What’s the Motive for Military Spouse Surrogate Moms: Warm Hearts or Cold Cash?

July 09, 2008 08:58 AM
by Isabel Cowles
The increasing number of military wives who opt to become surrogate mothers have prompted some to examine the altruistic versus financial motivations of the decision.

30-Second Summary

As surrogate motherhood becomes increasingly accepted across the United States, military wives have signed up in record numbers to help infertile women have children.

“I get great satisfaction out of being able to help someone who can’t have a child by themselves,” said one military wife who has mothered six surrogate children.

Despite the apparently altruistic motives of many surrogates, there are concerns that military wives are becoming surrogate mothers for financial reasons.

According to a recent Newsweek article, surrogate motherhood “is an act of love, but also a financial transaction.”

“The military’s main medical provider, TRICARE, is one of the few health care insurers nationwide that doesn’t ban coverage for surrogate pregnancies. By hiring a woman with TRICARE benefits, intended parents avoid paying about $20,000 for a standard surrogacy medical policy. They also dodge deductibles and co-payments,” The San Diego Tribune reports. As a result, many military spouses command a higher fee than other surrogates.

Aside from putting pressure on the TRICARE system, some are concerned that military wives’ decision to become surrogate mothers could inspire domestic violence and create new complications for military families already struggling with the stress of deployment.

Headline Link: Military wives serve as surrogate mothers

Background: The rise of surrogate motherhood

Opinion & Analysis: Who pays and who benefits?

Reference: TRICARE policy on pregnancy and maternity

Related Topic: Support our military families


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