Our experience with FSC has been positive! The agency has such a reliable and professional team of people who support you at each step of the journey. The communication was always consistent and our questions always answered. Special thanks to our case worker Roxi for being with us on our journey to parenthood and helping us navigate the unknowns along the way. Thank you FSC for doing what you do and for making our dreams come true! – FSC Parents S&H

S&H first heard about FSC through the Top Surrogacy Agencies report that was published by Surrogacy Network as well as on the Men Having Babies directory. They then spoke with the doctor at their fertility clinic, who confirmed a positive working relationship with FSC and encouraged them to get in touch. In 2022, they were blessed with a beautiful baby girl with the help of TeamFSC Surrogate Lorenza!

How did you first hear about surrogacy?

We always knew we wanted to become fathers and start a family. Some years into our relationship and after watching a TV program on Surrogacy, we were so fascinated, intrigued and hopeful that we immediately wanted to (and just had to) find out more! So, during the last 4 years, we tried to educate ourselves as much as possible about the surrogacy process and the options available to make our dream of a family a reality. We attended a number of conferences, seminars and legal sessions, as well as listened to and followed the experiences of fellow IPs and Surrogates here in the UK and overseas. In August 2019, we officially started our journey with a leading Fertility Clinic in Central London, and after making the big decision to continue our journey in the USA, our embryos were shopped to California, and the next chapter began.

How did you know that your surrogate was the one for you?

From the very beginning, we were always encouraged to be as specific as possible when it came to the type of person and surrogate we wanted to match with. It was explained how important this was and nothing was too big or small – if we had a preference, we should communicate each one. After lots of thought, we quickly realized that aside from the all-important surrogate health, happiness and passion for the journey, we had some key preferences. These included someone who was organized, clearly communicated, open-minded and had a positive outlook. As soon as we received our surrogate’s profile, all these things were coming across on paper. As soon as we had our match meeting, all these things came across in reality. We just knew instinctively that we wanted to move forward with our surrogate!

How did you tell friends and family and how did they react?

Our close friends and family have been on this journey with us from the very beginning and knew how much starting our own family meant to us. They were always supportive of our decisions and very curious about the whole process, from egg donation to IVF to surrogacy. Once we told them all about our surrogate and then later, we were pregnant, they could see, feel and share in our dream coming true.

What was your relationship like with your surrogate? Was it different than you expected? What is it like now?

Our relationship with our surrogate was and continues to be genuine, open, and very much a true friendship. We always set out to have a relationship based on mutual respect, understanding, honesty and trust, and these desires were shared on both sides, which made the relationship grow as the journey progressed. Setting out and thinking about our surrogate preferences at the outset and matching with the right person, the relationship was everything we expected and much more. Now that the surrogacy journey is over, we still keep in touch as we would any other friend, and we will always share a connection going through such a unique life experience together.

What challenges did you face on your journey? How did you overcome them and how did FSC help?

Our main challenge was experiencing a very early pregnancy loss after our first embryo transfer. So many emotions presented themselves, including concern for our surrogate. Frequent communication and being open to how everyone was feeling helped us overcome this period of time and knowing that our surrogate had the support of FSC, case workers and also surrogate support groups was reassuring.

Another general challenge that we always knew we would have was the fact that we were in the UK and our surrogate was in the US. Again, frequent communication, including messages, pregnancy and appointment updates and video calls, all helped us in being involved and as close as we could be to our baby. We were so lucky that travel restrictions were lifted during COVID and we got to fly out and visit our surrogate and her family at the three-month mark, which really helped us connect even more!

Aside from the birth, tell us was a wonderful memory from your journey.

We look back on the whole journey with the fondest of memories. Aside from the birth, our most wonderful memories involve the relationship we developed with our surrogates’ children. Although young, they understood who we were and that we were the fathers to the baby. We were lucky to have many day trips with them when we visited the first time and then when we returned pre/post birth! We will always remember the beach days, dinners and lunches, theme park trips and much more!

Do you have any advice for intended parents who are just starting out?

  1. Have fun researching and ask as many questions as you have at the beginning and as they arise throughout the journey, there really are no silly questions, and this enables you to go into the process with facts and clarity, which helps avoid any confusion!
  2. Be true to yourselves. Complete your profile fully and in a way that feels authentic and reflective of who you are as individuals. It can be easy to think what you ‘should’ write or say but answering questions in a transparent and honest way helps the right person come along, and it’s magic!
  3. Be prepared for a journey of ups and downs, twists and turns. There will most likely be speedbumps along the way and these can be difficult to manage. There will be times when you need to let go, times when you will have good and bad days, and times when you are set back. Having trust and faith in the process and remembering the overall goal on a daily basis helps to refocus and rebalance when needed. Also, reflecting on the ups and downs as opportunities for growth really helped!
  4. Enjoy the process as much as you possibly can! Some days may feel long, but it goes so incredibly quickly overall. Document the milestones, create memories throughout the journey, and be present. It is easy to focus on post-birth, but there are so many wins during the process itself. Allow yourself to absorb and remember them!

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a parent through surrogacy or egg donation, request a no-cost consultation with one of our Client Relations Managers today!

Staci Swiderski, CEO and owner of Family Source Consultants has been involved in the field of reproductive medicine since 2002. Staci has vigorously grown the comprehensive egg donation and gestational surrogacy agency to become a worldwide leader in the third-party reproduction field. Staci is a former intended parent herself. She and her husband welcomed their son via gestational surrogacy in 2005. Additionally, Staci had the experience of assisting an infertile couple (AKA Recipient Parents) build their family through her efforts as an egg donor, with her donation resulting in the births of their son and daughter.