Tag Archives: LGBTI

Here We Come 2015 – IVF rights or NOT!

The biggest news story to close out 2014 could be the thawing of ties between US and Cuba. No one knows what it will bring but it shows that as humans one can IVF-Crueltymove ahead. Rather than living with mutual distrust, it is better to have an open dialogue and provide the tools and mechanisms to achieve that. In one of the worst and most gruesome disasters of 2014 is the massacre of innocent children by terrorists in Pakistan. There is no justification for what occurred and may their souls rest in peace. Our hearts go out to the parents who may have never envisioned this when they dropped off their child at school in the morning. And we can imagine the sigh of relief for parents whose children are alive today because their alarm didn’t go off, reminds us of stories we heard after 9/11 on how some people were “lucky” to either be late to work or didn’t go to work that day. I have a friend who didn’t go to work on the fateful 9/11 day and is alive. Now when it seemed impossible to make sense of it all, the silver lining was the announcement of thawing of ties between US and Cuba. It gives HOPE. It gives a silver lining to our otherwise 24 hour news cycle of murder, mayhem, crimes, violence, etc. It’s about moving forward and doing the right thing. In 2014, from the double whammy mystery of Malaysian airlines to Boko Haram kidnapping of innocent girls, we must stand UNITED in accepting truth and helping the innocent, especially children like IVF siblings who have been split or an abandoned IVF child getting justice.

Its the fervor of hope that keeps one asking for equal rights for IVF children and families. We support infertility issues but does it have to come at the cost of splitting innocent IVF siblings and denying their rights? Can’t we find better ways which are inclusive? An IVF father by definition has taken some action to help the cause of infertility, what have the lack of laws and outdated laws done to help infertility? Why are IVF families subjected to lies to circumvent the laws? Why are IVF families subjected to ridicule? Why are IVF families not allowed to be truthful? Is building a family through IVF a crime? Take a long hard look at our innocent IVF children and see the love before making up your mind.

Just like there is “ethical hacking”, just like there are checks and balances to use nuclear technology for good or bad, where are the checks and balances for best interest of international IVF/Surrogacy children and families? If IVF can be used for good or bad, where are the “ethical” protections for international IVF/surrogacy children and families?

It used to be “socially acceptable” for Indians and dogs to be kept out of establishments in their own country, or African-Americans were subjected to sitting in the back of the bus, or apartheid was OK, or women or African-Americans could not vote(meaning no representation of their concerns in a democracy), or gays did not have rights, or women could not both work and be a loving parent, is it “socially acceptable” for an IVF father to be allowed to enjoy and love his IVF children “born out of wedlock”?  Is it time to have “representation” in a democracy to address the needs of IVF families? Or are we supposed to stay “underground” and wallow away in the misery of silence and apathy? Socially, we refer to parents as “mother” and “father” while the laws view the same people as “primary care provider” or not. Same laws in case of IVF children also sees the surrogate who gave birth as the “mother” or the egg donor with the genetic link as the “mother” or in some cases, legally there is “no mother” despite a physical presence of the birth mother. Same laws recognize the IVF children as “born out of wedlock”. In all cases, the IVF father is the same person – both socially and legally. Then why separate him and his IVF children deemed as “born out of wedlock”? Is wanting to help infertility a crime? Why offend them using offensive language even if its in the archaic laws? Is it time to be more sensitive to the needs of an international IVF family and give them the basic human dignity and respect they deserve or do they have to suffer more “legalized name calling” and the inherent abuse and separation? Throughout history of humankind, “social acceptance” comes FIRST and laws come later. Are international IVF families socially acceptable?

Should we be saying “PCP 1” and “PCP 2” on birth certificates instead of “father” and “mother” because that’s how the laws see it? As insane and absurd as it sounds, the fact is the archaic laws are creating these situations. The need is to either “update the laws” OR provide relief and justice for innocent IVF siblings, the state of legal limbo and apathy is incongruent and goes against the every being of “humanity” – an irony since “IVF/surrogacy children” are born into this world due to compassion of others in the humanity and are not supposed to be “symbols” of cruelty of humanity and archaic laws.

