I am very thankful for having healthy and loving children – two through IVF and one naturally. Sadly, as a loving parent in 2014, one is still forced to differentiate between their children based on “birth type” not by choice but because thats how the laws view them. Ideally, a child is a child with no “adjectives”. We are thankful for thriving democracies like India and the US where petitioning the government for change peacefully is not met with intimidation, threats but rather free speech is respected. As an intersex, immigrant, IVF father in 2000s and with no IVF trauma crisis centers, it takes a while to pick up the pieces but one is thankful and hopeful for the world ahead. I am very thankful for the love and support of family who have literally provided a second birth both for me and my abandoned child. Another year, another year of being divided.
I am not anti-intersex or anti-infertility or anti-IVF or anti-immigrants, I just happen to be pro-truth. Just look at the body of work based on actions and not lies that people including the system wants to propagandize. As someone who stood at the edge of the war on intersex rights, at the edge of war on fertility and having amazingly survived one cannot let that voice be silenced. Non-genetic parents deserve compassion and rights but they also have responsibility and accountability. Unless the laws are there to protect innocent children, this vicious cycle of secrecy, lies, fraud, breaking laws, etc. will continue and create more innocent victims. One would have to take time and traverse 10 years it took for them to arrive into this wonderful world only to be willfully SPLIT. Rather than celebrating them, one is more engaged in “owning” them, rather than freeing them, one is more engaged in “restricting” them, rather than being THANKFUL for their existence, one is more engaged in “lying and disrespecting” them. There are lot better ways to help infertile people in this world than SPLITTING innocent IVF siblings – people (yes, they are human too with emotions!). For the rest of the world, it may just be “some children”, for us, they are our world.
The fundamental problem is that even in 2014, an intersex, infertile, immigrant cannot have a child legally. So what are they supposed to do? Lie, force others to lie, create fraud documents, split innocent children from their loving family, split siblings, placing innocent children in legal limbo, and on and on and on? The right answer is to stop this cycle of secrecy and lies and have equal rights including innocent IVF children and families. If equal intersex rights and equal fertility rights existed, my innocent children, SIBLINGS, would NOT have been split and uniting them is a lifelong dream and goal like any other parent’s.
Do “infertile” people exist or are the laws ignoring their needs? And if there should be laws for “infertile” people, should there also be laws for “dysfertile” people? More importantly, should laws provide an environment which fosters truth or is the lack of laws promoting an environment of secrecy, lies, fraud, false allegations? More importantly, how are the lies and breaking laws in “best interest of the child”?
The question is NOT whether a child being raised by a non-genetic parent is happy? The question is can he be happier? The question is what are his rights to be allowed to be grow up with a sibling he wanted? The question is what are his rights to grow up with his primary care provider? The question is why is he being DENIED what so many other children take for granted? Is he also a victim of the lack of laws for fertility just like his sibling and his loving biological parent? The answer to this question does not lie with some “expert” or a misguided system which later “apologizes” like they did for the baby scoop era, the answer lies with someone who has gone through it like Ms. Carlina White. The “need to know” is innate to any human, same reason why we innovate and the same reason we seek truth – nothing to do with intersex, or IVF, or immigration. When governments are stubborn with laws, innocent human beings suffer like slavery, women suffrage, civil rights, gay rights, etc. And it takes individuals to be “stubborn” and hold their ground peacefully and petition the government for change. When will we see IVF rights so people don’t have to resort to lying, cheating, frauding, breaking laws?
A fertile parent has already proven he is willing to SHARE his child with an infertile parent, now the ball is in their court, is an infertile parent willing to SHARE a child? Or will there be more LYING…we tried that and the result is innocent siblings being SPLIT, how will more lying resolve anything?
No one is claiming that life of an intersex, immigrant, infertile person is not traumatic – while others including experts can only give academic answers, a person who has lived the trauma alongside and be there every step of the way and survived knows this. But are there other victims too? Every murderer or rapist is also a son or daughter of someone, is also a brother or sister of someone, is also a spouse of someone. We have people who are “drive-by” experts and miss the devils in the details. They look at the “stereotypical” lens of only a man can be a perpetrator of domestic violence and abuse. Can he and his children also be victims? More importantly, when innocent children are victims of abuse, can they only get justice if the abuse was perpetrated by the “father”?
If there was no abuse on the spouse, then why after 10 years of forced silence and abuse, the survivor feels more closer and relevant to victims of Castro and Fritzl, feels more relevant to the biological parents who were taken away from their children during the baby scoop era, to the rape victims who are encouraged to “hush up” and “forget” instead of speaking up and reporting the crimes? To say to a survivor that they are “equal criminals” because they did not speak up during the phases of the crime is a “blame the victim” approach and like telling a rape survivor that they “enjoyed the rape”. NO ONE enjoys being raped. It’s a crime. It has taken decades if not centuries for women to get the strength and courage to speak up against the horrific crimes against them and for governments to pass laws and protect them. How long will it take for male survivors and their children to get laws and be protected? Step 1 is just allowed to be heard and perhaps in the next generation, we may have hope for laws.
I often hear statements like, “there is no respect for women”, or “there has to be gender equality”, or “equal pay for equal work”. I would like to add one more to this list, “there is NO respect for fertile partners and their children”. Splitting innocent children is a very unique way to show RESPECT.
Lying to a child is the “biggest child abuse” despite what the “experts” say. We should be listening to childhood trauma victims of lying like Ms. Carlina White and not “experts” and “system” who were ill-prepared to care for likes of Mr. Adam Lanza. The right answer is to have a “cross-functional” learning exercise with an open mind. And the point is “experts” are wrong and so is the system and pointing out facts should be taken as constructive criticism to build a better system. The system is NOT PERFECT, if it were there would be NO exonerations. To point this out is NOT disrespect but to show that a slice of the population is underserved and deserves equal rights and protection too. The important question is when a system has been manipulated, what message will the system send to not allow this to be repeated?
I have learnt that truth is maleable and it is not about the “best interest of the child”. If it were, the innocent IVF siblings would be united.
I have learnt that GIVING life is a crime. It’s not a message to raise children with but one should GIVE life with no fraud documents and without breaking laws and should ensure the rights of all lives are protected even if born illegally.
I have learnt that compassion is evil and innocent siblings should be punished for it but that’s not a message to raise children with. Compassion is right but takes time to come to fruition, what is wrong are the laws against IVF children and families and people who break laws for personal benefit.
I have learnt that helping a criminal even if forced under threats is also a crime. Then why are innocent IVF siblings being punished for crimes they did not commit?
If accepting lies and breaking laws for an intersex, immigrant, infertile under the name of “compassion” then where is the compassion for an abandoned IVF child and SPLIT innocent siblings and alienated child?
This story has been said before – government under the guise of “laws” taking away rights of people and unleashing indescribable injustice which would be considered anything but barbaric today. Slavery was legal but still wrong and barbaric, same for women suffrage rights, same for civil rights, same for apartheid, same for imperialism, colonization, same for gay rights, same for baby scoop era, same for transgender rights, and same for IVF rights.
I have no doubt when the facts of the case are evaluated with historical context, splitting innocent IVF siblings and punishing them for crimes they did not commit WILL NEVER be the right answer. Having laws so that their rights are protected ALSO will be the right answer.
Of course, if the siblings were UNITED, I may have held my silence for life like I was forced to during my ten years. It is one thing to take abuse as an individual but to have it extended to your children, any parent would speak up. And saying the truth is not breaking any laws at least not in a democracy we hope.