MHB 2021 Parenting options for European Gay Men Conference & Expo

November 6-7 2021


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Presenters


Victoria Ferrara, Esq. 

Victoria Ferrara is the Founder and Legal Director of Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists, LLC, a successful surrogacy matching agency, through which she has helped many couples and individuals have children. One of her achievements is the landmark decision of Raftopol v. Ramey, 12 A.3d 783 299 Conn. 681 (2011), a Connecticut Supreme Court case that essentially created a new way to establish legal parentage in Connecticut, i.e., by being a party (Intended Parent) to a valid gestational agreement regardless of genetic connection to the child to be born to the gestational surrogate. Attorney Ferrara appears frequently in courts throughout the State of Connecticut for all matters in involving assisted reproduction law, pre-birth orders, and adoptions, including co-parent and step-parent adoption matters. She is a member of the Academy of Assisted Reproductive Law Attorneys, the Family Law Institute, the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association, and the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association.

Brad Spencer 

Brad Spencer is the Founder and Owner of Same Love Surrogacy, a global leading egg donor and surrogacy agency based in Los Angeles. Brad and his husband have twin boys conceived through IVF with the good fortune to have a family member as their egg donor and an exceptional gestational carrier. It was his personal journey that helped build a full service agency in 2014 that is owned and operated by gay fathers. Brad is globally known for providing best in class services to LGBTQ individuals seeking to become parents through assisted reproductive technology. He has successfully helped LGBTQ individuals build their families, including HIV-positive gay men. Brad works closely with the leading IVF clinics, attorneys and insurance companies in the US. Brad was born, raised and resides in Los Angeles. Prior to founding Same Love, he worked as a successful investment investor for 20 years and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Finance from California State University Northridge. Brad is an active supporter and volunteer for The Trevor Project, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth.

Virginia Hart

Virginia Hart has been an insurance broker for the past 25 years, the last 17 years specializing in insurance for all aspects of assisted reproduction. As founder and CEO of ART Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions, Inc. she remains current on insurance issues pertinent to the field and works with her clients to find the best solution, whether it be through commercial insurance, specialty products, or financial case management. Licensed in all 50 states, this allows her to work with clients regardless of location in the U.S. as well as internationally. With her extensive breadth of knowledge and expertise in the Assisted Reproductive Technology insurance industry, Virginia is often requested as a guest lecturer at numerous conferences and recently published an article in the American Bar Association Section of Family Law "Family Advocate" magazine. Focusing on offering clients the knowledge to help them better understand their liability exposures and the best available financial risk management solutions is always one of Ms. Hart's highest priorities.

Steven H. Snyder, Esq. 

Steven H. Snyder, Esq., is the founding and principal partner of Steven H. Snyder & Associates, and he is the Director of IARC Surrogacy a full-service surrogacy agency, located in the U.S. in Minnesota. Mr. Snyder is an active leader in numerous professional organizations, including RESOLVE, the American Fertility Association, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the American Bar Association Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee. Mr. Snyder is the author of numerous articles and continuing legal education materials. He is also a frequent national and international lecturer and continuing legal education presenter in the area of assisted reproductive technology law. Mr. Snyder regularly contributes to various media interviews and publications as a legal expert in assisted reproduction and third party reproduction legal issues.

Guy Ringler, MD

In clinical practice for over twenty years, Dr. Guy Ringler has developed a large international referral practice due to his excellent patient rapport and expertise in IVF, surrogacy, and gay family building at California Fertility Partners. As one of the world’s first fertility doctors to help gay men become fathers through egg donation and surrogacy, Dr. Ringler has been recognized by the American Fertility Association (AFA) with an Achievement Award. He regularly lends his voice to the public conversation about gay family-building as a spokesperson for GLAAD and a contributor to the Huffington Post. Dr. Ringler has worked closely with the AFA to increase public awareness of fertility options for people with HIV, and he has helped many HIV-positive people have children through assisted reproduction. Dr. Ringler is on the advisory board of Men Having Babies and lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Mark Rios.

Jerald S. Goldstein, MD 

Founder and medical director of Fertility Specialists of Texas, Dr. Jerald S. Goldstein is a native Texan who received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas. He is board certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Goldstein was an assistant professor in the division of reproductive endocrinology at Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis. He has presented before numerous medical conferences and published in such peer-reviewed journals as Fertility and Sterility and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Goldstein is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Goldstein has repeatedly been recognized by peers and patients alike as a leader in his field. He has been voted a Best Doctor in D Magazine, as well as listed as a top doctor in several publications including Texas Monthly’s annual list of Super Doctors.

Stephanie Caballero, Esq.

Stephanie M. Caballero, Esq. and her firm, The Surrogacy Law Center, have represented thousands of clients from all over the world in Surrogacy, Egg, Sperm, and Embryo Donation arrangements. Stephanie has appeared on various programs and in print media including the Today Show, Access Hollywood, HuffPost Live, ABC News, Fox 5 San Diego, BBC Mundo, The Daily Beast, In Touch Magazine, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, The Union Tribune and L.A. Daily Journal. After eight years of treatments including more than 10 artificial insemination procedures, three surgeries, three miscarriages, and 13 IVF procedures, Stephanie finally realized her dream of having children when a surrogate carried her twins. Stephanie is a member of the American Bar Association, Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, and American Society of Reproductive Medicine, having chaired and served on the Legal Professional Group board. Stephanie lives and works in beautiful San Diego County with her family and two toy poodles and in her free time enjoys cooking, swimming, reading, yoga and traveling.

