Tag Archives: law

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.

Respect – Living the Life as A Woman

I am a male. I am not transgender, I am not intersex/DSD, I am not a woman. But having experiences like family caregiving, infertility, primary care provider for children which are “traditionally” associated with women has provided me with a fresh perspective on what it may have been like to live as a woman and undergo abuse for centuries. The worst is that my gender is punishing my innocent children which has forced me to speak up. I have learnt a lot from Susan Anthony’s, Rosa Parks’s and other women in the world and also from likes of Scotsboro boys’. While there is no comparison to what women have gone through for centuries; the injustice, neglect, abuse is what is in common – which is why there is Respect for living as a woman. Sadly, it is a cycle of being used, abused and discarded by others that we find in common. When will we have laws to protect hate crimes against IVF children and families?

1) When I was abused, I stayed silent. The law enforcement tells me that I should have spoken up then and its too late to get justice now. Does that mean the abuse did not occur? When laws were broken forcefully, I stayed silent. The law enforcement tells me that I should have reported the crimes. Does that mean the crimes did not occur? Ironically, plight of some IVF children today is what was done to innocent intersex children which is lies, fraud and manipulation.

2) If there are rape trauma crises centers, if there are sexual abuse trauma crises centers, if there are child abuse trauma crises centers, where are the IVF trauma crises centers? Having crises centers for different issues implies two things – 1) There is acceptance of facts and the need to act to protect the innocent and 2) Qualified professionals trained to act in the best interest of the victim – medical, legal, financial, etc.

In the absence of IVF trauma centers, are we as a society not wanting to accept the facts and that IVF trauma does not exist and it is better to shove the truth under the carpet like the way our society dealt with concealment based approach in treating intersex people or taking away innocent children from their biological mothers during the government approved “baby scoop era”? In the absence of IVF trauma centers, are we as a society failing to provide qualified professionals to victims including innocent IVF children and until justice is received, does it mean the victimization and abuse continues which is blessed by the system due to its inaction and lack of laws?

3) If a woman is pregnant and her spouse abandons the child and the mother-to-be, it is a sinking feeling. Is it like getting kicked in the stomach as a pregnant woman? As a left-behind parent, one moves on for the sake of the child with no child support, loss of dignity and respect for innocent child, possible character humiliations, loss of job, career, separation from family and friends, etc. Same is true for a left-behind IVF parent of an abandoned IVF child, one finds the strength and courage to move on for the sake of the child despite being a male as the society and laws deem “fathers” are “second-class” parents.

If a woman who is abandoned while pregnant, what if the spouse runs away with the older child? This leaves the woman to deal with her pregnancy all alone, provide welfare of the child on her own AND the trauma of losing a child whom she loves. Worse, the older child will not be afforded the love of a sibling he wanted because the parent has split them. In all this, the mother raises the abandoned child through the trauma and hopes someday her children will be UNITED. Is an IVF father of two split siblings allowed to have the same feeling?

If an intended parent abandons an IVF pregnancy after giving consent, who pays the surrogate and what are her rights and whose responsibility it it to raise the IVF child? Is the surrogate also considered a woman whose rights have been violated if left abandoned with an IVF child?

4) For centuries women have been the “traditional family caregiver” and for most part they still are in a majority now. A family caregiver can be in multiple roles – as a parent, child, sibling, etc. However, insenuations have existed like “being a housewife is not a real job”, “stay at home mothers” do not contribute to society, etc. Yet as loving mothers or spouses or daughters or sisters as they are, they continue to spread their love (often in silence) regardless of what laws say or what society thinks while giving up their true potential, ambitions, careers. Same is true as a spouse caregiver of intersex/DSD who is forced into silence.

And when women started asking for their rights be it rape, disenfranchisement, abuse, violence, sexual harassment, etc. initially, it was written off as “being emotional”. That was last century and it may be true even today in several parts of the world. An immigrant, IVF father feels the same way and demand for rights is discarded as “being emotional” while failing to recognize that it is the innocent IVF children who are the ones being punished because of their parent’s gender. Just like Susan Anthony’s of the world, one must continue to fight for the truth regardless of how long it takes.

