I am the proud dad of an IVF baby.
My little girl was one of two of our last frozen embryos.
Our eleventh embryo transfer.
Our fifth IVF.
I dealt with people saying we were selfish, should just adopt with all the unwanted children out there, should just relax, and dozens of other inanities we are subjected to as members of the infertile community.
I could always write them off as being ignorant, but largely harmless, dolts.
The folks behind personhood legislation can’t be qualified as “harmless.”
I’ve read the speaking points about the ethical concerns motivating the bills popping up around the US. I’m puzzled at how dispassionately the desires of the couples seeking out the treatment are omitted. Somehow the aspiring parents have been removed from the entire argument.
That’s odd considering a part of each of the hopeful parent’s biology will be voluntarily provided to create the embryo in the first place, with the sole goal of using the best practices of reproductive medical science to GROW A CHILD.
So much of the personhood language revolves around how many embryos are destroyed, or researched, or frozen, but nothing points out the goal of creating a life.
I also think it’s disingenuous to assert that the embryo, or fertilized egg, is actually a confirmed, viable life.
I would LOVE to believe that’s true, because, if it was, there would be 100% success rates, and reproductive endocrinologists would only need to create one embryo for each couple.
The only problem is, that embryo can’t be confirmed as being a viable life until we get the pregnancy test.
And then again when we see the sac.
Then the two chamber heart. Then a 4 chamber heart.
I can’t figure out where the religious basis is for doctors not being allowed to help along the process either. Being a Catholic, I’m pretty sure it is a Catholic thing.
I’ve read the Catholic Donum Vitae.
The whole “begotten not made” argument, written by a bunch of guys who can’t ever have a family or kids, and don’t have a uterus among themselves, doesn’t carry much weight to me.
Maybe it’s because I can’t find anything in the Bible that says “thou shalt not have a child with the help of a doctor.”
I do value life, and consider myself very pro-life. Somehow the anti-IVF powers seem to equate IVF with abortion, and that’s deeply troubling to me.
After sixteen years of relationships with couples who now enjoy parenthood because of IVF, I can’t even fathom how the correlation to abortion is drawn.
I understand the concern about the qualitative judgments made with regards to embryos not used in a transfer. Our daughter was considered a low quality embryo. It haunts me sometimes to think what would have happened if we hadn’t checked the “cryopreserve” box when were asked what we wanted to do with the extra embryos.
But don’t we rely on the professional opinions of medical professionals for all kinds of quality of life and life saving procedures every single day?
For couples like us, the 5% of infertility patients who need the advanced technology of IVF, natural conception was just not possible.
I believe with every ounce of my being that Elliana is our soul baby. Our path to her was opened up because of the miracle of IVF.
I am prepared to fight any renewed effort to see the rights of any future IVF dad stomped on because of the uneducated opinions of a group of anti-family building bullies.
I had and still have every right to put my God given but fertility challenged reproductive biology in the hands of an infertility professional if I want to.
To the folks who seek to make it harder than it already is to have a child with assisted reproduction, I’ll simply offer this:
Let’s extend an olive branch to try to find a middle ground that doesn’t attack family building.
If not, let’s get the gloves on and enter the ring while I defend my right to be an IVF dad.
I’ll pray for peace.
But I’ll be ready to fight.
- http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)
- http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW)