Tag Archives: respect

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

As the song goes, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”. Turns out “RESPECT” is a common theme for generations for fighting various social issues. Be it the slaves, Susan Anthony, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa respect-in-ivfParks, Madiba, Dr. King, Edie Windsor, and so on. Gautam Buddha had said that desire is the cause of suffering. Is a child a need or a want (desire)? Is having a child a right or privilege? Can we RESPECT the rights of a child? Is IVF/Surrogacy to help only infertility/dysfertility of adults OR does the IVF/Surrogacy child have rights? Infertility is very traumatic, laws are lacking when it comes to helping people without a “genetic link” with a child, so the best way is to circumvent these laws and lie, cheat, fraud and SPLIT innocent, voiceless IVF/Surrogacy siblings? Their innocence should not be ignored, rather protected. Their voicelessness should not be a cause for denial of rights, rather ensure equal rights. We want RESPECT and EQUAL rights for innocent, international IVF/Surrogacy children. If a US Citizen father can be united with his son after years, why can’t another son be united with his father and siblings? Is lack of laws for international IVF/Surrogacy children and families a disability which deserves attention?

Where is the RESPECT?

  1. We gave more respect to an intersex person than what the laws give. We gave more respect to an intersex patient than what medical professionals give. We gave more respect to an intersex immigrant than what the laws give. We gave more respect to an infertile person than laws give. We gave more respect to an infertile, intersex, immigrant than what laws give and more than what their own family gave. Where is the respect for an IVF family including innocent children? Abandoning and splitting our innocent IVF siblings is the best answer?
  2. If infertility is a disease, can the cure be to split innocent IVF/Surrogacy siblings? Where is the respect for the rights of the children?
  3. Is IVF/Surrogacy a disability due to lack of laws and the wild west approach? We need a ramp in terms of laws and allow us basic human decency and respect. 
  4. When two children are born exactly the same way through international IVF/Surrogacy, one is lied about to circumvent the lack of laws while the same limitations in the laws are cleverly manipulated and used against the other IVF/Surrogacy sibling to abandon them while leaving them in legal limbo and thus splitting the innocent siblings. Where is the respect for children and their rights?
  5. While the one child who is lied about gets to the US circumventing the laws, the other is land-locked in India due to the same lack of laws. The laws need to be applied consistently, either allow both in the US or allow both in India and the result is the innocent, voiceless siblings are UNITED. The intent was to have children and raise them lovingly together, SPLITTING them was never a goal. Inconsistency in application of the laws is discrimination. Where is the respect?
  6. Is the message then that if an infertile person lies, cheats, breaks laws, they deserve compassion and crimes will be overlooked? Where is the compassion for an innocent, voiceless IVF/Surrogacy child who is abandoned and SPLIT from their sibling? We must respect women, can we start with respecting the rights of an innocent, abandoned IVF/surrogacy girl child?
  7. If a non-genetic person gets custody of an IVF/Surrogacy child they should also be held equally responsible and accountable for an IVF/Surrogacy child they consented to in the best interest of the child, surrogate and the left-behind parent. Having a “check and balance” system both provides justice to innocent and serves as a deterrent to prevent crime in the first place.
  8. When an IVF/Surrogacy child is abandoned, one ALSO abandons the compassionate egg donor and surrogate. Would they have agreed to help if they were told the resulting child would be abandoned? Who protects their rights and respect them?
  9. When an infertile person pretends to have given birth to a child which biologically they cannot, are they disrespecting the truth and the compassionate contributions of the donor and surrogate AND are they disrespecting other IVF parents who have to suffer due to lack of laws and for being truthful (like waiting years to get their IVF/Surrogacy child a legal identity)? Is this the kind of respect to teach the IVF/Surrogacy child? And how do these lies help change the laws so that others don’t have to lie and split siblings in order to have a child at any and all costs?
  10. When an intersex person pretends to have given birth to a child which biologically they cannot, are they disrespecting the trauma and abuse of the spouse AND other intersex people who continue to suffer due to lack of laws and them wanting to live truthfully? While all may not understand this, but an intersex person understands that lies are the worst culprits as they have been subjected to it for decades. Why continue a “different” set of lies onto innocent IVF/Surrogacy children and expect different results? And how do these lies help change the laws so that other intersex people don’t have to lie to have children by splitting them?
  11. One can understand the desire to have a child at any and all costs but should it be a trade of “child for a child” and splitting innocent siblings? Where is the respect in that?
  12. An intersex, immigrant, IVF parent survived despite the extreme trauma, where is the respect in his contributions and those that of his family specifically in raising the IVF/Surrogacy infants under extreme trauma and stress?
  13. While people and LAWS are still debating on “equal rights” for intersex, IVF/Surrogacy children and families, we have already been there and done that, now what about rights of our innocent IVF/Surrogacy children who are deliberately SPLIT? Where is their RESPECT?
  14. Right answer will never be splitting siblings or breaking laws, right answer is petitioning for updation in laws for intersex, IVF, immigrant children and families so that people don’t feel threatened by laws to actually conspire to willfully abandon and split IVF siblings.
  15. Children have rights too, yeah? Even if they are voiceless, yeah? By stating facts, we are stopping the lies and abuse while also respecting the innocent, voiceless IVF siblings for who they are. RESPECT, give some, get some.

