Tag Archives: I have a dream

IVF Prison – Restricting Freedom

pris·on : any place of confinement

IVF prison child

Thats the dictionary definition of prison. Using anti-LGBTI laws and anti-IVF laws, a commissioning parent has made an innocent, voiceless IVF child stateless and thus confining the biological parent where the child is – land locked and stateless with freedoms restricted.  There is sympathy for infertility but is the best solution to infertility to “land-lock”  innocent IVF siblings in legal limbo and force to live separately in IVF prison? As human beings when your freedoms are restricted especially illegally thats when one speaks up for the greater good. Especially when those freedoms are violated of innocent, voiceless children. After surviving death, the truth has to be heard as the silence is victimizing innocent children. 

Why is an innocent, voiceless IVF child rendered stateless? Why are we land-locked? Why are her freedoms being restricted? Do people in legal limbo have legal rights? When we see the innocent little girl, what is her crime to be in IVF prison? What crime has IVF parent committed to have a Nazi-like Sophie’s choice moment where he is forced to pick between two children? An IVF parent can roam about the world but his IVF daughter cannot. How can he go alone anywhere? Is it a crime to share an IVF child with a non-biological parent? or is it a crime to lie and break the laws while doing so? Who is going to address the issues of abuse by the non-biological parent? Ours is a plea for compassion on humanitarian grounds, who is listening? Having “baby IVF laws” is the right answer instead of continued persecution and forced silence. The right answer is to acknowledge the facts and move forward to a solution. It is a decade of secrecy and lies which has gotten into this mess and only truth can lead us forward. Freedom from statelessness. 

It is not whether an infertile or dysfertile or intersex or gay or straight person deserves a child, its about a good parent deserves a child. Would any good parent create stateless babies and offer no recourse? Is that a violation of the childs rights? Is this child abuse? White-collar crimes are sophisticated and ahead of their times but they are still crimes.

This was not a crime of greed, this was not a crime of vengeance, but it was an act of selfishness, a crime of selfishness” – said Judge P. Kevin Castel of Federal District Court.

How does an intersex, immigrant, non-biological parent with fraud documents who is not the primary care provider get custody of an IVF child? Is it by abandoning an IVF sibling and sending the other parent packing so there is no one to mount a legal defense? Is the best solution for infertility to create stateless children? Is the best solution to infertility to use the anti-intersex, anti-gay, anti-immigration, anti-IVF laws against innocent children? Is the best solution to alienate an innocent IVF child from his primary care provider and biological family and siblings? Is the best solution for an IVF child to grow up isolated and alienated from his biological family and siblings? Is the best solution to send the loving, caring, biological parent to “prison” (land-locked) by abandoning the IVF sister?

Prisons come in all shapes and forms – the traditional prisons as provided by governments or house arrests or house arrest on your private island (but still an arrest and restricting your freedom)  or IVF prison or being forced into statelessness due to no fault of yours like victims of Saddam or Gaddafi or IVF children due to lack of laws and absence of action. For those who claim that the number of IVF children rendered stateless is NOT the same as stateless victims of Saddam or Gaddafi should come on an IVF roller-coaster ride. Please do not offend and further victimize by using “numbers” to justify the crimes and inaction. A crime against an innocent child is a crime regardless of “numbers”.

Reality Check – The core concept is restriction of freedom – an unAmerican way

While the judicial systems and social systems are pontificating on “equal rights” for non-biological parents, what about people who do that in action? The reality is that laws are based on “biology”. The reality is that laws provide “equal benefits” of parenting to non-biological parents but none of the responsibility and accountability to non-biological parents, why? If an IVF child is stranded, then the “biological parent” is made to pay the child support but there is NO responsibility and accountability on the “non-biological parent” who equally commissioned the IVF pregnancy? If the IVF child is born, both commissioning parents – biological and non-biological, share “equal rights”  in benefiting from enjoying shared custody of the IVF child then why not “equal” in an abandoned IVF pregnancy?

