The cover story of this issue of Newsweek investigates surrogate childbirth.  As the article notes, it has detractors across the political spectrum:  from the social/cultural conservative right because they feel it weakens the traditional family; from some quarters of the left, that it turns women into transactional baby producing slaves.

Apparently the largest segment of surrogates are military wives.  Don’t know what that does for a pro-family pro-war social conservative, if anything.

This graph made my head spin:

In the course of reporting this story, we discovered that many of these women are military wives who have taken on surrogacy to supplement the family income, some while their husbands are serving overseas. Several agencies reported a significant increase in the number of wives of soldiers and naval personnel applying to be surrogates since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Also military wives are high on the list of surrogates because of the military’s excellent health coverage.

I have no idea what I think about this issue, but what I like about this article is that it simply looks into the lives of people involved in these relationships–parents, surrogates, babies–including the potential pitfalls and joys.  As usual it’s far more beautiful, painful, and real (it would seem) than any of the stereotypes in the media and political discourse let on.

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 9:54 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. hello – this is avery interesting post – i have just finished producing a short documentary on surrogacy here in the uk – it covers the changes in laws which are occuring – and the problems some people can face when going through the process to overcome infertility – it can be found on my blog – – and – feel free to have a look – it would be great if you could get back to me with any comments and debate – thanks – mike

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