No one is claiming intersex or infertile or IVF/Surrogacy parents or children are wrong despite what the laws claim. It is the LIES which are wrong. Especially lies which circumvents laws and risks innocent lives of others. Like everything else, there are always a few bad apples and a few bad apples should NOT ruin it for others. However, we need to build a system of checks and balance so that the innocent are protected and victims rights are ensured from the few bad apples. Criminals lie to hide facts. How do we deal with criminals and the lies? Reward or punishment? Innocent children are neither criminals nor did they lie. How do we deal with them? SPLIT them or UNITE them? R-E-S-P-E-C-T in 2015?

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.

Attempted Death of an IVF Parent and his IVF Children

Imagine being at the top of a waterfall, the scenic beauty, the flowing water and the radiant top of the world feel. Imagine being on theivf-saving-children banks holding your 5 year old kid’s hand and talking to him about his little sister. Just then a tsunami strikes and you are in the water with one hand holding your son’s hand who is on the river bank and in your other hand you have his new born sister who is facing downstream towards the waterfall. What would you do? If you let go off the infant, it’s guaranteed death either by drowning or the fall when she hits the waterfall. On the other side, if you try to save the infant you have to let go of the hand you are holding your son with. The water is rushing, it’s a tsunami, you have to think fast, not much time, what will you do? Save the infant or save the 5 year old – you are a parent to both children and love them equally?  Or take the plunge down the waterfall with the infant and give her a fighting chance to survive or die trying to save her. You could just let go off the infant and save your 5 year old and have another child.  What would you do? Oh yeah, the infant happens to be the sibling that your son wants.  So if you let her go, what will you answer your son? As a fellow American, the question to ask the soul of America is does the US condone behavior where US persons give consent to have an IVF child abroad through a donor and surrogate and later abandon the IVF child with no responsibility or accountability towards the innocent IVF child or the surrogate? If they had done the same in the US, would the US legal system have prosecuted them and at the very least made them accountable for the welfare of the child? Are the needs of an IVF child just the same as other children to grow, develop and prosper? Then why is there discrimination? What’s next – illegal human cloning to get a heart or other organ a person wants regardless of what happens to the clone once the heart is salvaged? Do other people including innocent children have rights? The worst is that innocent, voiceless children are the victims and being discriminated. No parent, IVF or otherwise, mother or father, wants that for their child. Time will tell whether saving an infant from drowning at a waterfall or allowing them to die is a better choice? It is a choice that no parent should ever have to make – IVF or otherwise, mother or father, fertile or infertile, immigrant or citizen, human or not. As a parent, is it better to die OR to survive and be able tell the truth so that no more innocent, voiceless victims suffer? Maybe the plan was for the IVF parent to die either from trauma or by suicide so no legal challengers exist. But he survived, his daughter survived, the sister survived, the brother survived and now its time to UNITE the innocent IVF brother and sister and NEVER have innocent IVF children be used as leverage or “tools” in the war on fertility. Most people when they approach a river, they admire it’s beauty. If its a fast downhill river with white water rapids, they admire that or if it’s a slow river, they admire the calm and serenity. Either way they admire it from the outside, perhaps take a few pictures for memories and go on. Most people do not step into the river to see the depth or is the bottom rocky or muddy or does it have vegetation, shrubs, plants, snakes, reptiles, etc. underneath the water. Even if they get knee deep, it’s not deep enough. For that, one needs to put their face inside the water to see what’s really going on. And that’s how one has to deal with the world of being an intersex, immigrant, IVF family. If you do the deeds, you will know the needs. The bigger question for humanity is do innocent children have their own human rights OR are they property of adults? Does an innocent brother have a right to grow up with his sister and vice versa? Do innocent children who have been used as chattel, leverage, tools, abandoned for personal ulterior motives have rights as a human being and do they deserve basic human dignity and respect?

