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 families? 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.