5) If a woman uses her egg and gets help from a sperm donor and surrogate, she can legally take the child anywhere while if a man uses his sperm and gets help from a egg donor and surrogate, the same is not true. Who is the real victim – the IVF father or the innocent IVF child? Like any parent – mother or father, gay or straight, black or white or Asian, child with Autism or a learning challenge, etc, etc – any parent will speak up when their child is abused, violated and worse used as a “tool”. Every human being has rights, including an innocent IVF child of an IVF father.

6) There is no “I” in infertility or IVF. Dealing with infertility first requires lot of patience and compassion from fellow human beings. “I” cannot do anything. The anxiety, the sleepless nights, the pain, the suffering, the trauma, the loss of child, the failed IVF cycles, the multiple trips to the IVF clinic filled with hope, the thumbing through online forums, the blessing of a IVF child, the joy and celebration of an IVF child, etc etc affects any person dealing with IVF and infertility – it is NOT a woman or man thing, it is a HUMAN thing. Having lived through these experiences which are traditionally associated with women dealing with fertility, it has given a unique perspective on even how innocent IVF children are victimized due to being born to a “man” VS. “woman”. Our society and laws have a long way to catch up.

7) It has taken centuries and lots of abuse, violation of rights, trauma for women to begin to get equal rights in the workplace. When will men get equal rights at home in the family especially in the best interest of innocent children?

8) To the naysayers, I ask a simple question, exactly what more do you want out of a spouse – male, female, straight, gay, lesbian, intersex, otherwise?

  • You have a traumatic condition, you deal with it together and become a spouse caregiver,
  • One spouse wants silence at the cost of abuse to the other spouse, you give silence,
  • One spouse wants to lie, fraud and break the laws, you give in to the threats and abuse in silence,
  • One spouse is infertile, you deal with it together using IVF,
  • One spouse is under medical treatment and trauma preventing to be a “primary care provider” for the child, you become a primary care provider for the IVF child in silence,
  • The IVF child both love wants a sibling, both give joint consent to have a second IVF child, one spouse decides to abandon the child while the other is left to pick up the pieces including giving up his son whom he loves AND his son having to give up his primary care provider and a sister he wanted.

Perhaps the spouse is looking for slaves including innocent children with no human rights in 2014? 

Don’t give me love, don’t give me compassion, just give me respect and truth.

If being in a intersex/DSD marriage which the laws do not recognize, if becoming a spouse caregiver of DSD/intersex for a surgery which UN considers torture, if dealing with infertility with respect for the infertile spouse, if raising IVF children due to ongoing medical treatment of the spouse, if dealing with multiple lack of laws for issues like intersex, IVF, immigration in 2014 is too new is RESPECT, then all I ask is to give RESPECT to my innocent children if not me and UNITE them.

Had equal rights for intersex, equal rights for IVF children and families existed, would innocent IVF siblings have been SPLIT? Economic deprivation and loss of financial resources directly threatens the right to get justice in 2014 because no counsel works for free.

IVF Rights Part of Immigration Executive Order

Recently, US President Obama announced that he will have an executive order for immigration reform. Are IVF rights on the agenda? Here are a few immigration-ivf-reformsimple reasons to have IVF rights on the agenda first and foremost in the best interest of the IVF child and then the intended parents and families. As a society, we cannot knowingly create stateless babies and punish IVF families for wanting to build families through wonders of IVF. It is time to celebrate IVF in the 21st century and not hibernate. If you agree with the change, sign the petition at http://chn.ge/1oltFl5 and support IVF rights.

1) Change the verbiage in the current US Immigration Law (7 FAM 1131.4 and 7 FAM 1131.5 and its sub-sections) that deals with IVF for US citizens: Change the phrase from “biological mother/father” to “parent“.  The “genetic link” requirement discriminates against infertile people (the very folks who are meant to give a helping hand through wonders of technology), punishes innocent IVF children for DNA mismatches, punishes IVF children born during a divorce or born into a LGBTI family or single parent family. 

