By Nayanika Ruia
Edited by Nandini Bhatia
Army men’s wives in the United States of America are renting their wombs as a surrogate! While their husbands are dodging missiles and bullets overseas, some military wives are becoming surrogates to rent out their wombs for bearing a child for a couple who cannot have one. In accordance to a Newsweek report, there is a sharp increase in surrogate births where the surrogate mother is a military man’s wife in America. Even though commercializing surrogacy in the USA is not a preferred option, ironically, one of the largest segments of the American population involved in surrogacy is supported, in a way, by the federal government i.e. the military wives.
Surrogacy, in simple words, can be described as an arrangement within which a woman carries and then delivers a child for someone else, it may be a single person or a couple. Nowadays, technology has made it immensely easy for an infertile couple to hire surrogates to carry their babies through pregnancy, generally in exchange for money. For women who struggle to rear their own children while their husbands are off to Afghanistan or Iraq to serve the country, the money for them is bounteous i.e. often more than what their husbands earn in a year at war. According to a report, a new military enlistee earns from $16,080 to $28,900 per annum while a confession from a surrogate to the Newsweek revealed that she was lured by an advertisement that assured her up to $30,000 to carry and deliver the baby. The surrogate, when asked about her objective of the work she adopted, answered that she was earning good amount of money and at the same time, like her husband, was doing something good. She was helping a couple to get their own family!
National Review in ABC news recently analyzed data which shows that military wives make really good candidates for surrogates as their health insurance covers major expenses and that military women are more inclined than non –military women to get along with hormone treatments, morning sickness, C-section etc. due to their adaptability powers from their surroundings and lifestyle.
Many army wife surrogates claim that in military, the mentality of going to extremes in order to fight for your country and risk your life for the same develops and simultaneously these values of helping someone automatically gets embedded in your lifestyle. So even if surrogacy is banned in a few nations, the United States of America has definitely found a new way to make the best use of technology and their resources in order to benefit their citizens at large! Recent data of 2015 shows that around 1,400 children were born to surrogate mothers who were wives of military men in the U.S, a figure which is relatively quite high!
Even though India and other nations should consider this as an extremely productive way for both the military wives and infertile couples, the cons of surrogacy, societal taboos, cultural norms and laws will always outpace the way to a broader outlook!