What Is Surrogacy?

The practice of surrogacy involves a legal agreement between a woman (known as the surrogate) and another individual or couple (known as the intended parents), whereby the surrogate agrees to carry and deliver a child on behalf of the intended parents. This arrangement is often sought by individuals or couples who are unable to conceive a child on their own, due to various reasons such as fertility issues or medical complications. The surrogate is compensated for her services, and the intended parents assume full legal and parental responsibilities for the child once it is born.

Pregnant woman getting an ultrasound

Types of Surrogacy

When it comes to surrogacy, there are two main types to consider: traditional and gestational. Traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate mother’s egg being fertilized by the intended father’s sperm. This is typically done through artificial insemination. On the other hand, gestational surrogacy involves the implantation of an embryo that has been created using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents, or donors, into the surrogate mother’s uterus. In this case, the surrogate mother is not biologically related to the child. Instead, she is simply carrying the embryo to term on behalf of the intended parents. Both types of surrogacy come with their own unique benefits and challenges, and it’s important to carefully consider your options before making a decision.

Surrogacy Laws in Michigan

Overview of Michigan Surrogacy Laws

Surrogacy laws differ across states and countries. There are certain legal complexities in Michigan, and surrogacy contracts are unenforceable. Let’s delve in!

Eligibility for Surrogacy in Michigan

Surrogacy may still occur in Michigan but without the protection of an enforceable contract. Intended parents and surrogates should know the legal risks and complexities involved.

Parentage Orders in Michigan

In Michigan, Pre-Birth Orders are not granted, which leaves the legal status of intended parents unclear until the child’s birth. Yet, post-birth adoptions are common for non-biological intended parents to obtain parental rights.

Compensated vs. Altruistic Surrogacy

Michigan law prohibits compensated surrogacy but does not explicitly forbid altruistic surrogacy, where the surrogate is not paid beyond reasonable expenses.

Steps to Surrogacy in Michigan

Medical Procedure

Once a suitable surrogate is found, a medical procedure is carried out to fertilize the surrogate with the intended parent’s or donor’s embryos.

Although surrogacy contracts are unenforceable in Michigan, legal counsel is still critical. They can help navigate the complicated legal landscape to protect all parties as much as possible.

The Cost of Surrogacy in Michigan

Surrogate Compensation

As compensated surrogacy is illegal in Michigan, surrogate mothers are only reimbursed for their medical and certain living expenses during the pregnancy.

Other Costs Involved

There are other costs associated with surrogacy, including medical, legal, and agency fees, which can add up and should be factored into the overall budget.

Finding a Surrogate in Michigan

Agencies vs. Independent Surrogates

Intended parents can find a surrogate through an agency or independently. Each has its pros and cons, and it’s important to evaluate which is the best fit for your circumstances.

Important Considerations

Choosing a surrogate is a personal decision that should be carefully considered. Ensure the surrogate is mentally and physically fit for the task and understands the legal implications.

The Role of Surrogacy Agencies

What Surrogacy Agencies Do

Surrogacy agencies play a critical role in matching intended parents with compatible surrogates. They also provide support throughout the surrogacy journey, ensuring a smooth process for all parties.

Choosing the Right Agency

Choosing the right surrogacy agency is crucial for a successful surrogacy journey. Consider their experience, success rates, surrogate screening process, and support services.


Surrogacy is a viable option for many who wish to start or expand their families. Although there are unique legal challenges concerning surrogacy laws in Michigan, with the right resources and support, hopeful parents and surrogates can navigate this complex process.

While the Surrogacy Parenting Act renders surrogacy contracts unenforceable, this doesn’t necessarily prevent surrogacy arrangements from taking place. It means that each party must cautiously approach the process, ensuring they fully understand the legal implications.


Surrogacy is not explicitly illegal in Michigan, but surrogacy contracts are considered unenforceable under the Surrogate Parenting Act.

Can a surrogate be compensated in Michigan?

Michigan law prohibits compensated surrogacy arrangements. Surrogates may, however, be reimbursed for medical and certain living expenses.

How can intended parents protect their rights in a surrogacy arrangement in Michigan?

Intended parents can protect their rights through post-birth adoption procedures. Legal counsel is strongly recommended to help navigate this complex process.

How are surrogates selected in Michigan?

Surrogates can be found independently or through a surrogacy agency. They must be physically healthy and psychologically ready to bear a child for someone else.

What role do surrogacy agencies play in Michigan?

Surrogacy agencies help match intended parents with suitable surrogates. They offer support throughout the process, helping to navigate the medical and legal journey.