MANIPULATED. Results count and the current result is a brother separated from a sister he wanted, a girl child who was abandoned, aging grandparents who cannot see their first grandson, a grandson who cannot see his aging grandparents, a father who was abused and silenced for showing love, compassion and help, two innocent children who are subjected to the same REPEAT strategy of silence, secrecy, lies and abuse. No More. The IVF children are humans too and deserve EQUAL human rights, not secrecy and lies. We tried the approach of secrecy and lies and it is horrendous, traumatic and heinous.

Is it a crime to be compassionate to an intersex person? Legally intersex people cannot marry. Until 2013, LGBTI immigration of spouses was not legal in the US, so what if someone lied and frauded the government before then? Some intersex people have to go through a very traumatic surgery which the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in 2013 called for a stop. If its “torture” for the intersex person, is there any trauma or torture on the spouse and children of intersex marriage when the surgery is done during the marriage? If the spouse stayed quiet and showed compassion as a spouse caregiver, is that such a big crime that not only he suffered abuse as a silent caregiver but now it needs to be repeated on his innocent children by splitting the siblings? Was it wrong to stay silent? Was it wrong to show compassion?

It is a miracle that the spouse has survived. The reasons why an intersex person is suicidal are the exact same reasons why an abused spouse caregiver of an intersex person may die. To have the trauma, secrecy, lies, abuse being repeated on his innocent IVF children by splitting them up calls for a change, one cannot stay quiet in the best interest of the children. The case is not about IVF, it is not about intersex, it is not about compassion, it is not about being helpful, it is not about love, it is not about infertility, it is about LIES, LIES, LIES. And any parent, IVF or not, when it comes to their child will say the truth if they truly love their child. Children also grow up one day into adults. While they may be brainwashed and alienated but as a parent we want to give a better world for our children. I have a dream that by the time the IVF children grow up, there will be equal rights for IVF children and families.

IVF in 2014, Could this be You?

The gap in IVF laws is like placing a staircase in front of a wheelchair bound person. 

We are turning a page from 2013 to 2014 with our own wish list as IVF families. Most people say that changing the laws is very long and a very laboriousIVF 2014 laws change process but it is worth it for innocent children. We do not expect miracles but we do expect equality in the America we know and want. If you are planning for IVF, welcome you are part of the IVFHood but could this happen to you if you attempt affordable IVF outside the US or should you remain childless as a middle-class infertile or dysfertile American?

1) What if the sample is accidentally swapped in the IVF clinic outside the US resulting in a DNA mismatch?

2) What if you are  a US citizen woman who uses donor sperm and egg and her own womb to have IVF children outside the US? You carry the IVF children to term in your own womb for 9 months, you love and care for the IVF children like any mother but you have no “genetic link” as per the US laws.

3) What if you are an immigrant father who uses his biological sperm, egg donor and surrogate to have IVF children outside the US? You have a “genetic link” but “no US mother” since both the donor and surrogates are foreigners.

US immigration laws which are discriminatory and based on biology and gender of a parent rather than the love and character of a parent. The innocent IVF child cannot come to the US without a “genetic link”, what will you do as an IVF parent? The innocent IVF child has been rendered stateless and may face being given away to an orphanage simply because we as humans cannot agree on laws. Dehumanizing innocent children is not the answer.

  • You may not care whether the IVF child is not “genetically linked” to you as a parent but the laws and government do.
  • Will you bring the IVF child illegally to the US using smuggling routes?
  • Will you relocate to a foreign country were your IVF child is land-locked and raise them with love and care?
  • Will you abandon the IVF child in a foreign country and return to the US disappointed and depressed?
  • Such stateless/forcefully abandoned IVF children end up in orphanages, do they have human and child rights?
  • Will you join the fight to change the laws with the times and have equal rights for IVF children and families?

The gap in IVF laws is like placing a staircase in front of a wheelchair bound person. 

There are both sides of the debate. Some people (mostly who are fertile) say one should adopt rather than go for IVF. Maybe they are not aware of the stringent adoption laws just like they may not be aware of lack of IVF laws. Some people may say if you are born infertile maybe a divine power had a reason and should remain childless. But what if you are in an infertile marriage, should the other spouse who is fertile also remain childless? Is it wrong to help a fellow human being who is infertile? Some people maybe anti-IVF, to them we ask once the IVF child is born, should all children be treated equally and not be discriminated on their birth type? Should we punish innocent IVF children for crimes they did not commit?

