Jasmine Hsieh’s background is firmly rooted in egg donation and surrogacy. As a five-time egg donor and former consultant, liaison, and translator to over a thousand intended parents and hundreds of surrogates and egg donors, she knows on both a personal and a professional level what this path to family building entails. Today, she’s Program Director of Love and Kindness Surrogacy, a boutique agency founded on care, honesty, and transparency. Read on as Jasmine shares her story, how years working in the industry spurred her to start her own agency, and how the team prioritizes a personalized journey for all intended parents, communication and, specifically, love and kindness.
A team effort – born out of love and kindness
1. What inspired you to work in the fertility industry?
I was an egg donor for five different families when I was in college. I’ve always known egg donation and surrogacy exist, but that was my first personal experience with it. It is an amazing feeling to know that there are cute kids out there that I helped bring to this world. I was also recruited to work in this field when I was a senior in college because of it.
I had ample experience working directly with intended parents and many, many agencies in the first chapter of my career as a liaison and translator. What really prompted me to start my own agency – Love & Kindness – is really just a pure desire to focus on the basics, which is, serving people with the purest heart and doing what is the best for the clients, be it intended parents, surrogates, or egg donors.
My liaison and translation work exposed me to many instances where I feel like the agency made their concern with maximizing profit in mind. And I get it; we all need to make a living somehow; but many times, I wish the clients (mostly intended parents, since they were the ones I worked with the most) could be treated with more kindness. I know it sounds cliche (and maybe a bit too naïve), but “to be able to just focus on helping people,” was my inspiration for founding Love & Kindness.
2. We’d love to hear your story – can you share some highlights of the journey since opening in 2019?
As you know we are quite new (and plus bumping into COVID-19 in our second year), so we haven’t helped more than 100 intended parents and surrogates. But so far, so many of them have made a point to tell me or one of our team members how much they appreciated us, and how lucky they considered they are to be to work with us. It always means the world to us… The surrogate from one of our first births in early 2020 emailed me a month before her due date to let me know that she will want to become a surrogate again with us, because “we are that awesome”. She was letting me know in advance; that was how excited she was to become a surrogate again with us. I got two more emails in the past month from two different surrogates (both delivered last week) thanking us for the thoughtful postpartum gifts we prepared for them. We are a small company, yes, but we do try our very best to be thoughtful and be there for our clients.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience personally over your years in this work?
I’m not a religious person, but definitely spiritual, and strongly believe in “putting good energy into the universe” – you know, that sort of thing. Working in the surrogacy field makes me feel very blessed, and I have seen so many examples of good energy being returned. To give a tangible example (not that it was the best story), one time a surrogate was unhappy about our choice of gift to her for a milestone in her journey and wasn’t too polite about it. This is a situation that most people would roll their eyes at and move on, but I decided to send her something that she for sure would like (using the same budget – so she wasn’t getting more by complaining). I treated her not-so-reasonable complaint seriously and responded with love, and months after that I randomly saw her commenting on a surrogacy-related Facebook post talking about us and saying that we are amazing. I truly believe in treating everyone with the most kindness and I’m appreciative that our work provides us abundant stories to prove this motto right.
Beautiful new beginnings
4. What is your advice for intended parents just beginning to consider surrogacy?
Talk to me!!!! I’m not kidding, LOL.
But for real though, I understand that there is no way I could talk to all intended parents out there. I would say to keep an open mind as much as you can and also sometimes a leap of faith is needed for success; everything is not going to be perfect or exactly the way you wanted, and that is okay.
I see some intended parents being very reserved. They want to maximize their chance of success by eliminating as many risks as possible, understandably, but they may end up missing out on great opportunities or delaying their journey for an unnecessarily long time. For example, we currently have a super lovely European couple who we have been working with since before COVID-19 (COVID also paused their search for a long time). Two surrogates this couple had turned down went on to be matched with other intended parents and already carried and delivered smoothly. The other two are also currently pregnant and so far, so good. I won’t tell this couple the above (as that would be insensitive and hurtful) but I wish they could relax a bit more and take a chance on someone who is medically fit and mentally committed to carry. Almost every surrogate would have a thing or two (or five) that could be concerning (but still acceptable), such as being younger than 23, being older than 35, BMI higher than 30 (but lower than 35 or 32, depending on RE guideline), having had diet controlled gestational diabetes, having had one or more miscarriages (but went on to have healthy pregnancies), or having had one or more c-sections, etc. So, this is my best advice for all intended parents. Assuming you will already have done your research and find a great agency to work with, then just understand that while “perfect-on-paper surrogate” exists, most surrogates are not going to be like that; and instead, to choose a surrogate who passes your RE’s evaluation and who you find to be genuine, kind, and committed.
5. Is there anything else you’d like to share about Love & Kindness Surrogacy?
Let’s see. We strive to keep the costs as low and reasonable as possible. We believe in being personal and providing the tight-knitted team feeling for our surrogates and intended parents. We also commit to treating the clients exactly how we would want to be treated if we were the client ourselves. On the technical side, we have a Client Portal (in both desktop and mobile version) where we would upload documents and updates to intended parents. We look forward to assisting more people building or expanding their families.
The Love and Kindness Surrogacy Team
Thank you for sharing Love and Kindness Surrogacy’s story Jasmine, and for prioritizing intended parents and gestational carriers throughout the entire surrogacy process!
Ready to start your search for a surrogacy agency? Learn more about Love and Kindness Surrogacy and other wonderful options, here.