Recently, a loving husband and a father-to-be was rushing home because his wife and mother-to-be was in labor. They already had an emergency earlier in the week. He may have violated some traffic laws and was asked to pull over by the police but his IMMEDIATE need was to get home to his pregnant wife. The officer did follow “policy” and while the husband and father-to-be may have violated laws, doesn’t every woman wish for a husband and father like him? He was privy to information of the earlier emergency, their ongoing pregnancy and the need to be by his family’s side. Once the officer knew the facts, he called for an ambulance and helped the family out. Where is the HELP for an immigrant, IVF father who had to RUN to his lovely IVF/Surrogacy daughter in India and raise her in India due to her being abandoned and placed in legal limbo?

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.

Trophy Child? – A Lesson As IVF Terrorism Continues

Its hard to believe what happened just 50 years ago and one can only imagine to walk in Mr. Lewis’s shoes to gauge where our society has come in john_lewis_discrimination_IVF50 years. There is so much more to do. The discrimination lines have changed but they still do exist. Sir (out of respect) John Lewis was arrested for using a “white” restroom and had broken the prevailing laws. An immigrant, intersex IVF father in 2000s is also discriminated for trying to give human rights to a person where laws itself fall short in 2000s and worse so are his innocent IVF children because they committed the “heinous crime” of being born to an immigrant, IVF father. Let us pray the innocent siblings don’t see each other only in “pictures” but have an opportunity to grow up together as was intended by the IVF parent.

There is a stereotype around having “trophy this” and “trophy that” and wanting to be a star at every event. Perhaps for an infertile person who is desperate meaning NOT all infertile people, having a child at any cost is like a “trophy child”. The feelings and wishes of the “trophy child” do not count. They are silenced and muted out because the desperate infertile person must have a child at any cost. Does the child have rights? Is the child allowed to have wishes? As we mark October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is wanting to have a trophy child at any and all costs creating more victims of domestic violence and abuse? If you don’t like the laws, change the laws but breaking the laws which cannibalizes rights of others including innocent children is no way to move forward. What will it take to have an IVF/surrogacy awareness month? Mostly to educate and spread awareness so that the issues and lack of laws plaguing a minority (IVF families) can be understood by the majority. As per CDC, 1 in 8 couples or about 15% are infertile (not sure if LGBTI couples are included in this CDC statistic) while only about 1% of total child births were through IVF in the US. Two points : The majority (85%) does not know or understand the issues with infertility and second, there is a huge disparity within the infertile community on how they solve the issues (only 1% of total births through IVF Vs. 15% of population is infertile) – the others probably go for adoption or remain childless. Where do desperate infertile people (not all infertile) fit in who engage in IVF terrorism splitting innocent IVF siblings deliberately?

Folks like John Lewis, Dr. King, Madiba, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Susan Anthony Erin Brockovich amongst others provide great inspiration as one tries to go against the prevailing laws because its the right thing to do. IVF is new and laws have not caught up with technology. Does that mean innocent IVF children have no rights? Does that mean an IVF family deserves no justice and should be silenced? Does that mean IVF terrorism wins? The quest to want a child is not based on gender, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, immigration status, etc. If a human being loves children, they want children, period. Other traits like character, respecting laws, love is what makes a good parent. Unleashing IVF terrorism on an unsuspecting IVF family already besieged with lack of laws is abuse and injustice to the IVF family and the innocent IVF children. There are different forms of terror – the traditional kind, terror from rape, terror from domestic violence and abuse, and in the 21st century we have a new IVF terrorism unless laws are made. All forms of terror have one thing in common – undue harm to innocent. When terrorists in Syria or Iraq or elsewhere strike, innocents get terrified and they run across boarders sometimes making them stateless including innocent children. In a world with no laws for international IVF/surrogacy, some people can unleash IVF terrorism creating innocent IVF children who are stateless. Now what?

