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article imageMilitary wives and surrogacy

By KJ Mullins     Mar 12, 2009 in Health
When the times are hard it seems Army wives know how to bring a little more bacon home. Some military wives are taking on more than just the home, they are carrying other couple's babies to buy the bills.
An LA Times report that some wives have used the insurance as military wives to become surrogate mothers. Tricare requires that surrogates pay for prenatal care but it's hard to prove that a woman is indeed a surrogate. Privacy laws prevent Tricare to prevent the company from demanding that women disclose that type of information.
One wife, Angel Howard, who is a surrogate believes that military wives have paid their premiums and have earned the right to use those benefits.
"If our husbands are putting their necks on the line in Iraq or wherever they happen to be at that point in time, we should be able to do what we want with our insurance," she said as she sat in her living room, with Brian staring down at her from the family portrait in his dress whites. "We're going through a lot here and if we're trying to do something for our families and other families, there shouldn't be anything wrong with that."
She's on her third try. The first time she didn't conceive. The second she had a miscarriage. She is now carrying twins due Oct. 15.
Since 2003 agencies reported a significant increase in the number of wives of soldiers and naval personnel. While there are relatively few surrogate births in the United States it can be an attractive chance for a woman to make a little extra money and help a childless couple out. That little extra can at times equal more than their husband's pay check.
Newsweek reports:
"Military wives can't sink their teeth into a career because they have to move around so much," says Melissa Brisman of New Jersey, a lawyer who specializes in reproductive and family issues, and heads the largest surrogacy firm on the East Coast. "But they still want to contribute, do something positive. And being a carrier only takes a year—that gives them enough time between postings."
With the advancements of IVF technology some clinics such as Genetics & IVF Institute in Virginia can boast a 70 to 90 percent success rate.
Those are very good odds. Women who don't get pregnant are still given a fee for undergoing the treatments. It's not that much but it's enough to help with a bill or two. Of course not every woman is in it for the money. Most are offering their wombs to help another family out. It just can help their expenses at the same time.
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