In an abandoned an IVF pregnancy, whose responsibility is the innocent IVF child and what are their rights? Both commissioning parents be treated “equally” or should it be on the surrogate left holding the baby in the womb or is it only the “biological parent”? Or should we abandon the IVF child or give up the child for adoption? Unlike unwanted natural born pregnancies, an IVF pregnancy is deliberate and wanted. When the IVF child grows up, they will want to know why they were “manufactured” only to be abandoned? While these are issues that a parent can feel – both biological and non-biological, what is the legal system doing about it? What are the rights of the IVF child? When an IVF child is rendered stateless, what are the options? Where is the legal framework to address the issues? Is it child abuse of a special kind?

It is a fact that an intersex person’s freedom is restricted in the 2000s and so is of a binational immigrant, IVF father. Is the best solution to permanently restrict the freedom of innocent, IVF children of a dysfunctional intersex family?  The reign of secrecy and lies has to end in the best interest of the children.

Future Rights of IVF Children

I have a dream that in the future all IVF children and families will have equal rights including donors and surrogates. Single parents or gay parents or infertile heterosexual parents Martin-Luther-King-I-have-a-dreamwho opt for IVF will have equal rights. “Accidents” in the IVF clinics where samples are swapped accidentally and hence “no biological link” with a parent will not be the reason to separate IVF children from parents. Innocent IVF children will not be placed inadvertently in legal limbo. Are the laws addressing these issues? Sadly infertility is dealt with secrecy and lies and it becomes difficult to ascertain how many people are affected. The same secrecy and lies are hurting innocent IVF children and their rights. In the future, this will be common knowledge and as a result, such children will also have EQUAL rights and not remain INVISIBLE. The campaign to educate and spread awareness starts now. We need to advocate on rights of infertile or dysfertile people and their IVF children. Will you join us?

As a left-behind parent of an abandoned IVF daughter and watching her turn 4 years, every moment has been worth it. We celebrate her existence and learn from the sacrifices why every human life deserves equal respect and dignity including her. There are no winners here but to punish innocent IVF children who are the most undeserving victims for the crimes they did not commit are the biggest losers. As adults, we must bring their rights as an individual to the forefront. I have a dream that one day it will not be the gender of a parent but the love and character of a parent which will define parenthood. More importantly, innocent siblings will not be judged or discriminated based on the gender of their parent.

What circumstances creates a situation where children have “no legal mother”?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a medical technology which is great for infertile or dysfertile people. In the early decades since IVF’s finding in 1978, in most cultures it was “reserved” only for “infertile couples”. Suppose thats a remnant of the “baby scoop era” when innocent children were forced into adoption because their only fault was to be born to a “single mother” which was “socially unacceptable” at the time. As time moved on, IVF expanded to single parents, gays, lesbians and so on. This represents the growing tolerance in our society as a whole. However, the LAWS have not caught up with this social tolerance. Specifically, in a “closed environment” where IVF occurs within the boundaries of the same country, there is NO immigration requirement for the IVF child. However, as soon as an IVF parent wants to engage in international IVF, immigration laws and multiple “legal jurisdictions” are engaged which are lagging in laws when it comes to equality.  While people are sympathetic to the situation, the laws are non-existent which places innocent IVF children in a legal limbo. I have a dream that someday in the future we will have EQUAL rights for IVF children in their best interest and not a mere statistic as a “manufactured” human being.

This is NOT just an individual case but affects a lot of IVF families and immigration. Due to secrecy around infertility, very few cases get publicized and an already traumatized infertile or dysfertile families remain silent and continue to bear more trauma in silence. The innocent IVF children suffer and its a gross violation of everyone’s basic human rights. If my IVF children were NOT split, I also may not have spoken up. Please let me know if this would be of interest to you or someone who can help us. There are several US prospective parents who are engaging in IVF/Surrogacy in other countries like India, Thailand and so on as reported in the news media. It is traumatic enough to deal with infertility, should there be added burden of continued trauma due to lack of laws for EQUAL rights for IVF children and families? Let us examine some international IVF cases and its outcome. The common thread among these cases is there is “NO LEGAL MOTHER” as per laws even though physically a mother exists who gives birth.