Dying, suicide, extreme trauma would be the easy option. Education and awareness to get proper laws passed even if it takes a lifetime is a service to innocent IVF children and families. In 2014, there have been a spate of stories on how international IVF/surrogacy is allowing people to ABANDON innocent IVF children in foriegn countries. Is this right? What does it say about our humanity? From the tallest structure built by mankind, to the wonderous  space explorations to moon, Mars and beyond, to the system of democracy where we try to ensure everyone has a level playing field to succeed, as a humanity what have we achieved if we “create” babies through IVF only to abandon them with NO justice for the innocent child? First, we have to respect each other including innocent IVF children. Depending on individual cases, multiple human beings are involved including their compassion to bring an IVF baby into this world. Would the donor have agreed regardless of amount offered if they were told the IVF baby will be abandoned? Would the surrogate have agreed regardless of amount offered if they were told the IVF baby will be abandoned? Would the IVF clinic have agreed regardless of amount offered if they were told the IVF baby will be abandoned? Would the law and justice system have agreed if they were told the IVF baby will be abandoned?

East Meets West – Intersex, IVF, Immigration

It is important to talk about facts and state the truth with civility, dignity and humility. It would be wrong to stay silent and further to fointersex-IVF-Immigration-east-meets-westrce silence on truth would be both heinous and undemocratic. Ironically, for decades if not generations, silence is how intersex has been dealt with both in the east and west and the biggest lesson learnt as an intersex, IVF, immigrant family in 2000s is secrecy and lying are the real culprits. So with all due respect to all, let us state the truth so that we can salvage innocent childhoods and not live on false foundations because that is no way to deliver justice. In dealing with these complex issues of the 21st century, patience is the foremost thing required and that we have and let truth prevail. For most people, infertility is a “distant” issue, IVF/surrogacy is even more of a “distant” issue, and having innocent IVF siblings SPLIT is more “distant” and having an abandoned IVF child is “very distant”. To them, injustice to innocent IVF children may represent a very small fraction BUT to us, THEY are our WORLD and everything. We deeply care about equal IVF rights as it affects our family deeply or rather lack of IVF rights is hurting our family immensely.

It is 2014 and the west is still to get up to speed with acknowledging presence of the “third gender”. What is more important is to give them equal rights like marriage, having children despite being infertile, so that unsuspecting compassionate law abiding citizens are not frauded and cheated because laws are not in their favor. Worse, innocent IVF children of an intersex family are NOT SPLIT just so that someone can have a child at any cost. Regardless of what side of the debate you are on, at the end of your justification, add two sentences – “…and therefore its OK to abandon innocent IVF child. And therefore its OK to SPLIT innocent IVF brother and sister who he wanted.”  Laws are man-made and NOT perfect, justice is NOT perfect, Life is NOT fair, but why punish innocent IVF children – the most vulnerable of the vulnerable for that?

