Tag Archives: intimidation

IVF Lessons from Glenn Ford Exoneration

In a recent story about an innocent man, Mr. Glenn Ford, being exonerated brings both joy and frustration. The frustration is multiple fold that andna-exoneration-ivf innocent human was continually victimized. The joy is two fold – an innocent victim finally gets the freedom he deserves and second the silver lining that the US court has the strength and courage to admit its mistake and give credibility to an honest justice system based on facts. Mr. Jonathan Fleming also was exonerated for a wrongful conviction after 25 lost years.
“Glenn Ford is living proof of just how flawed our justice system truly is. We are moved that Mr. Ford, an African-American man convicted by an all-white jury, will be able to leave death row a survivor.”
“Vedant was split from his primary care provider, his father AND his sister he wanted because the comradrie involved were clueless about intersex, immigrant, IVF issues and laws. Maulik, a non-white and the father has survived abuse and torture but will Vedant and Medhavi get an opportunity to grow up together as intended or will they be punished for their IVF father’s gender?” If the same two children had been born to an IVF mother, would they have been split, then why the discrimination against the innocent IVF children?
What are the similarities of injustice and lack of due process?
1) While Mr. Ford spent over 30 years in prison for crimes he did not commit, there is no way an immigrant, IVF father can compare their situation other than respect for Mr. Ford. Mr. Ford was on death row while Maulik’s life is saved due to the love and support of family when placed into the most heinous situation.
2) The first comment Mr. Ford made after being freed is “he missed out on his son’s growing up“. Same here…we are missing out on Vedant growing up AND above all, we are missing Vedant on missing out growing up with Medhavi – a sibling he wanted –  we are just the messengers.
3) DNA evidence exonerated Mr. Ford, DNA evidence would also exonerate Vedant and Maulik. US laws require a DNA test for children born outside US, why were these rules not followed and now that it has been brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities, why is their refusal/denial to conduct the DNA tests  as required by US laws? A simple test would offer a chance to not one but TWO innocent childhoods to grow up together as intended.
4) The lawyers for Mr. Ford argued that “his trial was compromised by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence and by inexperienced counsel“. Ditto, same here. The difference is we NEVER got “due process” or a trial in court and implicitly neither did the innocent children get “due process”. All we received was intimidation like the false criminal charges of child abuse and contempt of court. Everything was done underhandedly either deliberately or being inexperienced in dealing with the complexity of an intersex, IVF, immigrant, international case in a Texas court. Regardless, has justice been served to Vedant and Medhavi – the real innocent victims wrongfully convicted to grow up separately? or do we have to wait 30 more years? No shots were fired but two innocent childhoods have been murdered because an infertile person who happens to lie and break laws must have a child. Maulik was the primary care provider for Vedant because the spouse was under medical treatment (something that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has since called for a STOP), have Vedant’s feelings due to this close bond with his primary care provider (Maulik) been upheld or has the truth been shoved under the carpet? If “due process” was allowed, all the facts would have been submitted to the court. Without “due process”, there is no fair justice – it is single-sided much like it was for Mr. Ford and previously for the “Scottsboro boys”. The difference is the biggest innocent victims here are voiceless children.
5) The silver lining for here is the fact that a US court has the courage to accept its mistake and make it “right” even if after 30 years instead of shoving the truth under the carpet and create more innocent victims.
