“Most American citizens have no idea that taxpayer-funded Tricare Health Insurance, provided to members of the military, is being used to cover the pregnancy and childbirth costs of surrogate pregnancies for contracting buyers.”
In previous articles, we treat the ethical aspects of surrogation, read HERE.
The US surrogacy industry feeds on the use of so-called military wives as breeder stock. Depending on the area of the country, it is estimated that between 20 and 50 percent of surrogates in the United States are military wives. Since there is virtually no regulation of surrogacy in the United States, exact numbers are impossible to obtain. It is certain that any numbers that are proffered are much lower than the reality given the “Wild West” nature of surrogacy in this country. It is said that these women represent an ideal supply source for the industry. “Military wives make very good surrogates,” said Karen Synesiou, director of the Los Angeles-based Center for Surrogate Parenting, who eagerly signs them up, according to Glamour magazine. “They’re independent and self-sufficient since their husbands are away from home a lot.” But Kaleen Gloan in an article published in Public Discourse, affirms “most American citizens have no idea that taxpayer-funded Tricare health insurance, provided to members of the military, is being used to cover the pregnancy and childbirth costs of surrogate pregnancies for contracting buyers.”
Regulation of surrogation in the United States
Surrogacy in the United States is not governed at the state level; there are no national laws or regulations governing surrogacy or egg selling. The US fertility industry is a four-billion-dollar business. A patchwork quilt of laws and regulations covers the fifty states, ranging from “anything goes” systems in California and Connecticut to legal bans in Michigan and New York. In the middle are states like Louisiana, which restricts surrogacy to married couples using their own gametes. Any surrogacy arrangements outside of this are subject to civil and criminal penalties.
Despite this confusing regulations Richmond Journal of Law gives some figures
Surrogacy agencies have revealed that military wives are popular as surrogates.Though they account for just 1% of the population, agencies indicate that between 15 and 20% of surrogates are military wives. In some geographic locations, military wives make up 50% of the area surrogates. This popularity provides insight into the characteristics that buyers find appealing in a surrogate.
Read our special report Gestational surrogacy, who benefits, who harms? Bioethics considerations
Wiley Online Library article, “The Mommy Deployment”: Military Spouses and Surrogacy in the United States*