2) Change the phrase from “child born out of wedlock” to “child born“.  If IVF children are deemed to be “born out of wedlock”, are we implicitly taking away their legal rights of being “born in a marriage”? Frankly, the verbiage is outdated and offensive.

3) The applicable US Immigration law for IVF fathers on US green card: We are asking for a change of one word – from “mother” to “parent” as cited in 9 FAM 42.1 N2.1 and 9 FAM 42.1 N1.1. This would allow an IVF father legally on US green card to bring a child born outside the US though an egg donor and surrogate to meet US law requirements. If a US LPR mother uses her egg and a donor sperm and surrogate abroad can bring that IVF child legally to the US then why discriminate against the IVF father who uses his sperm? Does the innocent IVF child care?

4) Family Laws and Best Interest of an IVF child born during a divorce – If a US couple has an ongoing IVF pregnancy, it must be mandatory to declare the IVF pregnancy to the court like a natural pregnancy in the event of a divorce so that the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD can be ascertained by the court. Suppressing information from the court is a crime. The rights of an innocent IVF child in a foreign country of a US couple are directly placed in a LEGAL LIMBO. Have a law that a US resident (US Citizen or Legal resident) must “pre-declare” for an IVF child if the surrogacy is done abroad which inherently will protect the rights of the innocent IVF child.

5) Left-behind IVF child law – The needs of an IVF child are NO DIFFERENT than a natural born child. An IVF child also needs love, care, clothes, food, shelter, books, toys, education, and so on. If an intended parent abandons an IVF pregnancy or IVF child in a foreign country, they should be held accountable and responsible because the IVF child’s needs are EQUAL. Is an IVF child LESS of a child than a natural born child? An IVF child is not an unwanted pregnancy but a deliberate pregnancy to bring an innocent life into this world. Laws should hold adults accountable and responsible for abandoning an ongoing IVF pregnancy they consented to.

6) Legal recourse for lapses – In cases where the fertility clinic lapses like accidentally swapping samples there should be a legal recourse. In this case, a DNA test would be negative but what if the intended parents still want to bring an IVF child born outside the US back to the US and raise them? It is traumatic enough to deal with infertility and the trauma only continues when there are serious lapses like switching samples of the biological parent. Some of these laws should be retroactive to UNITE innocent IVF children and families.

7) Debate on Parentage – Define clearly on parentage of the child including issuance of legal documents like birth certificate. A valid birth certificate is a fundamental right of the CHILD and not the parents. It is a document that the child carries for life including adulthood. As the technology evolves, (Link Is : “Three-Parent IVF” Up For Public Consultation In Britain : http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/250343.php) it is possible to have a “three parent IVF child” where the DNA is from three parents. What will be the legal impact of this?

8) Public Service –

a) Just like there are public service announcements through radio advertisements, etc. to educate and spread awareness about adoption and its legalities, there should be similar public service campaigns for IVF families.

b) Just like there are travel advisories for US citizens to risky regions, there should be IVF/surrogacy advisories for US citizens of countries that uphold basic IVF child rights and basic human rights of the IVF industry including donors and surrogates.

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?

What Does Equal Intersex Rights Mean and Would You Teach Your Child That?

Its 1999. You are Intersex. Legally, you cannot marry. Biologically, you are infertile and cannot have a child. What does one do? Being intersex is a Shared parentingnaturally occurring condition meaning it is not the intersex person’s fault. However due to secrecy, stigma, lack of laws the situation is made worse. If you are a parent of an intersex child, what would you teach your child – to lie or say the truth? If you are a parent of a non-intersex child, what would you teach your child – to respect all or to discriminate? Every murderer is someone’s child, brother or sister, uncle or aunt, father or mother but they are still murderers. A murderer can be straight, gay, lesbian, intersex or different races, different genders – none of it matter, they are first a criminal then everything else. Every criminal who lies and breaks the laws is a criminal. Every criminal who coerces others to lie and break the laws is still a criminal. The question is what do we do as a society with criminals? Because when criminals get away with one crime, they tend to repeat their crimes creating more innocent victims.

