We have been lucky to work closely with GSHC Surrogacy Agency over the years, so we were excited to finally sit down with their Head of Client Relations, Mark Schroeder! Thank you Mark for sharing your journey in the fertility space with us – read on to discover more about Mark’s work and GSHC’s unique perspective on matches and the meaningful relationships that blossom during assisted reproduction.
What sparked your interest in the fertility space?
My interest in the fertility space was first sparked when I learned of friends who had used assisted reproductive technology to become pregnant after years of disappointment. Seeing their joy and eventual success really opened my eyes to the impact that those working in the ART field can have on the lives of others. It planted the seed in my mind that I might be suited to the role of helping others overcome their hardships and navigate the oftentimes overwhelming road toward starting their family through ART.
When did you begin working in fertility?
I began working in the fertility space in 2018 after seeking out the right agency and eventually meeting GSHC’s incredible owner, Jia. We quickly bonded over our passion for helping people overcome their own fertility challenges, and I knew that I had joined the right team.
What is GSHC’s mission? What was your goal when you started and how has that changed?
GSHC’s mission is to help individuals and couples achieve the family of their dreams. But beyond that, we pride ourselves in arranging the best possible matches whether it be an egg donor or a surrogate. When we first started out we were overly eager to help as many people as we could. Over time, we learned that the relationships and connections formed during the ART process are incredibly special and have a lasting impact for everyone involved. Our goal then shifted to arranging the most meaningful matches possible. We’ve been fortunate to witness incredible relationships blossom during and after the assisted fertility journey. Striving for that level of compatibility has been our guiding light throughout all the work that we do.
What have you learned over the years with GSHC?
I have been consistently reminded of the fact that no two people are the same and everyone responds to the assisted reproductive technology process differently. Seeking the help of a surrogacy and egg donation agency is the last option for intended parents after everything else has been unsuccessful. The individual experiences, disappointments, and expectations are different for everyone and we strive to connect with all IPs in order to lay the groundwork for the most successful journey possible.
What advice do you have for intended parents beginning the egg donation process?
Patience. I understand that the road to get to this point has been long and arduous but it is important to remember that the road ahead is also a long one. I try to inspire optimism in my intended parents especially in moments when the process seems to take longer. Ultimately, efficient communication and setting clear expectations lead to the most personally rewarding experience.
Why do you do what you do? What makes the hard work worth it?
When I see clients of mine finally holding their new baby it reminds me why I do what I do. Helping complete families is incredibly rewarding and always justifies the hard work required to get there.
Are there any changes you’ve noticed over the years in the world of egg donation?
Two of the biggest changes I’ve noticed in the industry are the increased acceptance and the widespread availability of fertility service providers. Both of these are positive indicators to IPs that there are options out there to help them realize their dream.
What makes GSHC different or special compared to other egg donor programs?
While the agency costs for assisted reproduction tend to be high, we do everything we can to manage costs for our intended parents. We understand the financial hardship involved in going through this process and we try to be as cooperative and flexible as possible. We’re not money-driven. Our agency structure, fee schedule, and professional partnerships are all designed to keep the costs as low as possible while providing superb full-service support every step of the way.
More about Mark Schroeder: As the Head of Client Relations for GSHC Surrogacy Agency, I get the incredible opportunity to meet with men, women, couples, and singles from around the world who are all looking to start their family through surrogacy. I consider it both a privilege and an honor to prepare people for their surrogacy journey and guide them through the process. I approach each match meeting with a giddy excitement, eager to witness the beginnings of a potential lifelong connection. That sense of elation lasts throughout every surrogacy journey as I am constantly reminded of the compassion and dedication of both IPs and GCs alike. Surrogacy is a big step for all those involved. It requires a unique combination of understanding, acceptance, perseverance, and hope. Each day I get to witness these attributes in full force. I am enormously proud of our surrogates, intended parents, egg donors, and especially staff! The GSHC Team join in every triumph and share in every disappointment, and we are here for you every step of the way.