  • Denial or Acceptance – While Asian countries in the East have long acknowledged the existence of the “third gender” and given them a special designation in the society in order to be assimilated. This went on for thousands of years in the east until the west colonialized the east and imposed their “own laws” including discriminatory laws against the “third gender”. The situation today of the “third gender” in countries like India, Pakistan, etc. is a “post-British” situation which is very different than what it was 400-500 years ago when they were in an esteemed position. One has to question, what is better as  a “human being” – DENIAL or ACCEPTANCE? Now the same set of secrecy, lack of laws is being repeated on IVF children and families including crimes and abuse perpetrated.
  • Best of East-West  – The current situation in the East may not be the best for “third gender” when it comes to human rights but at least they can live honestly. There are “third gender” folks in the west who are clamouring for a legal identity which their governments are in denial because of archaic laws from centuries past similar to the laws that British brought with them during colonization. The West is slowly waking up to issues of the “third gender” and accepting the facts. The journey has just begun. Australia and New Zealand recognized the third gender in 2012, then came Germany in 2013 and now there are discussions that UK may be next. Perhaps the US will also wake up to this reality someday. Good news is the West is catching up and taking steps to remedy centuries old wrongs. And what is needed is an amalgamation of both East and West philosophies in dealing with intersex and IVF – both highly taboo subjects but affecting one family deeply and greatly especially innocent siblings.
  • Science and Truth – The West provides a forum to understand and learn topics. There are specialized institutions, professionals, conferences, openness specifically dedicated to dealing with “third gender” issues or known as Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD) or known as intersex (there is controversy among the communities whether the politically correct term is “intersex” or “DSD”). In countries like India, in the local vernacular and a legal term, they are refered to as Eunuchs, again a controversial term depending on who you ask. One has to wonder is it the “terms” which are controversial or the subject itself is controversial since it is taboo to discuss it meaning regardless of what term we come up with, it will be always controversial and if so, how do we honestly and scientifically discuss the issues of an intersex family? For the academicians, lawyers, politicians, activists, etc, their fight maybe of “political correctness”; for victims of lack of laws for intersex and IVF, it is a matter of survival.
  • Statistics – As per NIH, about 1 in 2000 births are born DSD/intersex, which is a generic term. Its important to note that the NIH, a reputable institution also uses both terms which highlights the controversy and confusion. This means its a minority. Most DSD/intersex people are infertile and as per CDC, 1 in 6 couples are infertile. Does this include or exclude intersex/DSD? Does the CDC statistics include LGBTI or are they only looking at heterosexual couples? It is 2014, isn’t it time to update our scientific data gathering to be more reflective of the realities in our society? More importantly, statistics drive change, they drive laws, and if the statistics itself are not reflective (inadvertently or deliberate) of the issues faced  by the population, then how can we expect to get new laws and therefore justice?
  • Medicine – In 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture announced for a STOP to intersex surgeries. This means what the doctors, highly learned academicians, medical professionals had been doing for last 50 years were WRONG! The fraud paperwork to support their lies and wrongs is also wrong, is it a crime? For the reasons why Dr. John Money has been proven wrong today while highly sought after and reputable medical professional during his time, similarly, performing intersex surgeries under secrecy and lies during a marriage with inappropriate resources is WRONG. It is a recipe for disaster to ruin a family and more importantly endangering the welfare of innocent children. Science and wishful thinking don’t go together. Science relies on facts. The medical professionals in their zeal to right “social wrongs” forgot to adhere to facts and science and as a result lost credibility again in dealing with sensitive issues like intersex just like Dr. John Money. Cannibalizing the rights of other humans is no way to give human rights to one human.
  • Change – Today, parents and siblings of intersex/DSD also get treatment and counseling. Given the same logic, why are there NO options for spouses and children of an intersex family especially when the torturous intersex surgery occurred during a marriage? Are the spouses and children of an intersex family supposed to lie, live in silence and suppress their experiences and torture? And how is that exactly different than what was done to intersex people for decades and centuries? It may take a few more decades/centuries for the West and East to understand what happened to spouse and children of an intersex family but silencing them in the meantime is no justice as they are living through an IVF Holocaust.
  • History – Sadly there are people in this world who believe the Holocaust did not occur. There are two issues here. One there is denial of facts and therefore denial of justice to victims and continued victimization and second no lessons learnt and the threat of reoccurrence. Had the world not recognized the Holocaust, perhaps, the story in Bosnia/Serbia, Rwanda, ongoing ISIS may have ended differently with thousands more innocent lives lost. Let us take learning lessons from an intersex, IVF, immigrant family in 2000s so that we can usher change for equal rights for intersex, IVF children and families and caregivers. No one deserves to have their human rights and/or child rights violated. By silencing, we are not going to achieve anything but perhaps by listening to facts and accepting the truth, we may open a door for a better future. What is so wrong about that?

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.

IVF Children Need Rescue

As per CDC data, 1 in 6 couples are infertile. 100% of all LGBTI couples and single parents can only have children through IVF orIVF child rescue adoption. The laws are based on biology and gender of a parent, are the laws 21st century compliant or are they trailing? Is the inaction to pass laws placing innocent children in legal limbo and need rescuing? Is the lack of laws creating stateless innocent children? Is there a voice for the voiceless?

