Tag Archives: Ethics

In the War on Fertility, its the result that should count – the IVF child

Happy Children’s Day where two lovely IVF siblings were born through compassion of others but are willfully separated and have NEVER met. Let us hope this children’s day the rights of a child are placed FIRST and they are protected from misintended adults who want to abuse and deny them their rights for the selfish benefit of an adult. A child is a child but the laws are different for “natural born” Vs. “IVF” child and we are forced to talk about it separately. In an ideal world, all children are equal, when will this be true for an IVF child?

Lets dedicate an IVF children’s day to people like Dr. Subhash Mukherjee, India’s first doctor to successfully deliver an IVF child and the world’s second doctor (missing it by 67 days) to achieve the same. Both him and the Nobel Laureatte, World’s first doctor, Dr. Robert Edwards to deliver an IVF child are both about GIVING a child and NOT TAKING a child. Let us place child’s rights ahead of everyone else including misintentioned adults who commit crimes. Taking candy from a baby is easy but what have you proven? Denying the rights of an IVF child is easy but have you made it better or worse for others to follow?Equal Rights for IVF Children

What if you are attempting to build a family through IVF, is it a crime?

What if you have multiple IVF failed attempts, will you keep trying to have an IVF child?

What if after all those attempts, financial, emotional ups and downs, you have a lovely IVF child, will you abandon them?

Welcome to the world of IVF. Roughly, a little over 1% of all births are through IVF as per CDC. There are no known statistics on how many IVF births are abroad for a US parent. The point is its a minority and therefore very few people know about it. With changing lifestyles, people attempting IVF is only going to increase. Are the laws equipped to handle the IVF scenarios? More importantly, are innocent, voiceless IVF children protected under the laws from some misintended adults? Some clarifications on IVF :

1) As per US laws, all children born abroad are subjected to US Immigration laws.

2) A “genetic link” is required between a child born abroad and the US parent. So how do infertile people who cannot have a genetic link bring a child born outside the US legally? Kinda reminds me of the French revolution when the king said, “If they can’t afford bread, let them have cake”. Should infertile Americans be forced to break laws and convert unsuspecting fertile individuals into criminals?

3) The lack of laws for IVF children affects everyone – straight, gay, lesbian, intersex, white, black, hispanic, asian, other races, male, female, married, single, anyone trying to have a child through IVF! The worst affected is the innocent IVF child.

Use Cases :

1) If you are in an infertile marriage, as a heterosexual couple if you are to have an IVF child, depending on the infertility situation, you may use your “genetic” material as the laws define, either your own sperm or your own egg. What if it gets SWAPPED? Both intended parents are US Citizens, one is infertile, and the other who gave their “genetic material” accidentally got swapped by the IVF clinic abroad. This is NO fault of the IVF child, the US parents. But the law says, one of the US parents MUST have a “genetic link” to the child. Really? Do the parents care? Does the child care? Isn’t it just about being able to love and hold a child and raise them with love and care? Isn’t that enough?

2) If you are single, biologically, you need your own “genetic material” as per laws to have a child. What if you are infertile and single, SOL as per laws.

3) If you are gay or lesbian or intersex couple, biologically, only one can contribute, and if there is a DNA mismatch or the”genetic parent” abandoning the IVF child then the “left-behind parent” is SOL as per laws. Even if a “non-genetic parent” wants to love and raise a child, the law will ask them to do it in exile outside the US because they lack a “genetic link” with the chid.

There are some more use cases. The most important use case is the legal status of the IVF child. Regardless of how we get there, the result is a “stateless” IVF child. Does the child have rights? Can they live freely and have a legal identity? Was the every intention of the intended parent to bring the child to the US and raise them with love and care as a proud American? Then why this torture based on archaic 20th century laws?

We can pontificate on ethics of IVF, we can pontificate on US Immigration laws, we can pontificate on LGBTI marriages, we can pontificate on straight marriages, we can pontificate on racial discrimination, but we CANNOT continue to pontificate while we continue to discriminate against innocent IVF children and families. We CANNOT pontificate while we continue to discriminate against innocent IVF children for actions of their parent(s) – that is casteist. We CANNOT pontificate while innocent, voiceless IVF children are languishing in legal limbo with no justice. We CAN pontificate on rights of a child (any child including IVF) once the innocent child’s welfare and rights have been restored. To ignore the issues of an IVF child is to ignore the best in humanity – compassion of others to bring about the IVF child into this wonderful world.

