Magazine article Newsweek

The Editor's Desk

Magazine article Newsweek

The Editor's Desk

Article excerpt

Byline: Jon Meacham

A few months ago, Julia Baird, the editor who oversees our science and family coverage, kept coming across stories about Americans (and Brits) going to India to look for surrogates--stories that were prompting angry online debates about the ethics of outsourcing childbearing to the developing world. It was all very interesting, Julia says, "but I kept wondering why no one was talking about the women in this country who enter commercial arrangements to carry other people's babies. The thought of going through childbirth and nine months of pregnancy for someone else seems astonishing for anyone who has been through it themselves. Sure, it's a joyful, miraculous process--but it is not easy. It can be uncomfortable, painful, restricting and traumatic as well as uplifting and curiously magical. So I was puzzled: who would do this? And why?"

The great thing about journalism is that we get paid to go in search of answers to the questions that interest us. And so we launched a reporting project to find out what we could about the small but fascinating world of surrogacy. The result is this week's cover, written by Lorraine Ali and Raina Kelley with additional reporting from Jeneen Interlandi and Daniel Stone. Raina, who is in her second trimester, says that "it was truly strange working on this story while pregnant. The knowledge made intended parents nervous and defensive (though it did help them to open up regarding their own fertility struggles, all of which were nightmarish)."

Along the way we discovered what are called--and they love the term, treating it as an inside joke--"military carriers": the wives of American servicemen who bear children for others. "I would never have imagined that one of the most disciplined, conservative and straitlaced slices of our society would be involved in one of the most unconventional--and contested--methods of achieving family," says Lorraine. …

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