As a parent, what will you teach your child about intersex rights? Will you say that all humans are created equal? Will you say that anyone should have the right to marry anyone? Will you say that despite being infertile, if a human has means to adopt or do IVF, they should be allowed to raise and love a child? Will you say that it is the love and character of a parent with a child which is more important than biology or gender of the parent? Most people would agree with this in 2014 despite the laws not in agreement. What do we do when a person who has followed all these tenants but still ends up being abused, victimized, persecuted for raising the voice and saying the truth? Worse, the children of that person are punished for crimes they did not commit.

It is a fact that up till 2000s, an intersex family who is also an immigrant and IVF family do not have rights and have to live in secrecy. In 2014, some things have changed but have a long way to go. More importantly, what protection does the government provide to victims who tried to give human rights to intersex people where laws itself fall short? Victims can be both innocent adults and children. Do they also have their own human rights? Or are they slaves of the lack of laws for intersex rights? And the strategy of secrecy and lies which has been used for decades/centuries in dealing with intersex will now be repeated on innocent immigrant, IVF families and children? How is that a solution of any kind? Are you on the right side of history?

Once the laws have conquered the human rights issues of today – race relations, disability relations, sexual orientation, marriage equality for all, gender relations, there is the NEXT – equal rights for IVF children and families. As victims of a triple whammy (intersex, immigrants, IVF) – what legal recourse do such victims have? When a death row victim who has been incorrectly convicted is exonerated based on DNA evidence, what do they feel like? The state gives them some compensation but can they restore the lost years of human dignity, the missed hugs and kisses of their little children, the missed opportunities to get an education and have a decent shot at a decent life? No amount of money can replace this and it is plane WRONG. One has to wonder what is worse – convicting an innocent human being and then exonerating them or just wrongfully killing them under the pretense of “law”.  The basic assumption why legal systems work is the notion of “fairness”. If the laws are anti-intersex then should people petition to change the laws or should people break the laws? And where is the “fairness” for immigrant, IVF families who are also part of an intersex family and its lack of laws?

With history on our side, regardless of what laws are enacted in future for equal intersex rights, equal IVF children and families rights, SPLITTING innocent IVF siblings due to lack of laws will still remain WRONG – just like wrongfully convicting an innocent human being for death row. Simple DNA evidence can prove the facts in accordance with the laws, why not use it?

I Cannot Raise My Son Because I Am Raising His Sister – My Daughter

I love my son very much, I miss my son very much, I miss him missing out on growing up with a sibling he wished for. As one struggles through the IVF-Crueltyinadequacies of the laws for intersex, immigrant, IVF families of 2000s, one has to wonder why punish innocent, voiceless children? Any system of justice is based on a few basic assumptions – (1) To punish an innocent is far greater crime than delivering justice to millions. (2) Justice delayed is justice denied. (3) Justice should be repeatable meaning whatever the outcome is, others should be able to benefit from it without breaking any laws. (4) Humans are not perfect, laws are not perfect but to discriminate and punish innocent child victims is a far greater crime against their humanity. And then to justify the discrimination by shoving it under the carpet is not working towards a solution rather only further victimizing innocent victims. I, a male immigrant, an IVF father cannot be with both my two IVF children at the same time because the laws do not allow us. Perhaps having children through IVF as a male was so heinous a crime that both me and my innocent IVF children should be punished for it. My innocent son cannot read bed time stories to his sister (like I used to read to him and promised my son that he can do the same with his sibling) is because my innocent IVF children are born of an immigrant, IVF father. My daughter cannot kiss and hug her brother like she wants to because my innocent IVF children are born of an immigrant, IVF father. Abuse me, why abuse my innocent children? Discriminate against me, why discriminate against my innocent children?

