Those of us who watch Army Wives remember the first episode when Pamela gave birth to surrogate twins. This morning, Good Morning America, in collaboration with Glamour Magazine, ran a segment on military wives as surrogates.
Freelance journalists Habiba Nosheen and Hilke Schellmann spent two years investigating the practice of surrogacy by military wives.
There's a lot to digest and plow through here. I'll begin with this:
"They move around a lot, so they really can't get their teeth into a career, and if they want to contribute to society and do something useful, it's a good use of their time," said Brisman, whose agency employs about 20 military surrogate mothers out of more than 200. "A lot of them are just strong family people…and what a better thing to do for somebody than have a baby for somebody who can't."
I feel as if the phrase "contribute to society and do something useful" was a rather unfortunate choice of words, for many reasons. I'm quite sure Ms. Brisman meant no harm. After all, she employs military wives. But, initially I wanted to retort:
Hey, it's a cottage industry….
I also wanted to point out that the volunteerism rate among military spouses is quite high. Being able to bless a couple with a baby is a marvelous, beautiful thing, but I think milspouses –surrogates and non-surrogates alike — contribute to society in a million ways. On a daily basis.
The question of whether TriCare should flip the bill for these births is a legitimate one. But let's remember when we're talking about taxpayers, military families pay into that big federal government pool, just like any other family.
A few things about the GMA video rubbed me the wrong way. Most of them have nothing at all to do with surrogacy. I need much more time to look at the other video and read the Glamour report. As a general rule, I don't like to publish a post until I've really thought it through and spent the requisite time and energy transferring my thoughts into coherent, logical words. Sometimes my initial reaction is raw, and wrong. Perhaps I'll see things differently with time. But, it's Friday and this is a hot topic today, so let's roll with it and get the conversation started.
What are your thoughts about this topic, and this report?
Feel free to discuss here, or on our Facebook Page (or both). We'll pick this up again sometime next week.
Thanks to the Armorer for sending the link.