Tag Archives: lack of laws

Lessons Learnt from Lack of Laws for Intersex, IVF, Immigration, Invisibility

Before anyone is a male or female, they are first a human being. Before anyone is a human being, if they have children, they are a parent. The point is abe-kind-to-unkind parent is willing to take abuse if it protects their child meaning giving up their own human rights. Too often issues are divided based on male Vs. female, right Vs. wrong, or based on race, or religion or sexual orientation, or rich Vs. poor or whatever is the new divisive flavor of the day. Individuals who are human beings live personal lives. Human beings live their lives as per emotions, however, lives are lived as per laws regardless of how archaic the laws may be. Sometime in the 21st century, there will be equal rights for intersex, immigrants, infertile, IVF. Till then what is it like to live in the 21st century with 20th century laws? Here are top lessons learnt from lack of laws for intersex, IVF, Immigration and Invisibility.

  1. Be kind to unkind people, they need it the most. Do not lie to your spouse especially if it places another human being at risk and victimizes them due to lack of laws. That is unkind. Being intersex, infertile, immigrant or invisible are separate issues. Fundamentally, any loving relationship – marriage or otherwise cannot be built on the foundation of lies – it affects the individual and everyone else around them.
  2. Be ruthlessly selfish – You will get what you want. As a law-abiding person, be very selfish meaning use the laws to your advantage but don’t be ruthless like splitting innocent siblings or abandoning one sibling to have another or alienating a child from his family. You may be able to look yourself in the mirror, you may be able to hoodwink the authorities and break laws relentlessly, but can you look into the innocent eyes of the victimized children?
  3. Male Chauvinistic Pig – Until the laws are changed, in some cases, it may be better to be a male chauvinistic pig in the best interest of your children. Anti-male laws may have good reasoning but when anti-male laws are used against innocent children because their only legal parent is a “male”, maybe it is better to be a male chauvinistic pig instead of showing compassion so at least the innocent children are saved.
  4. Fraud – While laws may not recognize intersex marriages, in time the laws will change to allow intersex marriages. However, fraud will still remain fraud. It is not that intersex marriage is wrong but fraud is wrong. The lack of laws in recognizing an intersex marriage affects and victimizes both spouses equally.
  5. Secrecy and Lies – One can lie and fraud to break the laws but how does it help others and the greater good?
  6. Do the Next – Dealing with infertility and intersex is a double whammy and very traumatic. Add the layer of immigration and invisibility only makes it more complicated and  traumatic. Whose human rights do you uphold? Person who lies and breaks the laws in secrecy OR person who wants to be free from the social and legal discrimination using truth? After living through intersex, IVF, immigration, it is the innocent child who wins – hands down and not a liar who breaks laws and places innocent children at risk and in legal limbo. Can you do the “next” and start living in the 21st century?
  7. Caregiving – Becoming a family caregiver is both a privilege and a balancing act. Doing it in secrecy is foolish. When anyone becomes a family caregiver, it shows they deeply love and care for a fellow human being. It comes with its own stress, issues, and balancing acts. When you are forced to do this in silence and secrecy, is it abuse? The abuse is the “secrecy and silence” part. Every human has the right to express freely including a caregiver.
  8. IVFHood – Its a minority neighborhood. Its a secretive neighborhood. There is lot of support available in 2014 than in 2003. If you gave up your life trying to have a child with someone who the laws do not support like an intersex, infertile, immigrant in the US, then NO ONE CARES if you did. Its a lonely neighborhood. Worse, your IVF children will be punished for being born in an intersex, immigrant family in 2000s as if its their crime. Your fertility used as a currency in the war on fertility against you and your innocent children.
  9. Legal System – It is non-existant when it comes to intersex, immigrant, IVF family in 2000s. Legally, we do not exist. If you confess to the truth, then the legal system has to deal based on prevailing laws and legally an intersex, immigrant, IVF family does not exist. So it is best to make them invisible, pretend they do not exist, suppress facts and split innocent IVF siblings – we are sure it is the BEST solution – more lies!
  10. Workarounds – People who are either naive or stupid offer options like asking the IVF father to adopt his own biological IVF child to “workaround” the limitations in current IVF laws. They fail to recognize how offensive this is. Its kinda like asking a man of color in 1800 that if they don’t like being a slave, why don’t they just change the color of their skin? Slavery was legal in 1800 but the discriminatory laws did not stand the test of time. It would be better for the person of color to fight on the right side of history and NOT change the color of their skin just to “workaround” the prevailing laws. Or maybe telling a woman of the suffrage woman of the early 1900s to just become a man to get equal rights. Similarly for an IVF father in 2014, it is better to stay on the right side of history and get the facts out and ask for their rights and their innocent IVF children’s rights rather than submit to the persecution and threats of a failed judicial system. It will definitely stand the test of time and more importantly, the biggest jury for an abused IVF father are his innocent IVF children – what do they think?