The America I Used To Know

It was 1989-1990. I was an exchange student in the US from India. Let me rephrase that, “I was a poor exchange Close Up America Used to know student in the US from India.” I used to survive on $75/month. My boarding, meals, and all other needs were provided by the host family including indulging in the American lifestyle as a teenager at 17 years old. Of course, we had our rules, the 4 – Ds – no drinking, no dating, no driving, no drugs which we all followed in our batch of exchange students. But that did NOT stop us from reveling in the American lifestyle as a teenager, thanks to the Americans I got to know – very caring and very compassionate. It was a time when there was a sense of respect for basic human decency and dignity.

I was in high school and one of my host brothers was enrolled in a program called “Close UP” which allowed you to engage with other like minded students and discuss politics and how the government functions and laws are made, etc. The bonus was sometime in February, a class trip would be planned to go visit Washington, D. C. and get a “Close UP” look how the government works – a visit to the Senate, the House, the White House and of course other memorable sites like the Washington Monument, the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, the Smithsonians, etc, etc. That was quite a dream. The plan was everyone in the group would get together on weekends and sell food and drinks at the high school football games. Whatever money we would make and the time each one put in would be used towards paying for our share of the trip. So it was more like asking for donations. People were generous. A lot of people once they found out why we were there paid more as an “extra donation” and wanting to help out. It was a great learning experience about American culture – Honesty and Helping Strangers or otherwise known as random acts of kindness.

A few months passed by. I ended up attending EVERY home game but only managing to see the AWAY games. We all had to book our tickets and a meeting was called for the group to divvy the “fund” as per everyone’s appropriate share. My share ended up being the biggest as I had put in the most hours – simple math. However, it was still more than a few hundred dollars short of the total funds needed to pay for the trip to DC. My heart was there, I had followed the rules and worked hard but still could not make it, I was a poor exchange student. I was happy and asked the co-ordinator to divvy up my “share” among other students as I could not make the trip due to shortage of funds. She understood and we had got to know each other well also over the months we spent together. Whether it was coming in a little early for setup or staying a little late for cleanup.

The American Miracle

A few weeks later, the co-ordinator called me to her office and said I was going to DC with the group. I was like YEAH but then HOW? She said she talked to a few other parents whose kids were also in the group and explained the situation and they all pitched in and made up “my share” for the cost of the trip. There it was, indulging in American lifestyle – compassion, generosity and honesty being respected. Thats the America I used to know. Respect for hard work and respect for basic human dignity through compassion.

Today in the same America, I do not see any room for truth and honesty. Compassion and Generosity are BUZZWORDS for some special interest group wanting something “special” only for their interest. Let others be excluded. The claim is justice is based on truth and facts, then where is the justice in deliberately making an innocent, voiceless child STATELESS? Where is the justice in deliberately splitting two siblings for sake of one infertile person? We have every sympathy for infertility and let our actions speak for themselves but are others EQUAL humans with EQUAL human rights? The claim that no one is above the LAW, then how can someone continue to blatantly violate the LAWS with no legal repurcusions? Sure the world is NOT ideal. But the belief is America cares and there is respect for truth and respect for basic human dignity and compassion. Really? Thats NOT the America I Know today.

Close UP Role Play

When we had visited DC as part of the Close UP program, we were divided into groups. There were students from all over the US there. Each group was given an “international topic” to discuss and we had to present the pros and cons of the prevailing US policy, right there under the nose of the US government in DC. Our group was given Nicaragua and the Sandanistas. I had heard of Nicaragua in geography class but had no idea who Sandanistas were. In a few days through our joint efforts and research, our group learnt a lot about the Sandanistas. And the best conclusion our group came up with was for the US to leave it alone. The average age of our group was 17 or 18. Rest is history.

I understand that most people are NOT infertile or dysfertile. They may never know what it feels like to go through an IVF cycle and wait for the news. They may never know what it takes to save up for the IVF cycle. They may never know the lies and secrecy involved in having an IVF child. The American people I know show compassion for others, have respect for basic human decency and dignity. The American people respect truth and respect for prevailing laws, at least that’s the America I used to know.

