It was January 2007, when Family Source Consultants opened their doors in Chicago, Illinois. Born from the ideas of two passionate women who had created their families through surrogacy, and felt called to help others do the same.
Family Source Consultants Co-Founders, Staci Swiderski and Zara Griswold, both built their families via gestational surrogacy. It was their personal experiences, paired with a desire to help others walking the same path they once had, that brought about the beginning of their surrogacy agency.
As part of a special Agency Spotlight segment for All Things Surrogacy, we spoke with the founders of Family Source Consultants recently to learn more about the ins-and-outs of their agency, and what they bring to the community. Read on to learn more:
Ten Questions with Family Source Consultants:
What brought you to open a surrogacy agency?
Both Co-Founders, Staci Swiderski and Zara Griswold, built their families via gestational surrogacy. Staci and her husband welcomed their son, Trey, back in June of 2005. Zara and her husband welcomed boy/girl twins, Noah and Isabella, in June of 2003. In addition, Zara also used the assistance of an Egg Donor, who was/is a very dear friend to her. For the past 14+ years, Surrogacy has been both Staci and Zara’s plan to their family building, as well as it truly becoming their passion. As of 2004, both founders began to research Surrogacy in depth, bringing them to opening their agency, FSC, in 2007.
What does your agency offer, or do differently, that makes you stand out among the other agencies?
FSC believes that our attention, passion, guidance, and understanding is greatly appreciated by our Intended Parents, Surrogates and Egg Donors. Our team is always available, 24/7! In addition, many of our staff members have also been involved in Reproductive arrangements themselves, in one way or another. Our Founders, Staci and Zara have both been Intended Mothers themselves, with Staci also being a two time Egg Donor. Two of our staff members, Denise and Megan, have both been Gestational Surrogates. In addition, two of our staff members are also Recipient Parents and four staff members have been Egg Donors.
We feel that our personal experience really shines through to show compassion and understanding for our clients and candidates.
What is your #1 goal with your agency?
The staff here at Family Source Consultants thoroughly enjoy their positions; it is our main goal here at the agency to be sure that each and every journey has a wonderful experience from beginning to end. In addition, FSC works diligently in locating qualified Gestational Surrogates and Egg Donors as our awaiting Intended Parents prefer to be matched ASAP!
Do you offer resources to your potential IPs and Surrogates, so they are educated on the surrogacy processes? What are they?
Yes, our agency provides a monthly support group which is lead by a previous Gestational Surrogate herself, who delivered a baby girl for her Intended Parents. The monthly get-together entails dinner, along with many friendships being made along the way. In addition, FSC provides an online, private support group as well; which is very active and helpful for members across the U.S.
FSC also offers Intended Parent monthly support groups held by a licensed Clinical Support Worker in Oak Park, IL, who is very well versed in the reproductive field, as well as other family building options.
Why should Intended Parents choose your agency to work with?
FSC facilitates the Intended Parents journey from the very first inquiry received until after their child/children have been born! Family Source understands the delicacy of the matching process and timeline; therefore, only sharing profiles of available Gestational Surrogates in which we feel would be a wonderful match for all parties. In addition, our matching time-frame is quite impressive, typically within 2-4 months from the time Intended Parents decide to move forward with FSC.
Most importantly, the FSC knowledge and experience is important! Our Intended Parents are putting their 100% trust in our agency and we do not take this lightly.
Why should Surrogates choose your agency to work with?
Family Source Consultants understands and appreciates the volume of selflessness in which Surrogates are giving and truly want each and every Surrogate to have a wonderful, supportive and enjoyable journey. Our team here at FSC is ALWAYS available to Surrogates; from scheduling travel arrangements, assisting with insurance options, escrow payments, etc.
In addition, once a Surrogate is accepted into our program, we are confident that she will be matched with Intended Parents in which SHE feels are perfect for her, almost immediately! We offer wonderful support groups for our Surrogates and again, are always available for support 24/7!
Do you currently have IPs waiting for a match? If so, approximately how many?
Yes, FSC currently has approximately 25-30 Intended Parents awaiting their Surrogate match. Many of the waiting Intended Parents are open to the location of their Surrogate, as well as the number of embryos to transfer; whether it be one or two.
Do you offer an after hours number for your clients?
Most definitely, we are available to our clients 24/7.
What do you want people to know about surrogacy?
FSC is very proactive in the Surrogacy community! There are still many people in this world who believe that building their family via Surrogacy is only for the rich and famous; this cannot be further from the truth! There are many middle class Intended Parents who have gone on to have children via Surrogacy.
In addition, it is important for people to know that each state in the U.S. has their own views and laws in regards to Gestational Surrogate arrangements.
What do you want people to know about your agency?
Family Source Consultants is an experienced agency that facilitates both Gestational Surrogacy and Egg Donation arrangements. Our knowledge and compassion for family building is top-notch; we are third party reproductive experts who will guide and facilitate the entire journey from beginning to end. In addition, we are constantly educating ourselves on the updates and advancements in the reproductive industry. We have a great deal of knowledge and resources to offer to anyone who is contemplating building their family via Surrogacy, and/or Egg Donation, as well as to potential Surrogates and Egg Donors who have a desire to assist in this miraculous journey!