There is a wonderful book and ALSO adapted as a movie called “The Girls Who Went Away” by Ann Fessler. If you have not checked it out, you should. Not only its a wealth of information but also will help you understand the traumatic experiences of innocent women and children who were forcefully separated from each other WITHOUT you having to experience it yourself. What was their only FAULT?
The era is referred to as the “baby scoop era” from about 1940s to 1970s until Roe V. Wade effects came about. Later as TRUTH and FACTS were allowed to be discussed instead of SECRECY and STIGMA, more laws followed like “safe haven laws” where mothers could drop of an infant WITHOUT facing any charges. This provided safety and security for the women and also kept the best interest of the infant. The law also acquiesed that unwanted pregnancies occur and rather than dealing with secrecy and stigma, it is better to deal with it honestly and provide “safe haven” both for the woman and the child. Such is the POWER to deal with TRUTH and FACTS.
In decades that followed, there have been vehement battles for pro-choice or pro-life movements. We are NOT going to discuss that here. Rather, it is important to point out that because the TRUTH was allowed to come out, we have both the pro-life and pro-choice movements, something the “girls who went away” NEVER DID! Regardless of your position on pro-life or pro-choice, the FACT that one has ability to discuss this openly is way FARTHER than lot of other people made it. We have the option to DISAGREE with each other but at least we have the freedom to express ourselves WITHOUT OPPRESSION and FORCED SILENCE. Let us be thankful for the times to allow us a free society where freedom of expression is allowed if NOT valued.
Is history REPEATING itself? In an in vitro fertilization (IVF) case, are IVF parents being FORCED to give up their IVF child? As an IVF father, I was left for dead but I am fortunate for the love and support from family to have survived and am alive.
IVF Parents Who Are Forced To Go Away
IVF presents multiple possibilities starting with 8 different scenarios to assign parentage. Do prevailing laws capture all these scenarios? In the absence of laws, there flagrant violations not to mention the deep trauma left on IVF parents already traumatized by infertility. IVF also for the first time probably allows “only men” to be recognized as legal parents of an IVF child, do we have the equivalent “safe haven” laws for IVF children and families? Regardless of our personal beliefs of “pro-IVF” Vs. Adoption Vs. “no-IVF” Vs. childless, IVF children have been born and they are in this wonderful world with us, do we give IVF children EQUAL rights as human beings or NOT? It beckons our conscience as a human being to do “something”.
1) “Case of NO LEGAL MOTHER” – If a gay couple or two genetic males “commission” an IVF pregnancy, who are the parents? Depending on the laws, the answers are different. The FACT is ONLY one parent can be a “biological parent”. The FACT is without an egg donor and surrogate, a gay couple or two genetic males CANNOT have an IVF child. During the course of IVF pregnancy, what if one of the male partner DECIDES no longer to have the IVF child. Can either parent ask for “abortion”? Do they have “pro-choice” or “pro-life” rights? Are there “safe haven” rights in the best interest of the child and the left-behind IVF parent? Are there social organizations who advertise and spread awareness of such issues and provide support and help to the destitute IVF parents?
2) “Case of Donors” – In international IVF/surrogacy cases, depending on the laws where you reside, a “biological link” is a MUST to overcome immigration laws which is established through DNA test. What if a woman who used donor eggs and sperm but her own womb to carry the IVF child to term, is she a parent? The immigration laws DO NOT think so because she has “no biological link”.
3) “Legal recourse for medical errors” – What if an IVF clinic in India accidentally swaps the sperm or egg samples and as a result the IVF child will have “no biological link” with the “commissioning IVF parents” from the US. As a result, the IVF child CANNOT immigrate back to the US as per prevailing laws. Should the IVF parents be FORCED to give up the child or MOVE to an unknown country, India, for sake of the child? What are the RIGHTS of the child and the IVF parent? IVF clinics are run by humans and humans make mistakes, accidents happen. Should the IVF clinic NOT have been honest and forthcoming about their “inadvertent error”. Are the prevailing laws forcing people to LIE and live in SECRECY? How does secrecy help anyone?
4) “Rights of Donors and Surrogates” – The most important part. Regardless of our personal beliefs about sexual orientation, single parenting, non-biological parenting, traditional parenting the FACT is to make a child, one needs sperm, egg, and a womb. What are the RIGHTS of the donors and surrogates in making an IVF child? If a surrogate has a COMPLICATION during an IVF pregnancy and the medical advise is only one life can be saved, do we save the IVF child or the surrogate? If the IVF pregnancy goes as planned, after the birth, what are the rights of the donors and surrogates with the child? Some may want to remain anonymous, are those rights honored? Some may want to be a part of the IVF child’s life, are those rights honored?
In each case, unless we start discussing the FACTS and TRUTH, how will we get to a solution? The absence of LAWS in the IVF space is creating a “wild west” approach which is NOT in the BEST INTEREST of the IVF CHILDREN and families.
It is a FACT that IVF parents are being FORCED to go away from their IVF children in secrecy with NO RELIEF for the VICTIMS. This is not what our community and society is about. We are better than that. Only through truth, facts, open discussion shall we arrive at a solution. Secrecy and lies will NEVER help anyone in the long-term, rather only create MORE VICTIMS.