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?
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.