Bridging the Gap Between Morals, Ethics, Laws in IVF

Is there a difference between morals, ethics and laws? Or maybe the better question to ask is there a difference between immorality, unethical and ethics-morals-laws-ivfillegal? In most situations, everyone knows this happens and people are willing to let it slide. Maybe you saw someone misbehave with a lady and you let it slide or some people may not consider infidelity as unethical or immoral and it certainly is legal. While as adults we may let things slide as “none of my business” or “to each their own” or “I must do something”, as parents we have to ACT and teach our children the difference between right and wrong, the difference between morals, ethics, and laws. When it comes to children, should all three be the SAME? Or is that what the intent is for parents? Or should there be a “GAP” between morals, ethics, laws when raising good children – our future?

Historically, the morality gauge of a society changes first, then ethics, and finally the laws. Like over time people accepted gay rights to where there are laws. In the modern times it has taken a few decades for this. When will it be time to have social acceptance and equal laws for IVF children and families?

As per laws, a genetic link is required between a US parent and a child born outside the US. Therefore, an infertile US person cannot get a child (like an IVF child) born outside the US legally into the US. That would be breaking the law and is illegal. While finding someone who IS fertile, have an IVF child, get the IVF child into the US and then dump the fertile parent and alienating the innocent child from the biological parent is OK for the child? Is that immoral and illegal? Or what if a lawyer who helps an infertile immigrant pull this conspiracy off by abandoning an innocent IVF child in India who is the sibling of the child (that he wanted) the infertile person claims to love. Is that unethical, immoral and illegal from the IVF children’s perspective? A lawyer may have been “ethical” to their client but what about the fact that they helped in abandoning an IVF child and making them “legally invisible”? If a lawyer finds out their client has broken the law and especially where the welfare of a child is endangered, what are the ethics, morals and laws of disclosing that to the court and/or appropriate authorities? What is it to treat an innocent, IVF infant like a “tool”? What is it to use an innocent IVF sister as a “tool” against her IVF brother? Do innocent IVF children who are born have equal rights as other children?

We always hear “the best interest of the child”. What is the “best interest of children” in splitting two lovely innocent IVF brother and sister?

Is abandoning a natural born child different than IVF child? It should not be  but legally it is different. IVF children end up in legal limbo. What are the rights of the IVF child who was consented to by an adult but later the adult decided against it? What should one do with the abandoned IVF child? Unlike natural births, IVF births are deliberate and planned and comes with a more heightened sense of responsibility and accountability towards the IVF child, the donor and surrogate. When you abandon an IVF child, you are also abandoning the humanity of others including the donor and surrogate.

Are the needs of a natural born child any different than an IVF child? There shouldn’t be any difference but legally it is different. While it is a crime to abandon a natural born child, there is NO crime to do so with an IVF child (wonder if human cloning is ever allowed, is this what people will do?). While an adult will be held accountable and responsible for abandoning a natural born child, the abandoning IVF parent has no obligation towards the IVF child. Is that because the IVF child has been made “legally invisible”? It that ethical and moral and illegal against the innocent child?

Do the right thing – thats what we tell our children. Here are a few things done right:

1) DO NOT give human rights to others in private, be vocal and be public about it. The person receiving the “equal treatment” (where government itself falls short like gay rights, intersex rights, fertility rights, immigration rights) may turn it around against you. Is that immoral, unethical and illegal?

2) DO NOT break the laws for your spouse. Love, compassion, help are all one-way streets and those things are not returned to you. If you show love, compassion, help to others where laws itself fall short, when the lies are used against you, no one will help you and instead hold you “equally accountable.” Is that moral, ethical and legal? The only crime committed is not reporting the crimes which is not same as committing the crimes or intent to commit crimes.

3) DO NOT get blackmailed by liars and criminals who break laws. They will get in trouble and so will you. Worse, your innocent, voiceless IVF children may get in trouble too for no fault of theirs other than to be born IVF.

4) The RIGHT thing to do is to educate and advocate for equal rights and let the government do the right thing by passing equal rights and laws so you can also follow laws. Trying to do the “right thing” on your own like helping an infertile person have a child when it is not allowed legally, or being married to an intersex person when it is not allowed legally, or sponsoring immigration of an intersex spouse when it is not allowed legally, it will only get you in trouble and worse your innocent children in trouble. These crimes are so heinous that it pales the abuse, domestic violence and cruelty and suffering that one may have endured in trying to give equal rights to an immigrant intersex person.