If it were 1800, when slavery was legal, to suggest to a person that if they don’t want to be a slave, they should change their skin color may have been “legal” for the time. But its 2000s and times have changed. If I were that person, I would keep my skin color the way it is and rather stand on the right side of history and fight for equal rights for me and everyone like me. A story of an immigrant, IVF father in 2014 is similar, rather than “accomodating” to the discriminatory laws of today, would rather stand on the right side of history and fight for equal rights of IVF children and families.

Left with whether to live in US with a comfortable job and enjoy my IVF son grow up OR raise my IVF daughter stuck in India because she is born to a US father? What would you do? Could you sleep knowing you abandoned a child you wanted and consented to? I do not know what birth mothers feel like who have had to give up their children due to their personal circumstances. I am sure it hurts them with a big hole in the heart that no one can see. What does an IVF parent feel when forced to give up their child due to lack of laws – that we do know? When a man abandons an innocent child, he could be the child’s father, the husband to the mother of the child, or an abandoner of the child. What “name” will the mother of the child refer him with – Husband, Father or Abandoner? When an IVF parent is abandoned with an IVF child, what do you call the other intended IVF parent who also consented to the IVF child but decided later to not want the child? It is NOT about whether someone is raising a child well, it is about were laws broken and whether that’s what the child wants, if the child is happy, can he be happier? Ms. Pettway raised a wonderful daughter – someone so smart that she figured out she had been removed from her birth family at 19 days. What does the innocent child victim want? It is not the “standard yard sticks” of whether the child is getting food, shelter, water, education, freedom, be allowed to grow and develop. It is about right Vs wrong. It is about truth Vs. lies. It is about respecting laws Vs. breaking laws. It is about being honest to the innocent children – the ultimate jury. I do not know what surrogates feel like when they give the IVF child to the intended parents? Some feel “mission accomplished” because they were able to help a fellow human being. If “intended parents” are given rights to an IVF child, should the “intended parents” also share the responsibility and accountability for the welfare of the IVF child? Because without the consent of “intended parents” and their finances, there would have been no IVF child. What if the “intended parents” decide to abandon an IVF child? What are the rights of the IVF child? Who cares for the welfare of the IVF child that the “intended parents” consented to? Is the IVF child a human being who deserves basic human dignity and respect or can they be discarded with no consequences? I suppose if a person who needs a heart, can create a clone, rip their heart out and use it for themselves fully knowing that without a heart, the clone cannot survive but I suppose that’s the “clone’s problem” and not the person who consented and paid for the clone, right? Because they must have a heart at all costs or they will die. Is all human life equal? Whether its a clone, an IVF child, a beggar, a poor man, a rich man, an IVF father, an immigrant, an intersex person, a DNA mismatch IVF parent, etc – are they all equal?

Humans have dealt with infertility since humankind has been around. Infertility affects “humans” and not just a man or woman. But the fertility laws are not reflective of these facts. It is one thing to discriminate and abuse a human based on color of their skin OR their caste OR their nationality OR their gender OR their sexual orientation but to discriminate innocent children based on their parent’s actions flies against everything we consider dignified and civil about humanity in 2000s. May be it was a heinous crime to try and help an intersex, immigrant person in 2000s where laws itself fall short? As we struggle to make sense of this madness, we cannot find a precedent. Surely, it must have happened to someone else but infertility is dealt with secrecy and lies meaning not too many people talk about it (we didn’t!). Or dealing with IVF is too new and there simply are not laws which have caught up with technology. Regardless how we end up as a community in the future there will be equal rights for IVF children and families, and even then SPLITTING innocent IVF brother and sister will still be wrong.

The authorities claim no laws have been broken yet they cannot cite a law which allows a US parent to bring an IVF child born outside the US with no genetic link. By denying facts, will it magically help other innocent IVF children and families who run into DNA mismatches and lack a genetic link? The authorities claim same-sex immigration was made possible in 2013 yet they cannot explain why no laws were broken if it were done before then. The right answer is to change the laws and not break the laws. People who break the laws are criminals. A criminal is also someone’s sister or brother, someone’s son or daughter, someone’s father or mother but they broke the laws and for that should their innocent children be punished? Do current laws allow US parents with no genetic link to bring a child born outside the US? Is “wishful thinking” in line with current laws? Is SPLITTING innocent IVF siblings due to lack of laws and its manipulation the best answer? It is clear laws have been broken, it is clear that humans who help others have no protection or justice from the system, it is clear two innocent IVF siblings are being punished for crimes they did not commit. Will we continue to solve this using secrecy, lies, deception, denials, apathy, threats, persecution or actually grow a spine and take action and change laws so this never happens again?

