Showing posts with label media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label media. Show all posts

Friday, October 15, 2010

My experience with GMA on military surrogacy.

Taryn, Elizabeth, & Myself following GMA interview.
Elizabeth Vargas recently interviewed me for a piece on military wives as surrogates for Good Morning America.  The story was based off a editorial article a NPR reporter wrote for November's Glamour magazine, that I was also interviewed for, but only authorized a brief "anonymous" comment to be released due to the article's overall unfavorable tone regarding surrogates. 

Originally, our segment was meant to air on an episode of another ABC show, 20/20, thus the reason Elizabeth Vargus conducted our interview.  However, when we arrived for the actual interview, the show's producers and Elizabeth mentioned our interview may get pushed to a feature piece on GMA, due to the more timely issue of school bullying. 

Regardless, we were thrilled to get the opportunity to share a part of our story with the public, but more importantly, it gave me a chance to reunite with the family I helped  more then 5 years prior!
  • Here is the GMA video (also embedded in my blog's sidebar):
It turned out better then I expected, knowing the controversial nature of the piece. But, it still didn't highlight the points we elaborated (over and over again) in our interviews - which are that in ALL of my contracts (and I think most surrogate contracts) my couples were ALWAYS responsible for any bills that came out of my pregnancies for their babies, whether insurance paid or not.

In the end, Tricare didn't pay a dime of my care because I was so open and honest about being a surrogate and my contracts reflected that my couples were the responsible parties (as they should be...because ultimately, we wouldn't be pregnant otherwise). Furthermore, if ANY military surrogate tries to misuse/mislead/hide, or abuse the covered benefits of maternity care during her pregnancy for a civilian couple, by hiding that she were a surrogate (in the case of Coleen, also featured in the media piece) or write into their contracts that their couples are not responsible for payment of their medical care (CRAZY to even attempt, IMO) - Tricare considers that beneficiary fraudulent and will not only retract the payments from her maternity care, but she can face some VERY serious ramifications of her medical benefits being taken away from her.

I wanted the public to take away from the piece that a surrogate should NEVER, come away from a pregnancy for another couple in debt! - Tricare beneficiary or not; regardless of how desperate she may be to try to help a couple! Let's not to discount a surrogate's ultimate compassion for her couple and the huge expense the surrogacy process can be for infertile couples, but the surrogate's (and her family's) financial future should always supersede her desire to cut costs for the couple she is helping as their surrogate!

As a surrogate, make sure your contract reflects your couple's full responsibility during your care, then, if Tricare pays (or not), the surrogate has some legal recourse. And just as importantly, the intended couples of military dependents should be aware that the possibility exists that a surrogate pregnancy may not be fully, or even partially, covered through Tricare's policy - get a supplemental policy from the beginning, or arrange ahead of time with the surrogate's medical care providers and hospital that private pay may be necessary (IPs should plan accordingly).

...OK, enough ranting, LOL
  • Here are a couple pictures from my trip to Delaware for the interview, and a reunion with the family I helped...all-in-all, it was a VERY memorable experience! 

Dinner in Delaware with the family I helped in 2006.
Having fun with my now 5 year old, surrogate son, Kyen.

It's Showtime!