2013 has been a great year for the LGBTI movement but there is lot more work to do. DOMA was struck down. Several states are approving laws to allow same-sex marriages. US Immigration laws allows same-sex couples to sponsor for their spousal immigration. The next logical step is to have children in a marriage. While as per CDC data, 1 in 6 couples are infertile in the US, 100% of all LGBTI couples and single parents can only have a child through adoption or IVF and only one parent may have a “genetic link” with the child as required by US Immigration laws. These instances of lack of laws for IVF children will only increase, where are the laws to protect the welfare of the innocent IVF children? Or should LGBTI families be denied children? Let us hope 2014 marks a beginning of a new era where the laws have caught up with technology and social acceptance. Let us hope “baby scoop era” is not repeated due to “social inacceptance”. Let us hope the humanitarians of the 20th century, Mahatma, MLK, Jr. and Madiba taught us a small slice in humanity for the 21st century.

Parent of IVF Nation

Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Nelson Mandela are some of the biggest humanitarian pioneers and inspirations of the 20th century. Both Dr. King and gandhi-king-mandibaMandiba have admitted Gandhiji as their mentor in principle. They all taught us a singular message that when it comes to human rights – its a long war but in the end truth always prevails. Their personal family lives suffer but they are “Father of the Nation”. While Dr. King may not have been awarded this title, he certainly changed the moral compass of an entire nation and USA being one of the most powerful nations in the world, he also ended changing the moral compass of the world just like Gandhiji and Mandiba.

  • Gandhiji – Right to Freedom
  • Dr. King – Right to Vote
  • Mandiba – Right to Vote
  • IVF Parent – Right to Fertility 

To take a note out of each humanitarian:

“Become the change you want to see in this world” – Mahatma Gandhi. Similarly, can there be laws and change for fertility rights so people don’t have to break laws?

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Dr. King. Similarly, is injustice to IVF child/family enough to make us want reproductive laws?

“If one can be taught to hate, then they can also be taught to love.” – Madiba. Similarly, if human-made laws can split families, can new laws be enacted to keep IVF families united?

We have a dream that one day there will be equal rights for IVF children and families including straight, single, LGBTI parents. In the 21st century, we have new challenges – gay rights, immigration rights, IVF rights, reproductive rights, and so on. The British ruled India for centuries and it took Gandhiji a few decades to achieve freedom with his honest and peaceful approach. Dr. King fought for civil rights for a few decades before realizing his dream. Mandiba took a few decades to be free of apartheid. Gay rights movements have fought for decades before getting some rights in 2013. Immigration rights have made some success stories but is not complete and continues to split families. Reproductive rights, IVF rights are not even on the radar to be addressed yet. Claiming reproductive rights only belong to women is retrogressive because innocent children of LGBTI families, single parents, non-biological parents get punished because of lack of foresight in the laws. Mothers will always be mothers and no one cant take that away. By acknowledging facts where families exist with children of single male fathers or gay fathers or where fathers are primary care providers we are addressing the rights of a child and not threatening “motherhood” in any way. In the 21st century, reproductive rights need to be inclusive and be free of 20th century stereotypes.

When the peaceful and honest freedom for reproductive rights for all will be complete, we will witness the same principles of Gandhiji, Dr. King and Mandiba having won.

  • When truth will triumph over lies,
  • When love and character of a parent will count more than their gender or biology with the child,
  • When facts will triumph over traditional stereotypes,
  • When love and compassion will triumph over secrecy and lies,
  • When innocent, defenseless IVF children rights will triumph the mistakes of adults,
  • When we can honestly respect another soul’s existence like ours – meaning we all deserve equal respect and dignity regardless of caste, gender, color, race, religion, birth type (natural or IVF), birth place.

We look forward to the day when the Parents of the IVF nation will be treated equally and their intent will be taken into account. We look forward to the day when innocent, defenseless IVF children will have equal protection under law.

  • If there is a DNA mismatch in having a IVF child and the parent still wants to raise the child, there should be laws to allow that and the parent should not be forced to give up the child.
  • If an infertile parent who cannot have a “biological link” with a child, there should be laws to still allow them to immigrate with a “non-biological” child instead of breaking the laws.
  • If a gay parent or single parent wants to raise a child, their gender or circumstances should not be used to punish his children to be split up growing up separately.
  • If a parent carries her IVF child to term but with donor egg and sperm and therefore “no biological link” with the child, there  should be laws to still allow them to immigrate as a “mother”.

Why is so much importance given to biology between parent-child by laws?