US law requires a “genetic link” for a parent to bring a child to the US when the child is born outside the US. Due to affordability, several middle class Americans go abroad to have children through IVF technology. The lack of laws situation is placing some innocent IVF children in harm’s way leading to abuse of their human rights and child rights. Is that right? Is throwing the book of laws at an IVF parent and thereby condemning the innocent IVF child the right answer? The only thing between a foreign born IVF child and a parent in the US is NOT money, NOT love but a few words in the English language called “laws”. What good are these human made laws if it cannot protect the most innocent of the victims – the IVF children? What good are these laws if they cannot ensure a voice for the voiceless? As Madiba said, if one can learn to hate then that means they can also learn to love. Similarly, if laws are getting outdated where inadvertently are endangering the welfare of a child, then laws can be changed to endure and protect the welfare of innocent IVF children also. Or maybe Madiba had it wrong and the ones who throw the book of laws have it right, I suppose only time will tell just like apartheid was broken down by Madiba.

The question is not whether help will arrive for IVF children and families in terms of equal laws but the question is “when”? When a sperm sample is accidentally swapped in an IVF clinic and the DNA test fails after 9 months when the IVF child is born, should the IVF child be separated from their intended parent and placed in an orphanage? During an ongoing IVF pregnancy, if the biological parent decides no longer to have a child and abandons the IVF pregnancy, what rights does the non-biological parent have to the IVF child? Can they bring the IVF child to the US legally? Does the child deserve to go to an orphange? As mentioned earlier, 100% of all LGBTI and single parents who opt for IVF will have a situation where one of the parents is “non-biological”. How do the laws plan to address these issues? Or is the message to fill up orphanages with abandoned IVF children because we could not agree on changing a few words in English called laws? Or is the message to place innocent IVF children in legal limbo and condemn and punish them due to no fault of theirs? Or is the message to shove this under the carpet and pretend it did not happen? When the critical mass is enough, innocent IVF children will ask questions and wonder where were the laws to protect their “best interests” and human rights?

It is time to stand up for what’s right and the right answer is to ensure and protect all IVF children and treat them as equals. If two parents abuse their child within the four walls of their house, is it a crime? The government and laws make it a crime and take appropriate action against the criminals and save the innocent children. Why are the laws and government silent on this issue of innocent IVF children? Where is the voice for the voiceless? Who is going to rescue the innocent IVF children?

It sucks to be an immigrant intersex infertile family with no laws in 2000s. It is one thing to remain silent and be invisible as adults but to repeat the abuse on innocent IVF children is a crime. One way to deal with it is to make the best of it through every trauma in forced secrecy and lies including breaking laws or come clean when the lies catch up and are hurting innocent children whom you love. The issue in this case is not intersex, the issue is secrecy, lying and breaking the laws. There are people like Claudia or Robin or Angelina or Dr. Elana or someone else as this blogs suggests. The choice is truth Vs lies. The choice is to continue to break the laws or change the laws. The choice is to love a child so much that his freedom is not held hostage for personal joy and one can see the child soar like an eagle Vs child abuse and human rights abuse.

IVF in 2014, Could this be You?

The gap in IVF laws is like placing a staircase in front of a wheelchair bound person. 

We are turning a page from 2013 to 2014 with our own wish list as IVF families. Most people say that changing the laws is very long and a very laboriousIVF 2014 laws change process but it is worth it for innocent children. We do not expect miracles but we do expect equality in the America we know and want. If you are planning for IVF, welcome you are part of the IVFHood but could this happen to you if you attempt affordable IVF outside the US or should you remain childless as a middle-class infertile or dysfertile American?

1) What if the sample is accidentally swapped in the IVF clinic outside the US resulting in a DNA mismatch?

2) What if you are  a US citizen woman who uses donor sperm and egg and her own womb to have IVF children outside the US? You carry the IVF children to term in your own womb for 9 months, you love and care for the IVF children like any mother but you have no “genetic link” as per the US laws.

3) What if you are an immigrant father who uses his biological sperm, egg donor and surrogate to have IVF children outside the US? You have a “genetic link” but “no US mother” since both the donor and surrogates are foreigners.

US immigration laws which are discriminatory and based on biology and gender of a parent rather than the love and character of a parent. The innocent IVF child cannot come to the US without a “genetic link”, what will you do as an IVF parent? The innocent IVF child has been rendered stateless and may face being given away to an orphanage simply because we as humans cannot agree on laws. Dehumanizing innocent children is not the answer.

