January 2019 marks Family Source Consultants’ 12th year as a leader in the world of Third-Party Reproduction as a comprehensive Egg Donation and Gestational Surrogacy Agency. Currently headquartered in the surrogacy-friendly city of Chicago, IL, the agency has 23 employees and additional offices scattered across the United States in Joliet, Illinois; Miami, Florida; Dallas, Texas; and San Diego, California. From the beginning, FSC’s focus has always been on empathy and compassion for individuals walking this alternative path to parenthood, with the goal of providing each client with quality, individualized, heart-based service. Let’s take a quick walk down memory lane to see how FSC got where it is today.
In 2005, the first seeds for the founding of FSC were planted, when current CEO and Co-Founder Staci Swiderski expanded her family via surrogacy. Over the course of her surrogacy journey, she developed a relationship with Co-Founder Zara Griswold, who had also recently gone through her own personal surrogacy journey to become a mother of twins. Shortly after completing her surrogacy journey, Staci made the decision to give back to the world of Third-Party Reproduction by serving as an egg donor herself — thus, gaining perspective and personal experience in yet another facet in the world of Third-Party Reproduction. Both Staci and Zara navigated the world of Third-Party Reproduction on their own, and consequently realized the overwhelming need for a professional agency to advise and guide individuals like themselves to a successful outcome.
By 2007, Staci and Zara were ready to move from the talking phase to putting the plan into action — and Family Source Consultants was officially born. At the beginning, FSC consisted of four employees: Co-Founders Staci and Zara, an experienced Surrogate, Alicia, who had carried Zara’s twins for her, as well as Ana Petersen, FSC’s Spanish-speaking Client Relations Manager. While small initially, FSC took off running by offering comprehensive services in the world of Third-Party Reproduction — including a small scale egg donor database and case management for an entire gestational surrogacy journey. The goal was to touch all aspects of Third-Party Reproduction assisted family building.
In the early years, Staci and Zara themselves performed all the day-to-day tasks associated with running the agency — finding quality egg donors and surrogates, identifying potential intended and recipient parents in need of services, making successful matches between all parties, and facilitating the journey through successful completion — their hands touched every aspect of the work being done. In the first year, they signed on a handful of new clients, and by 2008 the fruits of their labor started to become evident when families started growing as a result of their efforts. In 2008, 19 miracle babies entered this world as the first TeamFSC children — and Staci and Zara KNEW that they were making a real impact in the world through their work within FSC.
At the same time, they recognized that in order to truly be a leader in this industry, it was imperative that they educate and connect themselves as much as possible in the world of Third-Party Reproduction. Empathy and compassion were essential components of their business model — and continue to be so to this day, but equally important became education and relationships with Third-Party Reproduction professionals.
As clientele grew, more employees were hired, and the agency slowly began its trajectory of upward growth. FSC began attending as many professional conferences and leadership events as possible, connecting themselves with fertility clinics, attorneys, and not-for-profit professionals in the industry. Never losing sight of the goal of offering compassion, empathy, and individualized service to all clients, FSC was also expanding their knowledge and connections within this industry, putting them in a better position to offer superior services to their clients.
Like in all businesses, some FSC employees have been transient, but of the 23 current TeamFSC staff members, more than a quarter of them have been with FSC for years – growing and changing with FSC as the agency itself continually evolves to better meet the needs of current and future clients. With Spanish speaking staff onboard from the beginning, FSC has always offered services to Spanish-speaking clients, and in 2014 they added their first Asian-speaking staff member. Currently, FSC staff speak a total of six languages, with the potential to add more in the future.
Currently, FSC is actively facilitating over 125 gestational surrogacy journeys, has an egg donor database of over 100 qualified donors, works with intended and recipient parents in more than two dozen countries, and has relationships with countless fertility clinics and attorneys who specialize in Third-Party Reproduction. Looking towards the future, they envision even more growth as they have positioned themselves to expand services offered to both domestic and international clients. In 2019, they will be attending conferences in numerous countries, growing their international services departments, and continuing to educate staff on best practices within the world of Third-Party Reproduction. More and more families are turning to egg donation and gestational surrogacy as their means to building their families — and FSC is poised to embrace this growth, expanding right along with the industry.
Just like from day one, FSC’s mission continues to be building families with an approach that is compassionate, empathetic, individualized, and heart-based — providing the very best in professionalism and quality to each person who becomes a part of the team.
Family Source Consultants now officially has twelve years in the books — but they are certain the best years are still to come!