Houston, We Have Nothing

There was the Apollo mission and then there is the international IVF by a binational immigrant mission and we Love-Honesty-Truth-Respect-Nothinghave NOTHING. One does IVF (in vitro fertilization) due to infertility or dysfertility. And a trace do it for “cosmetic” reasons. Maybe the notion of having a baby is more important than actually caring for a baby. Regardless of why one does IVF, the chances of success are pegged at 33%, the medical treatment is not easily affordable and therefore not easily accessible by all who need it, and the end objective is to be blessed with a baby. The point is there is careful planning, deliberate sacrifices, and lot of struggles to get to the final stage when the baby arrives. So what does one do when the IVF baby is born into our wonderful world?

We Have Nothing?

In hindsight, when one embarks on international IVF as a binational immigrant, the first thing to strike you is NOT the money, NOT the sacrifices, NOT the distance, NOT the remote logistics, NOT the so many “what ifs”, NOT the trauma and anxiety and uncertainty, NOT the secrecy and lying, it should be the LAWS. Which by the way are non-existant for IVF children born of binational immigrants. Rather one embarks as a human being due to love, honesty, truth and respect.

Love : A deep loving bond has to exist in order for two people to commit to have an IVF child remotely in another country and agree to raise the IVF child together.

Honesty : There is honesty between two people who know the facts as to who is the biological parent of the IVF child – something required by law. Or else one would need to adopt – again something required by law. The honesty also entails a pact between two people that the IVF child shall remain with the biological parent at all times.

Truth : There is truth between two people to abide by the prevailing laws especially when transfer of a human being (the IVF child) is concerned across international boundaries which requires legal paperwork including a valid passport and visa. There is an agreement between two people to show up in a foreign country when the IVF child is born and return to the resident country with the IVF child and raise the two siblings together.

Respect : There is respect for the infertile person that despite their condition which is naturally occurring meaning it is NOT in their control.

There are lot of undeclared points between two people which are NOT on a legal contract. Does that mean LAWS have NOT been broken? Does that mean other binational immigrants who choose to do international IVF can successfully bring an IVF child born outside the US to the US? In order for that to happen, laws will have to CHANGE. For now, all we have is love, honesty, truth and respect to show. Or is that NOTHING? 

The IVF children

It is one thing to hate your spouse. That is nothing uncommon, just ask several of the married and divorced people including heterosexuals, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, intersex (GLBTI). It is completely separate to DENY a child their rights, to DENY a legal identity to an innocent child, to DENY siblings a chance to grow up together as was planned and agreed upon, to DENY a son his loving father’s affection. It is about time to speak up against the heinous and torturous situation for the sake of the IVF children, if not NOW then when? What did the secrecy and lying achieve? Had the Apollo astronauts not said the now famous words, “Houston, we have a problem”, how could the ground staff and the crew have manged to work together to get out of a less than “sticky and messy” situation? Only truth is the way to move forward or we have NOTHING.

Challenge : If the intersex person is so sure about having done the right thing, the challenge is to make it repeatable. Find one person out of 7 billion in the world willing to go through the same thing. And will make the challenge little easier, one can start with saying the truth instead of secrecy and lying. If you find such a person, the good news is you will have another child and there will be a “sibling to grow up with” for the older child. If not, the answer is we have NOTHING.

Marching Ahead

Practice what you preach. This case is “reverse”  in every sense of the way where the father has stepped out of the stereotype in every way possible. So first practice and then preach.

The proud IVF father understands the reasons why an infertile person would lie at any cost to have a child. In fact, he considers himself lucky that he has been left alive, there are cases where infertile people have murdered fertile people to take away their child. After living with love, honesty, truth, respect, the proud IVF father has got NOTHING. He understands the right answer is to get LAWS passed so people do not have the need to lie or break the laws. And that’s where he is focused now, to get EQUAL rights for IVF children and families. It will benefit him and his IVF children and the millions of other IVF children born and yet to be born.

The principles of love, honesty, truth, and respect have NOT changed. The mission has. The mission for Apollo 11 was to land on the moon which CHANGED unexpectedly to a rescue mission to just safely land on earth and be with family. The proud IVF father is just wanting to live “normally” with truth and honesty with family on earth. Do we have something or nothing?