Happy Women’s Day – From the Eyes of an IVF Girl and Father

It’s March 8th and wish everyone a Happy Women’s Day. We all have very special women in our lives. Children of gay parents also have some special womens-day-ivfwomen in there lives starting with the compassion of the donor and surrogate to be thankful for. It is the gift of life. Let us celebrate daughters, mothers, sisters, wives, companions, friends who reinforce humanity still exists.

As an immigrant, IVF father I have been taught heartlessly that follow the laws and do not follow your heart. Worse, my innocent IVF children must be punished for my gender and for crimes they did not commit. Any parent – IVF or otherwise, mother or father, that’s where we draw the line. Abuse me, its one thing, abuse my innocent children, its a whole another issue. I refuse to agree with the “system” that following your heart is wrong and I have several women who have shown me why. Without these women, as an immigrant, IVF father who is abused and his IVF children are abused with no justice, one may have thought differently. I am blessed to have several women in my life to thank for that and today I wish them all a happy woman’s day. A person is NOT defined by how they look on the outside but its the inside that counts. We patiently wait till laws catch up and stop discriminating innocent IVF children based on their birth type and parentage.

First, it is my lovely IVF daughter. As a future woman, what should I tell her and how should I raise her? I think truth is the best option which can be told depending on her increasing levels of maturity. Any lies will have disastrous long-term effects on her own life and others around her. I am blessed to have her in my life as she brought out the best in the community. It showed humanity still exists. Not a single person has told me that it is wrong to have saved my daughter rather than abandoned her except the laws. People often confuse fight of an IVF parent Vs. fight for equal rights for IVF children. People often use references like “Frankenstein”, “Aquarium”, “child born out of wedlock”, etc. to define the IVF process and somehow its related “flaws”. Regardless of how one feels about IVF, once the innocent child is born, you are calling my IVF children such vicious names. Please do not call my child ugly – no parent wants to hear that regardless of what the situation is. If you cannot show compassion or humanity, it is better to stay silent – something a mother, a woman teaches to their children.

We thank the compassion of the donor and surrogate for allowing us to be blessed with the presence of our lovely IVF daughter. After years of failed IVF attempts to finally be successful, it was a blessing. One cannot think of abandoning her despite the circumstances. It would be a crime against humanity against the innocent, voiceless IVF child and it would be disrespecting the compassion and heart showed by the egg donor and surrogate.

We celebrate my mother, her grandmother who in her golden years instead of slowing down raised an infant girl single-handedly. She had lot of support from my father, the grandfather and several other fellow women in the community who brought her clothes, toys, spent time playing with her as an infant, helped my mother soothe and get through the tsunami of IVF. It truly does take a village to raise an abandoned IVF child. I was distraught, traumatized, almost frozen but my mother showed how to live only how a woman can. She is the pillar of why we need women in our lives. Despite her failing health, she raised my daughter with all the love and care, without fearing a conservative society, and took charge of saving an abandoned girl child. I have one life but my parents have given me birth twice and literally saved my life after this most traumatic events.

