Teach your child to never betray someone they truly love. Whether its your parents, siblings, spouse, children or others, if you truly love them then do not abuse, lie, and force secrecy. Its love, but not for someone else, its love for thyself which is not a crime but breaking laws, abuse, violence, fraud, cheating, lying are crimes. After a continued life of secrecy and lies having to watch your children suffer due to the secrecy and lies; it is not fair to them and the millions of other children like them.
You don’t know until it happens to you. Maybe the age-old saying does have some truth to it after all. Less than 16% of couples experience infertility while 50% of marriages end up in divorce. So most people may have knowledge about the family law system but far fewer know about fertility in a marriage. Add the secrecy and stigma to fertility issues and there is hardly a chance of the “word getting out”. If we continue to live in secrecy, how will we usher in change? How will we make it a better place for others and our children? Any person who is trying to have a child – straight, single, gay, DSD/intersex, lesbian – this could have been you being separated from your IVF child because of lack of laws.
Most Americans we know are conscientious, compassionate and want to know the truth. USA is a nation of immigrants. But majority of the population has not experienced immigration first hand. And so the “ongoing lot” of immigrants are again a minority and most people would not know the immigration laws until it happens to them. Statistically, there are 1 in 2000 people who are intersex/DSD and people with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS) are 1 in 20000 – again another rare minority. Now imagine if a family had to experience all these four minorities combined together? Imagine doing it in silence. Imagine no one being able to understand what it means to go through this and be able to survive and be alive. Imagine the children of such a family and their fate? Where do we even begin to make sense and how many “layers” of lack of laws, human rights, equitable justice, etc, etc etc do we have to go through before people begin to understand the several complications. Not to mention, the secrecy and lies does NO HELP in the education and awareness process.
There is no doubt that people who are CAIS and undergo a surgery (which has been called for a STOP by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture) are under severe trauma and depression. Do they need time to recoperate? How much time? Can a person under severe trauma and depression enough to be called torture also be a primary care provider for an infant? What about the abuse and violence that was perpetrated on innocent victims during this stabilization process? There are studies, recommendations which are now coming out for people with Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD), are there any studies for spouse and children of DSD who also suffered through the surgery and its treatment in silence? Is there any trauma for them? There is a lack of laws situation for people with DSD including not being able to marry legally, or being able to immigrate as a spouse, or being able to legally have a child through IVF. So does it make it OK to lie, cheat and fraud an unsuspecting spouse into a fraud marriage? get immigration illegally? get a IVF child illegally? Since the laws have NOT changed, other DSD people still cannot repeat this. Since the laws have NOT changed, the innocent IVF children are placed in legal limbo due to the suppression of the facts. Since the laws have not changed, the fertility rights for LGBTI families are non-existant. If there is domestic violence against a male spouse in a LGBTI marriage, are there any laws to protect them?
The right thing is to teach our children to love and show compassion to fellow human beings no matter what. Becoming a family caregiver instead of walking away is a proud moment to be celebrated most importantly for the parents of the caregiver because they raised their child right. It is better than parents who teach children to lie, fraud an unsuspecting spouse. It is better than someone splitting innocent and defenseless IVF siblings just because they cannot have a child. It is better than someone who abandons an IVF child, a deliberate pregnancy. The question is not if someone can become a good parent, the question is WHEN? And how much abuse and violence was endured by others during the ongoing medical treatment under severe depression and trauma?
You don’t know until it happens to you – intersex, immigration, infertility, invisibility. And then to have the same secrecy and lies repeated on your innocent, defenseless IVF children. The actions to support equal human rights never stopped. It was limited to intersex and immigration earlier. Now we have added IVF children and families. And all can benefit by the truth, not secrecy and lies as we have already experienced. In a few years from now, when the IVF children are grown and are adults, maybe we will live in a world where gay marriage is NOT taboo, IVF families are NOT taboo, DSD/intersex is NOT taboo. And so correspondingly there will also be laws to represent the societal needs. What will the IVF children want – truth or lies?