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385th Friday Blog Roundup

Josh sent me an article from the Forward titled IVF Babies Denied U.S. Citizenship.  It is specifically about Israeli-American women applying for dual citizenship for their Israeli-born children (in other words, the women are Americans living in Israel, their children are born in Israel, and they are trying to get them dual citizenship so it will be easier to travel in and out of the US to visit family), but I assume it’s a problem that is experienced by women living in other countries as well.  The article quotes the regulation:

The regulation states: “A child born outside the USA to an American cannot receive citizenship until a biological link with at least one parent is established.” Children who are legally adopted are specifically exempt from the rule, but IVF babies from donor eggs are not.

The article goes on to point out the bizarre inverse of this rule, stating that if this is true, it would be equally possible that two French citizens could fly to America, use an American woman’s gametes during a donor egg cycle in a US clinic, fly back to France, and apply for US citizenship for their child simply because the gametes are “American.”

The value is placed on the egg or sperm over the actual people raising the child.

The whole thing made my stomach twist.


If you have a WordPress blog, you may have noticed that I’ve been using a different email with my comments.  About a week ago, I tried to leave a comment on someone’s blog and got a message that the email account was associated with a WordPress account and I needed to log-in in order to use it.  But I don’t have a WordPress account.  So I put down a different email address (which does get to me).  This has solved the problem in the sense that I can leave a comment, except I can’t leave one under my normal email address.  Has anyone found a solution to this yet?


On the this-is-what-I-get-from-reading-blogs front: book suggestions.  Family Building with a Twist wrote this week about a book called MWF Seeking BFF which sounded good.  So I got it on Thursday and just started it.  Liking it very much so far.  I’m very much in a memoirs-by-women mood.  Like Isabel Gillies’ Happens Every Day or Claire Dederer’s Poser.  I’m also in a chicklet-set-in-America mood such as Emily Giffin, Candace Bushnell, Laura Weisberger.  Have anything else on the memoirs-by-women/chicklet-set-in-America front?


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week as well as the week before.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Kmina’s Blog has a post about the ways she has changed over the years.  Personally, I think her post would make a good meme (and make sure if you do that, that you link back to her).  Think of yourself ten years ago and now today: are you more patient?  Do you no longer crave chocolate?  Do you not finish books that aren’t holding your interest?  What have you learned; but more important, what has changed you?

The Infertility Voice has a post about D-day — Diagnosis Day — and the way this day has changed in her mind over the years.  Namely, how she feels on the anniversary.  It is about both forgetting about the wound itself as well as recognizing the scar and the story it tells.  She writes, “I’ve learned to live so much more fully in the moment that I spend less head space thinking about the past and how I’ve been wounded by infertility and more about how to move forward: to live with my infertility and not in spite of it.”

I love Something Out of Nothing’s post about affection and effusiveness.  It’s a glimpse into another person’s life.  I especially was struck by the beginning: “It doesn’t rain here often, but when it does, it always reminds me of the code my parents used, long before I was born, when my dad used to travel for work.  He would call my mom from the road, and at some point during the conversation, one of them would say, ‘It’s raining here,’ instead of ‘I love you’.” As well as the end (but you’ll have to click over and read the whole post to get that).

Lastly, the Adventures of MissOhkay has a post about her daughter’s birthplace, Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Did you know there are two countries we shorten to Congo?  I didn’t until I read this post.  I loved understanding how she came to choose the DR of the Congo for international adoption as well as more about her daughter’s place of origin.  This post is one in a series of posts about how her daughter came into her life.

The roundup to the Roundup: Article on donor egg babies and citizenship.  WordPress commenting problem.  Book suggestions?  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between March 16th and March 23rd) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Elizabeth { 03.23.12 at 7:19 am }

The dual citizenship stuff is so weird – actually citizenship stuff in general starts to get really crazy if you look at it too closely, IMO – I’m a dual national, born in Peru to a Peruvian mom and American dad. I don’t think this regulation existed in 1973 – I don’t think my dad had to do a paternity test … but I could be wrong. I never asked, actually.

2 Elizabeth { 03.23.12 at 7:23 am }

Oh, and here’s a second helping from this week: http://tara-sanders.blogspot.com/2012/03/yearning-sorrow-and-sadness-and-asking.html
Tara writes about belonging, otherness, grief, and support – interspersed with the lyrics from one of my favorite Dar Williams songs. A four-star post.