We celebrate my sister, the aunt to my daughter, who dropped everything at the drop of a hat and rushed by my daughter’s side when she was born. She has two daughters of her own who were in school and had exams but saving the abandoned infant seemed more important. Her spouse, my brother-in-law took care of the home chores and ensuring their daughters do not miss any thing out of school. Since my family was from the “boys side”, there were lot of inherent “stereotypes” to counter, lot of abuse one has to counter, but my sister and family steadfastedly stood their by my daughter’s side and did what they needed to do to get her home – safe and secure. The abuse against my gender was taken out against my innocent daughter and family including innocent women and seniors. At least the “boys side” of the family was there by the infant’s side. There is a “maternal instinct” that kicks in every woman which I could sense from thousands of miles away while in the US as my family would keep me updated over the phone. In my distraught state, I helplessly felt they were the best thing that happened to my IVF daughter whom I could not see after years of failed IVF attempts. The IVF journey itself was very exhausting that I could not get to the “last mile” of the IVF journey. I am blessed to have a sibling, a sister, who gives you unconditional love. More importantly, both my IVF children are blessed to have an aunt who has steadfastedly stood by them right since their birth. We celebrate siblings, celebrate sisters, celebrate mothers, celebrate family – where women are not just the back bone of a family but the bone one needs when tsunami strikes. Sadly, such sibling love is being stolen from my innocent IVF children by separating them.

I have been blessed to be married to a woman who is very loving, caring and understanding. She has taken to my daughter like a mother. She is patient with me as I still struggle through the discrimination, abuse and lack of due process and justice. She understands the fight is for the IVF children and not of men Vs. women. Sadly the archaic laws were written when fathers alone may not have been the “legal parent” and this places innocent IVF children who are siblings in legal limbo and abuses their human rights. Her patience and love allows an opportunity to have some semblance of a normal life – a soothing feeling to the everyday trauma. We are also blessed with a lovely child who is not discriminated against by laws since birth – a common feeling for most parents; a welcome surprise for an immigrant, IVF father – why should a parent’s actions be used against an innocent child? What about their human rights?

All the women in my life have taught one thing which is to live happily. The true worth of any person is to be able to live freely and enjoy freedom of expression and respect laws. The women in my  life are allowing me an opportunity to live freely and have taught me that there is nothing wrong in following your heart even if the laws have not caught up. 

Happy Women’s Day!

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.

Law of the Land for IVF Children and Families

If you do the deeds (love, compassion, humanity, IVF), you will know the needs (equal laws for IVF).

In a recent story, a sperm donor was ordered by a US court to pay child support for a child he had donated his sperm for out of compassion for a lesbiantruth-shake couple. He had no intent to raise the child. Another IVF father in a US court is DENIED effective custody of his IVF son even though he is the biological parent in an intersex marriage where both spouses are genetic males. What gives? And what is the “best interest of the child”? And what message do we send to the children? Should they grow up to be compassionate? Do we lead by example or by laws?

What is evident is that gays, lesbians and intersex people cannot have children by themselves. They will need “compassion” of others because science demands it. As the sperm donor put it  when asked given what he knows today, will he think of donating sperm again, he said , “Probably not”. If this is the way “compassionate” people get treated, how will future lesbians, gays, intersex people have children? What will be the rights of the child? Should we punish innocent IVF children because their infertile parents rushed and broke the laws?

What is also evident is there are no proper laws to reflect the realities of a society and laws for the diversity. How do we address the rights of the IVF children and families? A donor is a compassionate human being who wants to help others have children while taking no responsibility for the child. An IVF parent is a human being who is trying to create a family and wants to take responsibility and accountability for the children. What if an IVF father was the primary care provider for his IVF son in his tender years because of a spouse under severe medical treatment. Now the question is; are only “females” considered to be IVF parents? Is there “I” in infertility when dealing with it during marriage or both spouses get affected due to infertility? Or should the fertile spouse leave an infertile marriage because the laws have not caught up with the “compassionate” nature of humans? You see problem solved, no compassion, no child, no stealing children, no child support. However, the infertile person would remain childless. Isn’t it better to say the truth and be inclusive and have laws instead of secrecy, lies, fraud and breaking the laws?

What if a person gives consent to IVF and treats it like a “drive-thru” with no accountability or responsibility towards the IVF child? What if an adult consents to IVF in a foreign country, a lovely IVF child is conceived, and then changes their mind and abandons the IVF pregnancy never going to pick up the IVF child in a foreign country when born. An adult can do what they want but where is the responsibility and accountability towards the innocent, voiceless IVF child? Did they ask to be born? If its a crime to abandon a natural born child, why is it not a crime to abandon an IVF child? Or do we allow people to place an “order” for an IVF child at a foreign “IVF drive-thru” and abandon the IVF child with NO responsibility or accountability? A child is a child is a child. Every child deserves basic human dignity and respect just like every human has a right to have a child.