Sara R. Cohen, LLB

Sara Cohen is a fertility law lawyer at Fertility Law Canada in Toronto, with clients throughout Canada and beyond.  She regularly acts for intended parents, surrogates, donors, cryobanks, hospitals, distributors and fertility clinics on a wide range of fertility law issues. Sara was recently named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada.  She is on the board of directors of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, sits on the ethics committee of one of Canada’s pre-eminent clinics, and is the president of Fertility Matters Canada. She is also an adjunct professor of reproductive law at Osgoode Hall Law School, a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA), and on the executive of the American Bar Association’s Family Law Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Sara is a frequent guest speaker in Canada and abroad. She loves what she does, cares about her clients, and it shows.

Fabien Gaudry

Fabien, who is both French and Belgian, joined the Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation team as an International Outreach Associate after becoming a dad through surrogacy. Fabien earned his Master's Degree in European Law, and has worked as a lawyer in the insurance industry in France, as well as in the communication department of a non-profit organization. His passion for surrogacy and willingness to share his personal story, allows him to easily connect with International intended parents as part of the consultation legal team. Fabien is active in the gay community, and loves spending time with his daughter and son. 

Ashim Kumar, MD

Dr. Kumar is board certified in reproductive endocrinology, obstetrics and gynecology, and practices near Los Angeles, California at Western Fertility Institute. In recent years he has focused his efforts on those who have had difficulty conceiving and require third party reproduction (egg donation and gestational surrogacy). Obtaining the highest success rates achievable today, by combining meticulous attention to detail, a 7-day work ethic, the best support staff, and the latest technology, over half of his current patients travel from overseas which include countries such as Australia, China, Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Israel, UK, Netherlands, and India. Dr. Kumar’s fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility allowed him to work with world-renowned leaders in the field at both UCLA and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Highly regarded in the field, he has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. He serves as an ad hoc reviewer for the journal Fertility and Sterility and is a Pacific Coast Reproductive Society member.

Julia Ross

Julia is a Military spouse, adoptive parent, infertility survivor and proud 3x Gestational Surrogate. As Director of client care for Canadian Surrogacy Options, Julia works to support intended parents and surrogates as they embark on their journey to parenthood.

Sarah Williams

Sarah heads the Surrogacy, Adoption, Fertility and Modern Family Law practice at this internationally recognised Top Tier London law firm. Acknowledged for being “brilliant on the law, super with clients and extremely well connected”, Sarah’s specialist expertise in modern family law matters is complemented by her extensive international network of trusted and highly respected experts. Fielding a broad spectrum of clients, which include internationally recognised names from the sports and media world, she is known for going the extra mile to assist her clients in creating the family they want. Sarah has over 15 years of extensive family law experience and spent the first decade of her career as a practising barrister representing parents, children, Guardians and the Official Solicitor, and was appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown. Sarah is asked frequently to comment on the latest legal developments for the media and is a regular contributor to specialist family law journals. She is also a Member of the American Bar Association.


MHB speakers


Jenny Congiardo, Director of Operations

Jenny joined MHB in October 2017 and held several roles in the organization before being appointed as Director of Operations. She brings her many years of non-profit and corporate communications experience to help improve MHB’s efficiency and effectiveness, while drawing on her experience in the education field to help make every person’s experience with MHB rewarding and pleasant. Jenny received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Florida, and she enjoys living with her husband and two children among the happy faces in sunny Florida.

Sara Miller, Director of Business Development

Sara joined the Men Having Babies team in June of 2020 as the Director of Business Development. Her primary focus is to expand and strengthen strategic partnerships with fellow third party reproductive professionals, to allow continued growth and education of the Men Having Babies' mission. Sara has a Bachelor's Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, and completed two years of an MD program at The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine before opting to discontinue her medical studies to spend more time with her growing family. Sara spent 10 years doing consulting work for a leading biotech company, before working as a Case Manager followed by Program Director and COO for a surrogate and egg donation agency. Additionally, Sara is a one-time surrogate, delivering in 2019 for a same-sex couple in Spain.

Ron Poole-Dayan, board member / Executive Director

Ron is the executive director and founder of Men Having Babies. He has over 20 years of experience in marketing and business strategy development both in the USA and internationally. Ron earned his Masters degree in political economy and comparative politics from Columbia University, and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ron is married to Greg Poole-Dayan, the COO of the Wartburg, a leading provider of senior healthcare and residential services in NY. The couple met in 1994, and are among the first same-sex couples in the nation to father children through gestational surrogacy. The twins, born in 2001, were conceived with the use of eggs donated by Greg's sister, and carried by a gestational carrier. Ron has been the MHB program coordinator since 2005, and was appointed as the Executive Director of Men Having Babies upon its incorporation in July 2012.

Lisa Schuster, Director of Programming

Lisa joined the MHB team in January of 2018 as the Stage II GPAP Case Manager and has grown in her role to become the Programming Director. Lisa’s responsibilities include managing the Gay Parenting Assistance Program and Membership Benefits Program, developing and implementing content for educational programs, and working with partner organizations to help fulfill MHB’s mission. Lisa’s professional background is in business development and government contracting, and she also served as treasurer and financial planner for a local non-profit. Lisa was a gestational carrier twice for an international same sex male couple, and she lives with her husband and three children in Maryland.


Breakout sessions


Brett Griffin-Young

Brett, who is based in the United Kingdom with his husband Matt, is Head of International Client Services for Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation. He serves as a resource and support for Intended Parents from more than 25 countries around the world. Brett has more than twelve years of experience in surrogacy and has two sons, Sebastian born in 2009 and Frederick born in 2020, through the Circle Program. After his first surrogacy journey in 2009, he was inspired and compelled to join Circle. “I’m so appreciative that Circle has given me the opportunity to draw on my personal experience to help others understand surrogacy as a family building option. To be able to assist Intended Parents from all around the world and bring the dream of parenthood to a reality is a true honor”. Brett has shared his experience and expertise with numerous publications and TV programs, and has presented at conferences throughout Europe, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.