3 jodifur { 03.23.12 at 7:37 am }

I just moved to wordpress from typepad and now wordspress won’t let me leave comments on wordpress blogs using my wordpress account. So I sign is as a guest. I have no idea?

4 heather { 03.23.12 at 8:01 am }

I read an article on this from USA Today, apparently they also don’t ask every woman. They ask the women who are single or look ‘older than child bearing age’ if they did IVF:
“Michele Koven Wolgel, an Israel-based lawyer who specializes in U.S. immigration law, says many embassy officials ask only older women, especially single moms, about the method of birth.”

5 HereWeGoAJen { 03.23.12 at 8:59 am }

I am having the same problem with WordPress commenting. It’s driving me crazy.

6 sharah { 03.23.12 at 9:07 am }

Ditto on the wordpress problem, especially since I comment mainly from my phone. I switched to a backup email address and cursed the shoddy engineering that went into that decision.

7 Cristy { 03.23.12 at 9:25 am }

The news article about DE children being denied dual citizenship recks of misunderstanding and scares me. There’s already this misconception surrounding fertility treatments, now there’s this potential to putting a market value on gametes from certain countries. IF is stressful enough. Stomach twisting indeed.

I have two additional posts to suggest: First one is from HRF: http://waitingforlittlefeet.blogspot.com/2012/03/keep-em-close.html
Second one is from Mo: http://mommyodyssey.com/2012/03/22/there-can-only-be-so-many-dates/

8 niobe { 03.23.12 at 10:43 am }

Tangentially related to the citizenship thing:

Of course, my kids aren’t considered truly Jewish because they were born to non-Jewish surrogates.

And if I have them converted them to Judaism, they’ll be known as “ben Avraham Avinu,” “son of our Father, Abraham,” and “bat Sarah Imenu,” “daughter of our Mother, Sarah. In other words, not as Niobe’s son and daughter.

Not to mention that many Jews won’t recognize the conversion.

I realize that rules are rules, but, y’know, still.

9 missohkay { 03.23.12 at 11:20 am }

Thank you so much for including my post this week!

My favorite post for second helpings was Esperanza’s “Using Motherhood as an Excuse” which asks important questions about trying to do it all.

10 missohkay { 03.23.12 at 11:20 am }
11 Her Royal Fabulousness { 03.23.12 at 11:22 am }

I wonder if this is just in Israel, or if other countries are doing the same?

I feel like I could submit almost all of Miss Conception’s posts but this one is really moving. She is still struggling with the loss of her twins and this one talks about how sometimes we seek out the pain, just to remember. http://missconception-ads.blogspot.com/2012/03/st-song-12-down-side.html

12 Finding My New Normal { 03.23.12 at 11:28 am }

This whole donor egg issue directly affects me. I’m a US citizen living in the UK. We used an egg donor to get pregnant and I’m due this June. I was so worried about the whole thing I actually called an immigration lawyer.

In my case, my hubby is also a US citizen so the lawyer assured me that we would be ok. We used a US fertility clinic (not far from where you are) but because our donor is anonymous we can’t prove she’s a US citizen although I’m pretty sure she is.

I do worry about how many questions will be asked of us when we go to them embassy to get a passport/social security number for our daughter. Will there be a need for some kind of “proof” of a genetic link? Is it really any of the government’s business how we got pregnant in the first place? I wonder if this means my name won’t be on her US birth certificate?

It’s something I was not aware of when we first went down this path and it’s scary. The frustrating part is that if someone sneaks across the border and gives birth, their child is automatically a citizen even if both parents are not. But because I’m an American living abroad who needed an egg donor, I have to worry about obtaining the same thing for my own child.

13 Ana { 03.23.12 at 11:31 am }

I’m reading that book right now, too (just at the very beginning still). I’ve been reading Rachel’s blog from the beginning and I appreciate her starting the conversation on the importance of female friendships & the fact that they don’t “just happen” and need to be worked towards like anything else you want in life!

I also seem to be in a “light memoir by woman” phase. I finally got around to reading “The Happiness Project” & suprisingly liked it—think I was just in the right frame of mind for it right now. Don’t have any recommendations yet… Chick-lit set in America sounds like a good one to try next—I’ve been in a very long (years!) Chick-lit set in Ireland or UK phase myself.

