London is a current FSC surrogate and was almost 15 weeks pregnant at the time of this interview.

How did you first hear about surrogacy and what led you to become a surrogate? 

I think I did more of my own research and I had actually done some reading on the reviews for the best [surrogacy] agencies and FSC came up. That’s why I decided first to inquire with FSC and had a pretty quick response from Susan. So, everything from that point went pretty quickly.

When you chose Family Source, what was the biggest thing that stood out for you? 

I guess knowing what I know now, I like that it’s really surrogate friendly. [FSC] gives us a lot of autonomy over our choices and the process. They’re very thorough as well. When I was answering some of those questions, I was like, wow! I’m really glad I opted to not do this independently and had the logistics handled for me because those questions again were, were extremely thorough and scenarios that prior to that you would have never considered.

When choosing your intended parents, what was most important to you? 

That I could kind of see myself or my husband in the couple.. that was really important to us. I think having that connection and seeing some of yourself reflected in the couple you’re going to embark on this big journey with was really important to us.

Can you tell me about your journey so far and how your relationship is with your intended parents now that you’re almost through the middle of it?  

The journey has been, I’d say first of all, very informative. There’s so much that you only gain through this process, by going through it firsthand and walking through it. That’s been really enlightening as far as all the information and the process.

The relationship we have with our [intended] parents is phenomenal. I mean, we, we communicate, daily or every other day. We’ve already visited them, I think three or four times, at this point. Our whole family is really supportive and interested in knowing more information and connecting. We established relationships with each other as best friends. So, I’d say we’re pretty close.

Did your family and your friends have any hesitations, or did they support you fully in your whole decision? 

All of my family and friends, except one, have been very supportive. So that’s obviously been a huge plus. I think some of it comes from lack of education on some of the information and could also be religious views, that kind of thing. But otherwise, everyone’s been extremely supportive and lots of questions, lots and lots of questions from people.

Coworkers have been also extremely important and supportive. They’ve helped in some of the medication administration. We’ve got first responders on-site and that kind of thing. So they were good with the needles. They helped me with my Lupron and some of the other meds. And as my backup, like if I have to dart out of here, if I’m going to be sick, I needed to get to the nearest restroom, like plan backup plans. So that’s been extremely, probably crucial to my day-to-day like everyday life.

When you started this whole process, did you have any hesitations or fears and how did Family Source help you navigate those? 

I think probably the biggest hesitation maybe or, just because it was uncharted territory, was meeting the intended parents for the first time. Because I think on both fronts, each side has like this high stake that you’re wanting to make a really good impression for both sides.

And so, that can be a little nerve-wracking, but once kind of the ice is broken it goes natural because the match has already been made and it’s a good match. They do a really good job of recruiting and putting those profiles together. So it’s a really great match.

It was probably like the most high-stakes interview of your life, but it was a lot of fun and I feel like we’ve been best friends forever. You know, they did a really good job of matching and I think they continue to do that.

You are 15 weeks into your journey, of course, there are weeks before that and months before that, but what has been your favorite part so far?  

Favorite part, let me think on that one a minute. Honestly, I would probably say the transfer was probably my favorite part. I felt that culminating moment, where everything that you have been working so hard for and like following the best practice of how to do the surrogacy journey, the best way it came to fruition and in that moment it’s like, okay, this is really happening!

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out as a surrogate? 

I would give them, I guess my advice would be to be patient, take your time.

There are a lot of factors at play that, that come into this process. It does require patience. There’s intensive waiting after the transfer occurs. It does require a lot of mental prep to be prepared for a lot of waiting.

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.