1) In a recent IVF case in Texas, a court ruled that a woman who had given birth to lovely IVF children was the “mother” who had used donor eggs. In another recent case, US citizenship was DENIED to a set of IVF children based on prevailing US Immigration laws who were also born to a US Citizen mother using donor eggs but outside the US. Why the difference? Its confusing, is she a mother or not? The two IVF siblings are growing up together although in Israel. A US diplomat spokesperson said at the time of denial of US citizenship to the children that while they sympathize with the US citizen mother and children, they are following the laws.

2) In another horror case of a US couple trying to have an IVF child in India, the sperm samples were swapped accidentally by the IVF clinic in India and thus NO biological link exists between the innocent IVF child and the US parents. Because of no biological link to the parents, the innocent IVF child cannot legally come to the US. The choice was to leave the innocent child in an orphanage or try to bring the child to the US on humanitarian grounds. Is it the innocent child’s fault or the parent’s fault? Should there be a legal recourse for medical “accidents” outside the parent’s control?

3) In another case, a father on US green card was left stranded with an IVF daughter in India with no “legal US mother” and is living in EXILE in India raising the innocent IVF child. Even worse, the little girl has an IVF sibling, a brother, in the US who she has NEVER met and it was the IVF brother’s wish to have a sibling and why she is born. What is the innocent IVF siblings fault?

4) In 2005, Canadian parents could NOT bring one of their IVF children back to Canada immediately because as per Canadian immigration laws, a “biological link” is required for a Canadian citizen parent to have their IVF child born outside Canada to legally immigrate to Canada. It seems there was a medical accident and the sperm samples got swapped at the clinic resulting in a failed DNA test between the parents and the IVF child. Is this a FAULT of the parents or accidents of science and technology? Most scientific innovations in history of the world have come from “accidents” – its how we learn, ask Madam Curie. Even though there is NO law for the facts that occurred, the Canadian government relented in the end and after 6 years allowed the family to live together in Canada. The non-biological IVF parents gave up 6 years of their lives showing that it is NOT the biology but the LOVE of a parent. The “biology” needs to be discussed because of the LAWS.

It is important to note that infertility and IVF are often dealt with secrecy. As a result, very few cases are made public. These cases are just tip of the iceberg. A lot of victims may choose to abandon or not go public for their own personal reasons.

Into The Future

Recently, the “father of IVF”, Dr. Robert Edwards who helped bring the FIRST IVF child into the world in 1978 and was awarded a Nobel Prize for his work passed away. We still have a long way to go to concretize his legacy which is ensuring equal rights for IVF children and families including donors, surrogates and the entire IVF fraternity and ecosystem. The 21st century is upon us and calling us.

As more countries are legalizing same-sex marriages, incidents of IVF including international IVF will only grow and having effective international laws protecting the best interest of the child first is of paramount importance. IVF is here to stay and we need laws to catch up with the technology and avoid inadvertent victims, sometimes the most vulnerable, the voiceless, innocent IVF children. This is first a humanitarian crisis and a child rights issue. The Hague has worked multilaterally on laws for International Child Abduction and International Adoption and we need International laws on IVF/Surrogacy in the best interest of the children. The Hague is rightfully working on international laws for IVF/Surrogacy and issues that arise from it and you can find more information here.

As per a June 2011 US government report, the right answer is for the laws to catch up with IVF technology. This is the right answer and we need support to translate the vision into execution and save innocent IVF children and families lives’ before it’s too late. US is a world leader when it comes to advocating and protecting human rights and child rights. It is time to step up and show leadership when it comes to EQUAL rights for IVF children and families and work multilaterally or bilaterally to advocate and spread awareness on this sensitive issue. The current state of “non-existent laws” at an international level is a “wild west” approach which is inadvertently victimizing innocent IVF children and families.