The lack of laws for IVF children and families is like placing a staircase in front of a wheelchair bound person. Is it a crime to want to make a family? Is it a crime to be compassionate? What is the bigger message especially to these unwanted IVF children – should humans be compassionate and respect the laws? Or should people be allowed to violate the laws for the sake of having a child due to their infertility even if it means violating rights of a child?

Scorecard of Intersex and IVF family rights – When Will Justice Arrive?

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” Obama said. “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.” – US President Obama in March 2011 as the Arab Spring commenced.

  1. The US did not legalize same-sex marriage till 2013. Been there, done that in 1999 without knowledge, does that mean no fraud occurred?Intersex-IVF-Scorecard
  2. The US did not legalize immigration for same-sex spouses till 2013. Did that before 2013 without informed consent, does it make the immigration valid or was their fraud?
  3. The US still does not legalize same-sex marriages if the marriage is not recognized where it occurred. India still does not allow same-sex marriages where an intersex marriage occurred. Does this mean that other intersex people can now legally marry?
  4. Other countries like India, Australia, New Zealand, Germany offer a legal “third gender”, the US still does not offer this option to its citizens and forces people into a gender binary leading to other unintended consequences including lying, secrecy, fraud, breaking the laws.
  5. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture called for a STOP on intersex surgery in 2013. Did that in 2002 under severe trauma, torture in silence and abuse. Is denial of facts mean denial of justice?
  6. The US law requires a “genetic link” between a US parent and a child born outside the US – very relevant to IVF children. Then how does an infertile US parent legally bring  a child born outside the US without a genetic link?
  7. The US law does not allow an immigrant IVF father to bring their own biological IVF child without a “mother”. Then how do immigrant single fathers, gay fathers, intersex fathers bring their IVF child born outside the US legally to the US? But if you are an immigrant mother, you can bring your biological IVF child. Cheers to single mothers and lesbians but IVF fathers have to live through their “baby scoop era”. Why this discrimination based on gender of a parent? Does the innocent child care?
  8. To rise above the discrimination and to move forward, why are there NO laws to disclose ALL ongoing IVF pregnancies when filing for divorce so that the court can decide the best interest of the children of a marriage? Hiding behind lack of laws and lack of jurisdiction is not the answer, the right answer is to provide relief and justice to innocent, voiceless IVF children caught up in legal limbo and deliberately placed in that situation. Call it the baby Medhavi law. If there are international laws for child abduction and child adoption, why are there no international laws for international IVF/surrogacy children in the children’s best interest?
  9. People make mistakes, we are humans. People also fraud documentation misleading courts and breaking laws and denying due process to other human beings including innocent IVF children. People also break laws for their selfish interests, it is up to the justice system to have the complete TRUTH revealed and respect the prevailing laws. Above all, the basic human dignity and respect of innocent IVF children should be upheld and provide a pathway for relief.
  10. As per US study, 83% of males leave their spouse when encountered with a severe trauma making a young, male, spouse caregiver a minority. Less than 1% of all births in US were through IVF in 2012. Have two lovely IVF children before then – again a minority. Living as a minority within minority and worse experiencing double discrimination both for self and innocent IVF siblings. When will justice arrive?

If you need validation whether equal rights for IVF children and families are needed, we invite you to come look into the big brown eyes of a 4 year old abandoned IVF child and rediscover your mind, heart, and humanity. Do the right thing.

We need more of Susan B. Anthony, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Dr. King, Madiba, Edie Windsor and not more of Ann Pettway or Sandy Hatte – people who fight based on truth and not based on secrecy, lies, fraud and relentless breaking the laws. Cannibalizing human rights of others especially innocent children is no way to achieve any human rights.