October 19th, 2010
02:14 PM ET

Air Force wife opts to be surrogate mom

A few years ago, Darcy Schwartz was watching an episode of Lifetime's "Army Wives" when she had an epiphany. One of the wives on the program was pregnant and being paid to have another couple's baby.

"I knew that it sounded like something that I was able to do. I'd had four pregnancies without incident. Pregnancies are very easy for me," said Schwartz, whose husband, James, is a master sergeant in the Air Force.

Schwartz became a surrogate mother. She gave birth to a fifth child, a boy who didn't belong to her, and gave the baby to his parents.

"I knew I could never give my own child away, but I knew I wanted to help in some way," Schwartz said.

It unclear how many military wives are paid to be surrogate mothers. At one surrogate mother agency in New Jersey, Reproductive Possibilities, about 10 percent of the agency's surrogate moms are military wives.

"It's not overwhelmingly high," said Melissa Brisman, who owns the agency.

Surrogates at Brisman's agency, she says, are paid $2,000 a month in living expenses for 10 months. Expectant moms carrying twins are paid more, as are women who have been successful surrogates with the agency in the past.

"We received a living expense for helping out," Schwartz said. "It does change the way you go about your routine."

The majority of a surrogate pregnancy is paid for by the couple who hire the surrogate. However, military wives are not required to tell the government that they are serving as a surrogate, and as such, the government's Tricare military health insurance program pays for the deliveries.

In a statement, Tricare said, "because there is no reporting requirement we have no way of knowing the number of military family members who have served as surrogate mothers."

Schwartz says she felt bonded to the boy she gave up but was happy to help another couple have a baby.

"To see the joy on their faces. 'Here's your little boy.' I was just overjoyed," she said.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Constantine

    Can we concentrate for a second on what this is saying!>!??!?
    Geez that is soo bizarre – i cant believe it?
    This lady is renting out her uterus – really?

    October 19, 2010 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • texas

      i think it's wonderful.! "renting out uterus"–so when people do organ transplants are they "renting out their organs?" and is this bad? why can't a woman give the gift of a baby to someone else??

      October 19, 2010 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
  2. CrystalG

    What is wrong here is that our government is paying for the medical care and delivery of these children. The military wives are playing the system in a big way. While I support the idea of surrogate parents, I do not believe in taking advantage of a loop hole and ripping off the system to do it.

    December 28, 2010 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beth

      I agree with Crystal.

      December 28, 2010 at 00:30 | Report abuse |
  3. towingserviceblog

    I understand the joy of bringing a life to the world and making a difference to the lives of people who cannot conceive normally. Many young women today are taking up surrogacy to give back this unique gift to others. There are also those who can do with the compensation that is often given by the intended parents.
    Read more http://www.growinggenerations.com

    July 11, 2013 at 03:49 | Report abuse | Reply

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