Let us celebrate Mahatma and his teachings on this Gandhi Jayanti day. Like another great leader and a follower of Gandhiji, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, we have a dream that one day there will be equal rights for IVF children and families.
IVF siblings are in legal limbo because we lied about intersex, IVF, and immigration. IVF siblings are in legal limbo because we tried to give rights to intersex and related issues in secrecy where government itself falls short. Intersex have been dealt with secrecy and lies in a failed approach and now repeat a similar strategy of secrecy and lies on IVF children and families and expect different results? How will it help the greater good?
When life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade. When life throws a curve ball, you can hit it out of the park or go out trying hard. When someone makes you break laws, you can speak up for a better future especially for innocent children. Dealing with secrecy and lies helps no one. Education and awareness and empowering people with truth is far better. Dealing with issues like intersex, infertility (IVF), immigration in 2000s is a challenge for anyone let alone dealing with any one of these issues individually – to deal with all of them together and remaining invisible is creating innocent, unsuspecting victims. These are not separate issues, because in an intersex marriage, they also have to deal with infertility, and because they went for affordable IVF outside the US unlike mega-rich folks in the US, they also have to deal with immigration. The starting point is secrecy and lies with intersex and certainly the end will NOT be continued lies and breaking laws. Its a new dawn and we want equal rights for IVF children and families and intersex families. So, lets march ahead! Will you join us?
In 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture called for a STOP to unnecessary intersex surgeries. Yet we were made to go through it in 2002 during a marriage with no proper protocol, is it torture? What if we had been allowed to be open about it like a breast or testicular cancer, could we have got better help? Could the education and awareness have helped a greater good sooner?
The claim is that there is a risk of testicular cancer in intersex patients if they do not remove the testes. What is the risk profile? In IVF children due to the fertility treatments, hormones, the induced egg harvesting, the frozen samples, a study claims IVF children are a third more likely to have cancer, they are at 65% risk of having leukemia. If an IVF child needs a bone marrow to live and is forcibly separated from his biological family using fraud documents, who will save his life? What is in the best interest of the IVF child?
In 2013, a first of its kind legal case was filed in the US for unnecessary intersex surgery. The current protocol of misinformation, secrecy, lies, fraud medical records in dealing with intersex surgery during marriage in 2002 is a disservice to both and should be stopped immediately in its current form.
In 2013, people are still struggling to have insurance companies pay for these unnecessary intersex surgeries because they are being honest about it. What if they instead lie and lie on medical records and fraud the insurance company into paying for the surgery? How has lying helped the greater good?
In 2013, Germany will become the first country in the “western nations” to legally recognize intersex as the “third gender”. Earlier in 2011, Australia and New Zealand also allowed a legal recognition of “third gender” while several Asian countries have legally recognized the “third gender” for some time now. By having “legal recognition”, one can get legal rights and more importantly have issues addressed like intersex rights, infertility rights and immigration rights.
In 2013, US started allowing “same-sex” couples to legally sponsor their partner’s immigration and thus not breaking families or forcing them to live in exile or secrecy. What if someone lied and got their US Immigration before 2013 by hiding their “same-sex” condition – they got a personal benefit but how did it help others like them? Empower with truth like Edie Windsor or lie for individual benefit?
In 2013, US Citizens and residents still cannot bring an IVF child born outside the US with “no biological link”. Some people may have lied, created fraud records and got an IVF child illegally into the US by breaking the laws, they got an individual benefit, how did it help other infertile people or other immigrants or other intersex people? How did it help the IVF child by being in legal limbo? What does the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and/or Child Rights have to say on this?
In 2013, surrogate and intended mothers are fighting to get rights for maternity leave when the IVF child is born. What if someone lied and frauded the FMLA system in 2004 for an IVF child but did not disclose it? By lying, they got an individual benefit but how did it help the greater good and other intended and surrogate mothers? Does this mean that gay fathers or single fathers or fathers who are primary care providers for IVF children do not deserve leave when child is born? Or are we just ignoring them and pretend they do not exist?
There are people who are looking for insurance coverage today to help with their infertility which requires saying the truth. Since we lied about IVF and infertility, we could not avail of this and more importantly we could not join the voice of others asking for fertility rights. Ironically, it is the lack of fertility rights which is the cause for splitting the IVF siblings. By staying silent we cannot help a greater good and it is important to speak up for oneself and others.
In 2013, what happens to IVF children who are born either due to an accident in the IVF clinic or a commissioning parent abandoned the IVF pregnancy and placing them in legal limbo and causing them to be stateless. What are the rights of such IVF children? Maybe we are asking too many questions too soon and should wait a few more years until we get a critical mass of “stateless IVF children” and left-behind parents. Punishing innocent, voiceless children that we “create” is not why we brought them into this world, right?
We are sympathetic to an intersex, infertile, immigrant – let our actions speak louder than words who were sent as canaries in the coal mine. But we also have issues due to lack of laws around intersex, infertility, and immigration and have a right to be heard – especially for innocent, voiceless IVF children. Our IVF children are SPLIT due to lack of laws, we cannot continue to bear and endure the torture and trauma in silence. We cannot see other IVF children, other infertile people, other immigrants just continue to be victimized and suffer just for speaking the truth. What we need is a legal framework and allow us to live in harmony with equal rights. Keep marching ahead.
In this generation, people who thought and looked ahead are punished and worse innocent IVF children are punished including abuse, silence, defamation, breaking the laws at any cost to steal a child away from his loving, caring biological family and the primary care provider. Let us hope in the future that people who look and think ahead if not rewarded are at least not punished and at the very least, their children are not punished for crimes they did not commit.