6) The issues we are dealing with are too new for 2000s. In the future when equal intersex rights exist, equal IVF children and family rights exist, equal immigration rights exist, abandoning children like Medhavi will still remain a crime regardless of “jurisdictions”. For its a crime against the humanity of the innocent IVF child. If innocent children in Thailand or Afghanistan can get justice from a US court for actions committed by US persons without the children ever setting foot on US soil, I am sure Medhavi deserves justice too. It may not be the Texas court we are in or maybe it is but will continue to find that court where Medhavi gets justice because she and other IVF children like her do not deserve this abusive and heinous treatment.
7) The crux of the case is abandoning a child and splitting siblings. If the two children were growing up together, would we have spoken up? If Medhavi were not abandoned and had the divorce been filed AFTER getting Medhavi to the US, could one have got custody of Vedant given the legality of marriage in question both in India and US, no biological link to children, and Maulik would have been a US Citizen by then while the spouse would still be a green card holder obtained via marriage whose validity itself is in question. Would she have been thrown out of the US for immigration fraud? No one will ever know, however, we do have a living breathing human life in Medhavi who deserves basic human dignity and respect and NOT to be used as a tool to secure her brother. Medhavi deserves justice and until her perpetrators and co-conspirators are roaming freely, it is not safe for us.  Medhavi has been used as leverage by an infertile person who happens to lie and her co-conspirators. We are simply picking up the pieces and trying to survive. What possible calamity had come upon the spouse to not come to India when Medhavi was born? Or was it pre-planned? 
8) In another case, a US Citizen IVF mother is NOT residing in the US with her now US Citizen IVF children (after waiting for 4.5 years). Again giving a ray of hope. So it is possible to live freely – the court needs to understand the facts first. If Maulik were a woman and was an IVF mother, would the IVF children – Vedant and Medhavi have been split? You may not want to accept it but this is a clear case of gender discrimination which is actually punishing innocent children. Gay fathers, single fathers, intersex fathers, IVF parents (mothers and fathers), we stand united.
9) The real issue is not whether Vedant is a US Citizen or not. The real issue is it has been 1635 days and counting since the siblings were deliberately and pre-meditatively SPLIT. As an immigrant, IVF father in 2000s, we are doing something about it and upholding Vedant’s wishes and rights. What has the other party done about uniting the brother and sister – if not for her sake then for sake of Vedant whom she claims to love dearly? What has the US government done in upholding Vedant’s rights if they claim he is a US Citizen? The US government does have a “humanitarian parole” at its disposal to make “exceptions”, why has the US Government not exercised humanitarian parole in the case of Medhavi? I cannot think of a better case to utilize the humanitarian issue. The Texas Court is part of the “US Government”. There is a shared responsibility here and we have to put the children’s best interest first…have other parties done that?
10) Maybe as IVF parents and children it is about time to question the system in a civilized, dignified and humble way? We need an option that preserves our basic human dignity and respect instead of further victimizing us. Suppose that one has been drinking the Kool-Aid too long, we know we did. The US is the “go-to” country when it comes to upholding human rights but in our rarest of the rare cases, it falls short. It is the ability of the US to accept the truth and move forward with leadership while setting an example for others, this is the slice where we lay hope for innocent IVF children and families. An IVF father has to be more patient than an IVF mother, a fellow IVF mother was patient for 4.5 years, Maulik has been patient for 4.6 years and counting, lets see how many more? They certainly cannot hold Vedant captive beyond his 18 years of age and truth will be known – perhaps there may even be new and equal laws by then which would prevent such heinous situations from occurring proving that we are on the right path and on the right side of history. Maulik always has been about upholding human rights – first with an intersex spouse and lack of rights both in India and the US and now IVF children and families.
All we ask is justice for innocent, voiceless IVF children. It may hurt the ego but it is about doing the right thing for the innocent children, it is not about us adults.