14 marwil { 03.23.12 at 2:35 pm }

I really liked this post on Infertility and body image: http://infertilityawakening.com/2012/03/21/babies-love-fat-infertility-and-body-image/

15 Daryl { 03.23.12 at 6:48 pm }

Thanks so much for including my post, Mel! Again, totally humbled and flattered.

I loved TheStorkWhisperer’s post about taking a break from treatments this month: http://thestorkdiaries.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/cycle-day-something/

16 clare { 03.23.12 at 8:04 pm }

hmmm.. I have been wondering why the commenting on my wordpress account has dramatically decreased lately. On one hand, I am glad that it probably isn’t something I said/did (my first thought of course is ‘what did I do??’), on the other hand I really hope someone comments a solution or update here in the future so I can actually do something about it when they add some option box to click in the future as a go around…

thanks for all the great links this week Mel and all how contributed!

17 clare { 03.23.12 at 8:04 pm }

hmmm.. I have been wondering why the commenting on my wordpress account has dramatically decreased lately. On one hand, I am glad that it probably isn’t something I said/did (my first thought of course is ‘what did I do??’), on the other hand I really hope someone comments a solution or update here in the future so I can actually do something about it when they add some option box to click in the future as a go around…

thanks for all the great links this week Mel and all who contributed!

18 a { 03.23.12 at 8:11 pm }

Since I use similar passwords for things, I can usually figure out what password I used, so once I used my email address instead of whatever username I picked out, logging in to WordPress was no problem. And then I can change the info to whatever I want it to be. I don’t know why they no longer will use my Google identity, though. That sucks.

I’m reading Carrie Vaughan’s After the Golden Age. I haven’t gotten very far into it, but it’s about a girl who is the daughter of superheroes. It’s light, but not chick-lit (and if you want some chicklets, I’ll try and find some to send you!). I also liked her Discord’s Apple.

No memories of what I read this week…oh, wait gorillabuns had a post about a spam comment that took her back to before her son died…in fact, long before he was born. Also, she’s on typepad so I can comment there. 😉


19 crystal theresa { 03.23.12 at 11:47 pm }

i’ ran into that issue commenting on wordpress sites, too, which made my first ICLW frustrating — especially since it did that with a couple email addresses, and i couldn’t find a way to “log in.” ugh.

and about that article. the whole concept of it sounds ridiculous. does one need to draw up legal papers to “adopt” IVF babies, then?

20 unaffected { 03.24.12 at 10:57 am }

I’m also having the WordPress issue. Annoying! Loved your pics from DC, too! 🙂

21 Her Royal Fabulousness { 03.24.12 at 12:18 pm }
22 amy { 03.24.12 at 5:00 pm }

The citizenship issue is really scary!

23 Englands Glory { 03.24.12 at 5:40 pm }

Hi mates, pleasant post and good arguments commented here, I am genuinely enjoying by these.

24 Geohde { 03.25.12 at 1:52 am }

Ah. I had no idea why less people were talking to my posts than usual and now I get it. Only wish I knew how to fix it. Bad wordpress!

25 Geohde { 03.25.12 at 1:56 am }

Also on the citizenship issue, how do they even get to know about the donor gametes. More broadly, do eggs really carry tiny national flags or is it as silly a rule as it sounds because I’m pretty sure that people identify with the people and culture they know. Not a culture they don’t know, regardless of gamete source.

26 Kat { 03.25.12 at 12:10 pm }

The citizenship issue with IVF babies sounds awful. It seems like there’s been a lot on my radar lately about defining parenthood and families and I definitely want to write a post on it because I’m just sick of feeling like there are people who only honor a family if it’s a fertile man and a fertile woman with “natural” kids, which, to me, seems like such a rarity anyway. I just find it all so frustrating. There are a zillion ways to create family, as evidenced by the various cultures throughout history who have set up families and society much different than we do. People seem so obsessed with labels and judging what’s good and bad when most of the time it’s really none of their business.

27 Jessie { 03.27.12 at 12:03 am }

I LOVE Emily Giffin and Lauren Weisberger!!! Something Borrowed and Something Blue have been favorites for several years! Have you tried Dorothea Benton Frank? My favorite of hers is _Isle of Palms_.

28 Foxy { 03.27.12 at 12:25 pm }

Awesome article posted by “Nuture Your Hopes” about Adoption Ghosts posted at:

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