Your dreams of parenthood don’t have to end with your HIV+ status. Family Source is pleased to have assisted many HIV+ individuals and couples achieve parenthood through the Special Program of Assisted Reproduction (SPAR).

The Special Program of Assisted Reproduction (SPAR) is an international program designed to protect partners, surrogates and babies from becoming infected during fertility procedures that use sperm from men who wish to have children of their own, but are living with a sexually transmitted disease, such as HIV.

The first goal of the Bedford Research Foundation was to develop safe ways to handle and analyze semen from men infected with HIV.  Developed in the late 1990’s, the Foundation’s methods for testing and preserving semen from men with HIV disease have assisted dozens of HIV infected men seeking to parent without transmitting their disease to their wives or babies.

In general, pregnancy success depends upon the clinic. However, fertility centers have helped to conceive hundreds of babies fathered by HIV-positive men, without transmitting the virus to a single mother, gestational carrier, or child.

How does SPAR work?

The Goal of SPAR is to achieve a pregnancy without transmitting the father’s infection to the mother or the child.

SPAR Has Essentially Four Stages:

  1. Evaluation of male and female partners
  2. Collection of two HIV Undetectable Specimens
  3. Semen Specimens are tested for HIV, the sperm is “washed” and cryopreserved
  4. Treatment at a Collaborating Infertility Clinic

For more information about the SPAR project, visit

How does SPAR work using a Gestational Carrier (Surrogate)?

To proceed with a surrogacy arrangement, the intended father first needs to have an undetectable viral load.  There are several clinics throughout the country currently collaborating with the SPAR program who are able to collect your specimens. They will then be sent to Bedford to be blood matched per FDA requirements (as explained in the video). Once treated, specimens can be shipped to any cooperating clinic anywhere in the world using a special container that keeps the sperm at liquid nitrogen temperatures.

Can Family Source help me find a Surrogate willing to work with me through the SPAR program?

Yes! We would be happy to assist you in matching with a surrogate who is willing to work with parents who are a part of the SPAR program.

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.