  • You may not care whether the IVF child is not “genetically linked” to you as a parent but the laws and government do.
  • Will you bring the IVF child illegally to the US using smuggling routes?
  • Will you relocate to a foreign country were your IVF child is land-locked and raise them with love and care?
  • Will you abandon the IVF child in a foreign country and return to the US disappointed and depressed?
  • Such stateless/forcefully abandoned IVF children end up in orphanages, do they have human and child rights?
  • Will you join the fight to change the laws with the times and have equal rights for IVF children and families?

The gap in IVF laws is like placing a staircase in front of a wheelchair bound person. 

There are both sides of the debate. Some people (mostly who are fertile) say one should adopt rather than go for IVF. Maybe they are not aware of the stringent adoption laws just like they may not be aware of lack of IVF laws. Some people may say if you are born infertile maybe a divine power had a reason and should remain childless. But what if you are in an infertile marriage, should the other spouse who is fertile also remain childless? Is it wrong to help a fellow human being who is infertile? Some people maybe anti-IVF, to them we ask once the IVF child is born, should all children be treated equally and not be discriminated on their birth type? Should we punish innocent IVF children for crimes they did not commit?

2013 has been a great year for the LGBTI movement but there is lot more work to do. DOMA was struck down. Several states are approving laws to allow same-sex marriages. US Immigration laws allows same-sex couples to sponsor for their spousal immigration. The next logical step is to have children in a marriage. While as per CDC data, 1 in 6 couples are infertile in the US, 100% of all LGBTI couples and single parents can only have a child through adoption or IVF and only one parent may have a “genetic link” with the child as required by US Immigration laws. These instances of lack of laws for IVF children will only increase, where are the laws to protect the welfare of the innocent IVF children? Or should LGBTI families be denied children? Let us hope 2014 marks a beginning of a new era where the laws have caught up with technology and social acceptance. Let us hope “baby scoop era” is not repeated due to “social inacceptance”. Let us hope the humanitarians of the 20th century, Mahatma, MLK, Jr. and Madiba taught us a small slice in humanity for the 21st century.

Not the America I Know

Ask not what your child can do for you, ask what you can do for your child.

If you have ever dealt with infertility, your ultimate goal is to have a child but what are the needs of the child and would you do it atAmerica I Know any costs? Regardless of how one has a child – natural birth, adoption, IVF/surrogacy – once the child is born, are all children equal? Do they all deserve their own individual human dignity and respect as a human being regardless of their birth type? Then why do the prevailing laws discriminate? Placing innocent IVF children in legal limbo is wrong. Raising your hands up in the air and behaving like you just don’t care and throwing the book of laws is NOT the right answer. Education, awareness, understanding the issues and moving forward with an appropriate legal framework with equality for all is the right answer. America thrives on innovation and technology, IVF technology is here to stay creating an IVFhood, now do we have the proper legal framework to deal with it in a globalized world? With increasing stressful jobs, LGBTI marriages, infertility and dysfertility are here to stay in 21st century, is it time for equal laws for IVF children and families?

The America I know is compassionate and respects truth. The America I know believes in change. The America I know leads with a clear vision. The America I know sets the standards higher, not lower. The America I know is resilient, powerful and believes in truth, justice and freedom for all.  The America I know abolished slavery, allowed women to vote, allowed civil rights, provides an opportunity for everyone to be who they are and succeed. Will the America we know allow equal rights for IVF children and families?