Does biology matter between a parent-child or is it the love for the child that counts? Is it the truth (love) that counts? If child abduction is a crime, is illegalValue-IVF-Children child retention also a crime? More importantly, what is the best interest of the child removed from biological family? With IVF children and its resident lack of laws creates unprecedented situations. Due to a cloud of secrecy and lies around infertility and IVF, there may be false documents created and passed of as “legal” but that does not make the documents valid. Further, it becomes very hard to say the truth because one may have lied several times and broken the laws in the past and by coming clean in the best interest of the child, there may be persecution once the truth is revealed about the fraud. We have to respect the prevailing laws and if we don’t like them, we petition for change in laws, but is breaking laws a crime? Why is so much importance given to biology between parent-child by laws? We need to protect innocent children even if a minority from IVFphiles – a new brand of criminal that places innocent IVF children in legal limbo.

1) Immigration laws in countries across the world are based on requiring a “biological link” between a parent and a child. Laws require biology and gender for immigration and splits families sometimes because the gender or biology may not match with a child. In a case of illegal retention of an Indian citizen IVF child in the US, have laws been followed? IVF procedures in the US give “preference to families that already have children by the same donor”, is that in the best interest of the child?

2) Recently, a worldwide hunt was launched to find a “biological link” with parents of a child. It seems that the only reason for suspicion was the “blonde girl” did not fit in with the parents raising her. Eventually the biological parents were found in Bulgaria based on scientific DNA tests. Is presenting fraud birth documents of an IVF child a crime, especially an IVF child who is illegally retained away from his only known biological family?

3) In another story, an IVF child’s US passport was revoked when it was revealed that there was suppression of facts about the child being born through IVF and there was “no biological link” with the parent. Why are the laws not followed consistently for all IVF children especially for children who are being illegally retained away from their only known biological family?

4) In another story, a US citizen mother was denied US passports for her IVF children because she did not have a “biological link” as she only carried them to term using donor eggs while a mother in the US was determined to be a mother who also had IVF children through donor eggs. Why the difference in the laws? Why is biology made so important?

5) In another story, A US couple was unable to take their IVF child to the US because there was an accident in the IVF clinic of sperm sample resulting in a DNA mismatch between the IVF child and the US Citizen father. The US government followed the laws of requiring “biological link” for an IVF child to immigrate ignoring that “accidents in technology” continue to occur due to no fault of the parents. Is the policy encouraging IVF parents to get fraud birth documents or false DNA tests? US is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, they can take a lesson from Madam Curie where accidents in science and technology should be appreciated and move forward, not be used as a tool for punishment due to lack of laws.

6) In another story in the US, a grandmother was arrested and charged because she presented fraud birth documents of her grandchild. She had a biological connection but not as a mother. But there is no legal action against a person illegally retaining an IVF child away from his biological family using false birth documents?

7) In another story in the US, a woman who abducted a child at 19 days old, Ms. Carlina White, discovered on her own of the fraud of her birth documents and led her to find her own biological parents. The woman who abducted the child, Ms. Petite, was charged and convicted admitted she wanted a child at any cost which she did, but what is the best interest of the child? Judge Kevin Castel presiding over the case said,

8) In another story, a US citizen father was united with his biological son from Brazil to live happily ever after as said by then US Secretary of State Clinton, “A child belongs with his [biological] family”. Where is the justice for an IVF child illegally being retained away from his only known biological family without telling him the truth. Where is the best interest of the child?

9) During the baby scoop era, lots of western countries, engaged in forced adoptions of innocent children because their only fault was being born to “single mothers” and its inherent “social inacceptability” at the time. Since then, there have been apologies from the governments and a valid voice from the children and the biological mothers who were coerced and forced to become an accomplice to the abduction of their own child. Is the discrimination being repeated against a different group of IVF fathers because we are in the “transition” of “social acceptance” of some fathers sharing equal parenting activities? Should “gay fathers” be banned parent rights simply because we as a society do think that “fathers” are less as a parent?

10) As a society, we should have every compassion for intersex people and infertile people. What about compassion for IVF children and families including donors and surrogates? The right answer is have equal laws and not break the laws. The right answer is to educate and spread awareness to get equal laws. We cannot go around breaking the laws and placing innocent IVF children in legal limbo. We cannot go around creating IVF children and then abandoning them for personal benefit without any responsibility or accountability for the welfare of the innocent IVF child. The IVF child is an equal human being and deserves and demands basic respect and dignity as  a human if not equal.

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