Growing Families Across the Globe: Family Source Consultants Celebrates 15 Years of International Surrogacy

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From Spain to Taiwan, hopeful moms and dads across the globe have discovered the joy of parenthood - thanks to Family Source Consultants.

Two fathers with their daughter

FSC has helped hundreds of international intended parents realize their dreams.

"We take great pride in providing the communication, guidance, and support our prospective parents need to feel comfortable and well informed at each step of their surrogacy journey."

The Chicago-based surrogacy agency opened its doors 15 years ago, initially working with domestic clients and a handful of Intended Parents (IPs) in Spain. Now, its client base spans some 34 countries, including much of Europe and Asia and as far afield as Australia.

In the past five years alone, FSC has helped over 200 international IPs realize their dreams.

And, with many expectant parents located in new countries, that client base will continue to grow. Even the pandemic has barely slowed demand.

FSC is now eagerly looking forward to greeting more new IPs at the 2022 Men Having Babies Conference & Expo in Brussels on September 16. The Parenting Options for European Gay Men conference is an opportunity for gay dads and dads-to-be to interact with one another and meet surrogacy providers and other experts.

FSC International Relations Manager Jessica Williams says meeting dads in person will be exciting for both parties.

"We get to meet Intended Parents at all stages of their journeys and provide information and support to help them make informed choices. It's wonderful to be able to play this part in their lives," she shared.

FSC owner and CEO Staci Swiderski says that surrogacy in the US is sometimes the only option for international parents.

"Many countries either prohibit or make it very difficult for Intended Parents to enter into surrogacy arrangements, which makes the US very attractive for pursuing surrogacy."

More importantly, she adds, the US is home to experienced surrogacy agencies and reproductive attorneys, as well as fertility clinics with high success rates.

"Surrogacy in the US is safe, ethical, and reliable," Swiderski says. "The stability and predictability are unmatched."

Arranging a pregnancy with a US surrogate while living in another country may seem harrowing, but this is where FSC shines. Swiderski says their international clients receive the utmost care and attention from day one.

"We understand that for Intended Parents who live outside of the United States, building a family via surrogacy requires a great deal of diligence," she says. "We take great pride in providing the communication, guidance, and support our prospective parents need to feel comfortable and well informed at each step of their surrogacy journey."

FSC's international program caters to all parents regardless of their geographic location, cultural background, or language. Their staff includes speakers fluent in Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, and Japanese. Translators are sourced when necessary, ensuring all clients can communicate in their preferred language. Client Relations Managers in France and China are also available to IPs in Europe and Asia.

Williams is based in the UK and works closely with other parents-to-be. As a former IP herself, she has a personal understanding of the emotional journey that surrogacy involves.

"We know from experience that there is an extra level of care and support that's often needed with international surrogacy journeys," she says. "From the first moment IPs reach out to FSC, we ensure they have any referrals to other professionals, such as local attorneys or fertility clinics. We want them to know that FSC will look after them and that their parental rights will be protected."

With connections to attorneys, clinics, and other professionals both in the US and abroad, FSC can quickly provide IPs with the assistance they need. The team also facilitates other aspects of the journey, such as booking flights, accommodation, and other travel. The support continues after the baby's birth, with help in sourcing baby equipment and obtaining any documentation or legal work.

"Whether it's a referral to a legal expert in their home country or a clinic to provide sperm abroad before shipping it to the US, we'll be there to help," says Williams. "None of our IPs are simply numbers to us - they all become part of the FSC Family and are treated as such."

Williams will be attending the Parenting Options for European Gay Men conference with fellow Client Relations Manager Jérôme Brun - another former IP - who is based in France.

"Both Jérôme and I understand how daunting this process can seem at the beginning. We hope that our collective experience can provide support and guidance to other Intended Parents," she says.

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Staci Swiderski