Jessie Jaskulsky holding a baby

5 Things to Know About Surrogacy – Guest Blog by Jessie Jaskulsky

Gold Coast Doulas asked Jessie Jaskulsky to guest blog on the topic of Surrogacy since March is Surrogacy Awareness Month. Jessie is the mom of Lily and Luna. It is through her first-hand experience with surrogacy that she is passionate about simplifying the process for others. Having gone through this beautiful but wildly complicated process twice, Jessie is motivated to help others create the family of their dreams.


March is Surrogacy Awareness Month and the perfect time to learn more about the beautiful gift of surrogacy. Whether you or someone you know are experiencing infertility, here are five things you need about this beautiful pathway to parenthood. 

The Difference Between Gestational and Traditional Surrogacy

Gestational Surrogacy is when the surrogate undergoes an embryo transfer and carries the baby for the Intended Parents. The embryo is created by combining the egg from one person (typically the Intended Mother or egg donor) with the sperm (typically the Intended Father or sperm donor) in a lab (fertility clinic). The gestational carrier does not have any biological connection to the baby. Traditional Surrogacy, on the other hand, is when the surrogate has a biological connection to the baby. In most circumstances, the egg is from the surrogate and the sperm is from either the Intended Father or donor sperm. It is important to note that traditional surrogacy is banned in several states whereas gestational surrogacy is legal in 47 out of 50 states (Michigan being one of the states where it is illegal). 


Where to Find a Surrogate 

Matching with a surrogate can be done in a variety of ways. Intended Parents can find a surrogate with the help of a surrogacy agency, a surrogacy consultant, or independently. An independent journey is when an agency or consultant is not used and the Intended Parents manage the entire process by themselves. In these instances, the surrogate is either someone the Intended Parents know or met through social media. The length of time it takes to match with a surrogate can vary greatly depending on the method you choose. Even within one of these options, there is still significant variability in the time to be matched with a surrogate.

You Follow the Law Where the Baby is Born 

Regardless if your surrogate is known (i.e., friend or family member) or someone met through an agency, you will need a legal contract. Since Michigan is a state where surrogacy is not (yet) legal, you would need to find a surrogate living in a “surrogacy-friendly” state. Your legal representation is typically in the state where the baby will be born (i.e., where the surrogate lives). There are some exceptions to this rule, for example, in states where the laws for surrogacy are written favorably, some will try to argue jurisdiction for the state where the embryo transfer occurred. 

The Cost of Surrogacy 

The cost of surrogacy can range from $125,000 to $175,000 based on a variety of factors. Examples include surrogate compensation, whether your surrogate has “surrogate-friendly” health insurance (otherwise the Intended Parents need to purchase her a supplemental policy), type of journey you pursue (independent vs. using a surrogacy agency). There are grants available (pro tip- check out Resolve to find available ones in your state) and financing options to help with the high cost of surrogacy.

Surrogates are Evaluated Physically & Psychologically 

Once you’ve matched with a surrogate, the surrogate will also be evaluated by a psychologist or social worker who is trained in ART.  The exact assessment may vary based on the fertility clinic you are working with and their specific requirements. Most surrogates can expect an assessment that has two components; a session with the psychologist and completing a questionnaire that is part of a more formal measure such as the MMPI (Minnesota Multi-phasic Personality Inventory). 

The Intended Parents’ fertility clinic will review the surrogate’s medical records and schedule a time for her to come to the office for an evaluation. At the evaluation, they will test her and her partner for infectious diseases and undergo a urine drug test. They will also meet with the Reproductive Endocrinologist to review the surrogate’s medical history and discuss the surrogacy process. Lastly, they will evaluate the surrogate’s uterus by either ultrasound or HSG hysterosalpingogram) to visualize the uterus and fallopian tubes.

If you are thinking about beginning a surrogacy journey, we’d love to meet you and learn about your unique circumstances. You can schedule a complimentary consultation here. Not ready to meet but interested in learning more? Download our free surrogacy e-book here.