When I think about what magazine might do a story on the surrogacy issue, I’m thinking…Parenting? Maybe Family Circle? Or even Ms Mag? Nope.

How about  the trendy men’s book, Details?  Yeah, that wouldn’t have been my guess, and yet here it is.


Naturally they come at it from a different angle, as it’s titled “Would You Let Your Wife Have Another Man’s Baby.” And it’s not bad. I liked it for its honesty and its generally accurate portrayal of surrogacy, at least what we’ve discovered so far.

But one line pretty much ruined this article for me. Can you spot it?

Here: I’ll save you the trouble:

“Shirley Zager, director of Parenting Partners, a surrogate service in Chicago, estimates that there have been about 28,000 such births in the United States since 1976. The women who make them possible are almost always married to guys like Brent, men who are comfortable pimping out their wives’ bodies for nine months at a stretch.”

Well as the song goes, It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp. (An aside: did that song really win an Academy Award for Best Song in 2005? Wow.). But it’s even harder for those who try to educate people about surrogacy, and the reasons why a woman — or in our case, a family — decides to embark on this journey.

Did the writer — a female by the way — carelessly toss in that line without a second thought? Or was it a very conscious way of casting judgement on those of her own gender who go down this road? Either way, it’s  an unfortunate choice of words. And it shows either her carelessness or stupidity. Take your pick.

From my newly minted, but still limited,  knowledge about the world of surrogacy, I’ve come to realize that everyone seems to have a different reason for wanting to become a surrogate. On the one extreme, it can be a cold, business relationship between surrogate and IP — as depicted in the Details story.

And on the other extreme: It’s a selfless call to action, an opportunity to share a blessing and provide the miracle of life. These situations — or close facsimiles — seem a lot more prevalent I’m happy to say.

And many of them are somewhere in the middle. Maybe it’s done on the behalf of a friend or family member who can’t have children of their own. Maybe the money is needed to fund a college education. And many other reasons.

But, as the author puts it,  pimping out their wives’ bodies? That describes a husband actually pushing her to use her body in this extreme sense. To actively solicit for the arrangement. 

Unimaginable. Even if there was some bizarre couple from Dimwit, Arkansas (sorry to my AR readers) who approached a surrogacy agency with this mindset, they’d be quickly shown the door before the screening had barely begun.

Besides, I think the purple jump suit and excessive amount of gold jewelry he’d be wearing  to the screening interview would be a dead giveaway.