Is the term, “mother language” dated?

Most children grow up in traditional families – but then again what is a traditional family? Who decides and who defines? There are single parents, there mother language internationalare adoptive parents, there are blended marriages, list goes on. February 21 is designated as the International Mother Language Day by the UN. Recently a bill was introduced in the US Congress to recognize the same. What does exactly “mother language” refer to? Is it the “language” the primary caregiver of an infant speaks and so that it is the first language the child picks up?  When two males raise a child together, what is the “mother language”? OR when a single father raises a child, what is the “mother language”? How will the child feel who is raised by two males or a single father as to what is his “mother language” with NO mother around?

It’s 2014 and it is disconcerting to see that an organization like UN which on one hand promotes gay rights meaning gays can be loving parents BUT also promotes “mother” language day which is a contradiction. In 2014, it is disconcerting to see language like “mother language” being used in legal bills because it can have unintended consequences like the lack of laws for IVF children and families based on biology and gender.

No one is against the multiculturalism and the intent the International “mother language” is trying to promote. But it is the words which are being used in 2014 is discriminating rights of others. Laws have far reaching consequences and the language used has to be practical and equal. Should we call it “primary caregiver language” day or “father language day” or “blended family language day” or ….? We may not know the right answer right away but if we put our minds into it, we can certainly come up with wordings which are INCLUSIVE and not derogatory. Maybe “Language Day” or “Parent Language Day” or “Primary Language Day”. Let us get back to the business of celebrating the multiculturalism and the rich, different languages without offending anyone and being more practical with the changing world around us.

What is the State of the Union for IVF children and families?

It’s 2014, is it too early to ask for Equal Treatment Under Law for IVF children and families? What is the State of the Union for IVF children and IVF-state-of-the-unionfamilies? If you do the deeds (IVF), you will know the needs (lack of laws).

By not having these laws, the state of the union for IVF children and families are:

1) If there is a DNA mismatch where the sperm sample accidentally got swapped in the clinic, should there be a legal framework where the intended parent can still take the IVF child like a loving parent and have the opportunity to raise them?

2) If a “genetic link” is required between a US parent and a child born outside the US, how will an infertile or dysfertile person who is middle-class ever get a child legally in the US? Is this how US society defines a “parent” or are the Immigration laws not in sync? Can someone misuse this discrepancy and hurt innocent IVF children?

3) If a person gives consent to IVF child and then later changes their mind, thats their right but should there also be laws to hold the adult accountable and responsible for bringing the innocent IVF child into the world and then abandoning them?

4) If a gay or lesbian couple decide to do surrogacy/IVF and only one of the parents has a”genetic link” and during the ongoing iVF pregnancy, what if the the “genetic parent” decides they don’t want the child and files divorce? If the “non-genetic parent” still wants a child, can they legally get the child to the US? What are the rights of the innocent, voiceless IVF child who is now abandoned? What are the rights of an IVF child who is born during a divorce? Do they have same rights as natural born children of an ongoing divorce?

Are these choices representative of a civilized society which also includes a minority population of infertile or dysfertile parents to be? This discrimination needs to stop and the “legal disability” created for IVF families needs to be removed by simply providing laws which have caught up with technology. The lack of laws for IVF children and families is like placing a staircase in front of a wheelchair bound person.

What happens from a “legal perspective” when there is a DNA mismatch?

Given the local laws like in India, an IVF child born to “foreign parents” in India is not considered an Indian citizen despite being born to an Indian citizen surrogate in India. Depending on the “accidental swap”, the “genetic parent” is most likely also another foreigner meaning this law is still applicable. This means an IVF child is land-locked in India but is NOT an Indian citizen. What are the rights of the innocent IVF child? Are they stuck in IVF purgatory?

Instead of playing blame games, it is better to embrace science, truth and facts. Some of the brightest scientific minds like Einstein and Madam Curie made some of the most popular scientific and technological discoveries and innovations by “accident”. Thats how science works and wherever “human hand” is involved. Humans make mistakes, get over it but to punish innocent IVF children for that is inhumane. Let us UNITE in the best interest of all IVF children and families. The right answer is to have adequate laws to address these issues so that adults are held responsible and accountable without endangering the welfare of innocent children. Thats the humane thing to do. Even after all the finger pointing and blame games have subsided – whether years, decades or whatever – the solution will remain the same – its inevitable.

Most people may have front-row seats or sideline seats to the “IVF story”, become a part of it and then one will realize how painful a tragedy it is to be faced with the option of ABANDONING an IVF child after all the years of struggle, anxiety, stress, sleepless nights, and so on. Drain on financial and legal resources is one thing but the inhumanity against your child as a parent is going to rattle any parent – IVF or not. The right answer for the “front-row” and “sideline” is to offer their support to the minority because thats how democracy works through support of majority on issues which do not affect them directly but are humane to other minorities.