The Link Between Scottsboro Boys and Fertility Rights

The recent news of the “Scottsboro boys” being posthumously pardoned is more symbolic and should be celebrated because we as a society are acceptingfertility rights - ivf our “wrongs” even if too late. It takes great courage. Although the wrongful convictions will not get their lives back or what could have been of being able to have a family, a child, respect and dignity and above all being allowed to LIVE as a HUMAN BEING. The question to answer just like Alabama did by pardoning the last of “Scottsboro boys” even if posthumously is to be on the “right side of history“. Much like in the case of “Scottsboro boys”, the prevailing false stereotypes ingrained in people and the system that failed them, most people do not realize the mistake until it happens to “them”. Fertility affects about 15% of the population, so we are faced with similar false stereotypes and are held hostage until change arrives.

Is history repeating itself in wrongfully abusing others? That was 1933 and now it is 2013. The spirit in which this is written is looking forward, what will be the state of fertility rights in 2084? It is a fact that an infertile human being cannot bring a child born outside the US legally to the US because US laws requires a “biological link” as established by DNA (only sperm and egg counts, carrying a child in your womb does not count) between parent-child. Sadly due to the infertility, they cannot have a “biological child”. Then how does a person who is infertile or intersex or gay or lesbian or straight who cannot have a “biological link” to the child supposed to have a child legally? The right answer is change the laws and not break the laws and we need fertility rights. While the “Scottsboro boys” did not get justice while alive, they have been credited with great strides in the civil rights movement. For example, inclusion of African Americans on juries and adequate legal representation for fair justice and due process.

In a case of immigrant, IVF parent, spouse caregiver of intersex, was a similar person allowed to be on the “jury”, was adequate legal representation provided to ensure due process and fair justice? Or was the truth suppressed to fit the need of the hour?  Does the “average” person understand the life of an immigrant, IVF parent and a spouse caregiver of intersex and the related secrecy, lies and lack of laws and its effects? The secrecy and shame are the biggest culprits. The rights of an innocent child are tightly coupled with the rights of a parent. Is it wrong for an IVF, immigrant father to want children? Or should he be forced and ALSO by association his IVF children be forced to live secretly and become invisible like the “Scottsboro boys”? The link between racism and reproductive rights is to deny the truth and thereby the rights of innocents and making them “legally invisible” only furthering the crimes of continued secrecy, lies and false allegations.

In our zeal to provide a child to an infertile adult, have we forgotten about the rights of an innocent, voiceless IVF child? We have defamation, false allegations, rampant breaking of the laws, abuse and victimization of innocents, intimidation, secrecy, lies and WORST, denial of basic human dignity and respect of innocent IVF children. Welcome to 2004 – lack of fertility rights and waiting for justice…

  • It is a fact that an intersex marriage is illegal – so change the laws but do not break the laws and victimize unsuspecting human beings.
  • It is a fact that intersex person is infertile and cannot have a biological child legally – so change the laws but do not falsely accuse others and victimize innocent children and break the laws. As per CDC, 1 in 6 couples is infertile – how is the “couple” defined – only heterosexual couples? Are LGBTI, single parents included in this “statistic”? Do they deserve fertility rights as human beings?
  • It is a fact that intersex person cannot immigrate based on “marriage” – so change the laws like Edie Windsor did by helping strike down DOMA but do not break the laws and victimize others.
  • It is a fact that caregivers have no rights and further caregivers of LGBTI have no rights at all until recently because they have to live “invisibly and secretly” – so change the laws. There are 65.7 Million family caregivers in the US – are LGBTI caregivers included in this “statistic”?

If a caregiver claims they lost their career, social life, their children, financial resources, etc. because of family caregiving duties – it is OK to glaze over. But if a paid caregiver slips on the floor, they can file for worker’s compensation. How is that equal and fair? As a society we need to encourage family caregivers because it can do wonders for patients but we also need to protect the rights of the caregivers. Or do we want a society where everything is “legal” including the family caregiving relationship?

Somehow discriminating innocent people in the name of “best interest of the child” has become the norm. We look forward to the day when every person is first seen as a HUMAN BEING and then a male or female or intersex or straight or gay or lesbian or black or Asian or white or Hindu or Christian or Muslim and the endless segregation and segmentation we bring in our society to justify “human rights”. The basic human right we need is to recognize every person first as a HUMAN BEING – then everything else.

Our heart goes out to the “Scottsboro boys” in what could have been – the years lost, the lives torn, the wrongful defamation, the loss of basic respect and dignity, the loss of family, the loss of listening to crackling laughter of a child, the loss of lifting your child up in the air, the loss of a child kissing their loving parent, the loss of playing and reading with your child, the loss of seeing your child having a better world than you did, and on and on. The BIGGEST loss is despite the false allegations, false convictions, and loss of several human rights, the innocent had NO shot at justice or to be heard FAIRLY. That breaks a HUMAN BEING down like nothing else can. We salute them for their courage, strength and beliefs forever.

Infertility is very traumatic but does that justify placing innocent, voiceless IVF children in legal limbo? How can you ensure “legal rights” to a person who has “no legal identity”? In many ways, the IVF children and families are invisible like the “Scottsboro boys” – deprived and made invisible.