  • Most Americans I know would agree that it is the love and character of a parent which is more important than the biology or gender of a parent in raising a child. Yet the laws are in direct contradiction with this. Is this the America we know and want?
  • Most Americans I know also know someone who is gay, lesbian, intersex, trangender and are OK with giving human rights to them. Thats how democracy works, support of majority for the rights of a minority. Yet the laws are in direct contradiction with this social acceptance. Is this the America we know and want?
  • Most Americans I know are not familiar with the lack of laws for IVF children and families but once educated and made aware agree that it is wrong to punish innocent IVF children due to lack of laws. Is this the America we know and want?
  • There are parents of gays and lesbians who support their children and are allowed to talk freely, why are parents of IVF children silenced and abused for speaking up freely? Is this the America we want and know?
  • Most Americans I know have respect for laws and the truth no matter how bitter it is. Yet helping an intersex, immigrant, infertile person for whom basic human rights do not exist is so heinous a crime that they must be split from his IVF child AND worse, his IVF children – who are siblings must be SPLIT. Is it wrong to help a fellow human being where laws itself fall short on respecting their basic human rights to marry, immigrate, and have children? Is this the America we want and know?
  • If you are an infertile American, you need to be super rich in order to comply with the laws and have a child within the US. Having a child from outside the US without a biological link is illegal and IVF is NOT affordable by most middle class Americans within the US. So how does an infertile American have a child? Is this the America we know and want?
  • In the future, will there be no single parents, gay parents, lesbian parents, intersex parents in America who may not have a biological link with a child but still want to raise and love the child? Where are the laws to support it?

There is a huge gap between social acceptance and the laws to reflect that. Historically every struggle for human rights has experienced the growing pains. In this case, the lack of laws is hurting innocent IVF children and needs to be remedied sooner and not in decades. We hope and pray for the best and cannot rest till the children get protection.

Hello, I am Infertile or Dysfertile – Should I Break the laws or Change the laws?

You read that right, are reproductive rights a basic human right? Is their an “I” in infertility during marriage or it affects both spouses? If you are a gay Fertility4Allor a lesbian or an intersex couple, is infertility or dysfertility an issue only for one spouse? As we step into the 21st century, with same-sex marriages or unions being legalized and more widely accepted, will there be a surge in children with only one biological parent? There are a host of fertility treatments but for LGBTI families, IVF or adoption is the only way to have a child. That’s the facts. It is also a fact that immigration laws are based on biology and gender of a parent and not emotions of a parent. So how does an infertile person bring a child born outside the US? Given the situation, they do not have a biological link, so how do you get past the laws and have a child? Do you BREAK the laws or demand for a CHANGE in the laws?  It may take years for an infertile family, single person, or a dysfertile family to have a child through IVF or adoption, should it even take LONGER to have the laws to protect rights of IVF children and families? One can only know the facts and truth, pain and suffering, inequalities and lack of laws once they have gone through the pain and suffering themselves. Worse, when your IVF children have to be punished for crimes of the adults. Should there be laws protecting Fertility 4 All?

It gets worse. The current language in laws claims that certain IVF children depending on circumstance are considered “illegitimate child born out of wedlock”. It is OFFENSIVE as an IVF parent to hear that about your IVF child. Look at the IVF child and all the efforts of all the humans including donors and surrogates, health professionals, parents and tell me the IVF child is “ILLEGITIMATE”. The English language has a “special word” for it and is used in an offensive or deragatory way. What is worse is this kind of attitude adds fodder and makes the innocent child “legally invisible” and places them in a legal limbo. How is it fair and equal to place innocent IVF children in legal limbo? Do people with no legal identity have legal rights? Once an IVF parent, always an IVF parent. Why should the gender or biology of a parent be used against the IVF child for their rights? We look forward to a day when the love and character of a parent will count more than biology and gender of a parent. A parent can love their child unconditionally but cannot provide them legal rights – thats why a parent has to petition to the government to do their part in raising happy families – a backbone of a vibrant and successful civilization and economy.

Imagine going through a painful journey of IVF that very few understand and intimately have knowledge about and in the end if you are successful, the innocent IVF child is deemed “less” or with “less legal rights” or forcefully separated because of lack of laws or on and on…its a domino effect. Any parent who is thinking of going for IVF could find themselves in this legal limbo situation and with increasing singles, LGBTI families, that number is growing. What is worse is that it is placing innocent IVF children in legal limbo. So do we change the laws or break the laws? Do we continue to shove the issue under the carpet? How do we move forward? With secrecy and lies OR the truth?

What is worse? Breaking the law or changing the law for a greater good?

What is worse? Raising a child with secrecy, lies and fraud and claiming it as love for child or changing the laws for IVF children and families for the greater good?

What is worse? Abandoning an IVF child for the sake of another child or demanding for equal rights for IVF children and families?