It is upto each one of us whether we are Sandy Hatte or Ann Pettway or Edie Windsor? Dealing with the remnants of my innocent, voiceless IVF children who are split and in legal limbo is an issue that can be solved with education and awareness and not secrecy and lies.

Steel Magnolias – Before The Dawn

2013 has been a great year of changes. Especially if you are someone living a life of secrecy and lies as an lonely treeimmigrant, IVF parent, and as an intersex family – a lonely survival. And we are NOT even done with the year yet, so looking forward to this year. Let us have an open discussion about intersex families, the legal issues, the social issues, the financial issues, the international issues, the immigration issues that they face in 2013 and before that. Its the Steel Magnolias for infertile families where we can have an open discussion to get to a solution. Some issues are coming out in the open and so there is no need to LIE any longer and some are unresolved and so LYING continues with a secretive past – before the dawn. Dealing with infertility and lack of laws in 2013 is the night before the dawn for infertile families. After going through the trauma of infertility, multiple failed attempts, financial losses, social losses, job losses, and so many emotive and humanity issues, the least we expect from the government is EQUAL laws. Whether that requires classifying infertility as a “disease” or classifying it as a “disability” or classifying it as a “special need”, thats not the point. The point is a minority can only get EQUAL laws with support of the majority in a democracy. The current status of lack of laws is a long night of darkness and trauma for some infertile people.

1) In February 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (SRT) called for a STOP to unnecessary surgeries on intersex people. So if someone is lying about such an intersex surgery, will we have to wait another few decades for the truth? And is it torture on the person who knows the truth but is being defamed as the liar? And the UN decision shows there was torture and are dealing with the issues of the intersex people, when will we start understanding and addressing the issues of the caregiver of the intersex? If second-hand smoke is banned in public places after all these decades, what about the “second-hand effects” of this unnecessary surgery?

2) In June 2013, the US Supreme Court struck down DOMA paving the way for thousands of federal benefits to LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) spouses and families including immigration rights. Does this mean if immigration rights were granted before 2013 based on a LGBTI marriage are valid or were laws broken? More importantly, does this mean that other LGBTI immigrants have the SAME access or should they also be taught to lie, cheat, and fraud? Campaign to change the laws or break the laws – what is the message we want to send?

3) There are still NO laws for international IVF/Surrogacy children and families. We still have a lot of work to do ahead. In the interim, what about the rights of the innocent, voiceless victims – the IVF children?

4) If there was no second IVF child on the way – a SIBLING, the entire case would NOT have happened. But there is a SECOND IVF child – what about their rights? Again, what is the message we want to send to other IVF families – change the laws or break the laws?

5) The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) launched the Yogyakarta Principles including Intersex in 2010. If this was done a decade ago, would a young, male, spouse caregiver of intersex who PRACTICED the Yogyakarta Principles before their existence get any help and support for his human rights?

6) The lesson learnt from people like Edie Windsor, Tony Briffa and several other LGBTI people is say the TRUTH. They may be inadvertent activists but it first starts out as a PERSONAL case. With TRUTH, they help themselves and others and future generations. It is about freedom from slavery to secrecy and lies.

If you think dealing with issues like

being a young, male, spouse caregiver of intersex for an unnecessary surgery AND

being an IVF parent AND

being an immigrant AND

forced to SPLIT the IVF siblings AND

being a minority within a minority AND

living in secrecy and lies AND,

AND, AND is too complicated, try living it!

Even though left for DEAD, we are still alive and here to say the TRUTH…the only thing that prevails. Being intersex is very traumatic and we have witnessed and experienced it, what about other members of an intersex family? The issue here is NOT intersex, the issue is relentless, incessant lying including breaking laws. The secrecy, abuse, torture, inhumanity, breaking of the laws. It is one thing to do these to an adult, it is totally separate to do this to innocent children.

We cannot wait to see what rest of 2013 and the future ahead brings? Because if all these laws existed BEFORE, innocent brother and sister would NOT be growing up separately.

The irony is that the medical community provided non-circumspect care for decades labeling it as the best gandhi-father day-truthinterest of the intersex child as the UNSRT has called for a STOP to the torturous unnecessary surgery. NOW, does anyone care about the best interest of the IVF child and others in an IVF process or is about the “PAYING ADULT”? By REPEATING the lies, the RESULTS will not change – try TRUTH. Maybe in a few decades, we will have a REPORT from some “QUALIFIED” agency which will CLAIM the heinous and torturous condition of IVF children and others in an IVF process should be REGULATED so there is an opportunity for JUSTICE and RELIEF for VICTIMS. Alas, the innocent childhoods will have been lost by then and all we will have are apologies.