The 2019 Brussels conference on
Parenting options for European gay men


September 21-22, 2019


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Panelists


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Angeline N. Beltsos, MD Advisory_Board-60


Dr. Beltsos, CEO and Medical Director of Vios Fertility Institute, is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), practicing medicine since 1991. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Loyola University in 1995 followed by a fellowship in REI at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, completed in 1997. She is also the Clinical Research Division Director of Vios and participates in a number of research projects and scientific publications. She is a popular speaker, both nationally and internationally, and a frequent media resource on the topic of infertility. Dr. Beltsos is the executive chairperson for the Midwest Reproductive Symposium International, an international conference of fertility experts.
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Kim Bergman, PhD


Dr. Kim Bergman, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is a member of ASRM, the American Psychological Association, the LA County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman is the author of the book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.
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Scott Buckley


Scott Buckley is the Vice President of Client Services at Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, LLC. He received his bachelors at Boston College and his law degree from Boston College Law School. In his current role as the Vice President of Client Services, Scott oversees the Circle team, as well as serving clients. He enjoys meeting with Intended Parents, whether in Boston, on Skype, or in their hometowns throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. Scott has moderated and presented on panels focused on different aspects of surrogacy and egg donation; including legal, budgeting and insurance across the world. He has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers each year since 2012.
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Nicola Carone, PhD


Dr. Nicola Carone is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and a researcher in the field of gay and lesbian parent families through assisted reproduction. During his PhD he investigated the psychological functioning and the experiences of conception in gay father families formed by surrogacy. In 2018 Dr. Carone won the Doctoral Thesis Prize awarded by the Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology (SRIP). He is currently Assistant Professor in Developmental Psychology at the Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia (Italy), where he is conducting a longitudinal study on parenting, attachment, and the psychological adjustment of children born to gay fathers through surrogacy. This research is supported by both national and international grants. His other ongoing projects include a study on single parents through assisted reproduction, a study on lesbian mother families formed using partner eggs, and a study on how gay and lesbian parents socialize their children about family structure.
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Stephanie Caballero, Esq.


Stephanie Caballero has 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, HuffPost Live, ABC News, Fox 5 San Diego, BBC Mundo, The Daily Beast, In Touch Magazine, The Bakersfield Californian, The Examiner, Creating a Family radio program, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, The Union Tribune and the L.A. Daily Journal. After eight years of treatments including more than 10 IUIs, 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, San Diego Bar Association, and American Society of Reproductive Medicine, serving on the board of its Legal Professional Group. Stephanie also serves on the board of Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED).
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Said T. Daneshmand, MD, FACOG. Advisory_Board-60


Dr. Daneshmand of San Diego Fertility Center is an internationally recognized fertility specialist with extensive experience in providing third-party reproductive services. He serves on the board of several surrogacy advocacy groups. He has collaborated to develop in vitro fertilization (IVF) protocols to improve pregnancy rates, including PTEC (post-thaw extended culture), one of the most successful IVF regimens currently available. These groundbreaking findings were published in the internationally respected medical journal, Fertility and Sterility, where he served as a reviewer. Dr. Daneshmand completed his fellowship and residency at UCLA. He is specialty board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and sub specialty in Reproductive Endocrinology. Among his achievements, Dr. Daneshmand is the recipient of the Eileen Pike Medical School Valedictorian Award and the PCRS Fellowship and Practicing Physician Research Award. He served as the President of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, is a member of the Decherney Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). He speaks French, Spanish and Farsi.
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Wilma Eusman


Wilma Eusman graduated in Civil Law and in International Law in 1980. She became a Clerk at the District Court of Amsterdam in the Family Division and in the Division of the Court’s President. She was sworn in as a lawyer in 1987 and has been a partner at Advocatenkantoor De Binnenstad in Amsterdam since then. In the last two decades she became specialized in legal aspects concerning children born in non-traditional families, ie children of lesbian and gay couples and children born via ART. She also speaks at conferences and meetings regarding this topic, in The Netherlands as well as abroad. She is a member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Family Law, Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee, and a member of the Euro LTBG Family Law Institute. From 2014 to 2016 she was a member of the Government Committee on the Reassessment of Parenthood. This Commission advised the Dutch Government on new regulations regarding multiple parenthood, custody and surrogacy.
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Marc Faber


Marc and his boyfriend have 5-year-old twins and a 2-year-old boy with the help of two surrogate moms and an egg donor from the USA. For 6 years he is a board member at the Dutch foundation “Meer dan Gewenst”. This non-profit organization is active in Holland for LGBT families and intended mothers and fathers. They are committed to help lesbians, gay men and bisexuals who have chosen to have children within their relationship. At the informational meetings they welcome almost 1000 intended parents a year. Meer dan Gewenst also closely follows developments concerning gay/lesbian parenthood in Holland. By means of contacts with Dutch politicians they try to put this topic on the agenda. For instance, the legal situation of families with multiple parents and surrogacy are their priorities at this moment. Marc started the first male meetings for gays who intend to have kids and he was the driving force in the first family boat at the Amsterdam Canal Pride this year. Marc and his surrogate mom were also one of the speakers at the main program at the first MHB conference in 2015.
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Victoria Ferrara, Esq. Advisory_Board-60


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..
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Fabien Gaudry


Fabien, who is French and Belgian, joined the Circle 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
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Virginia Hart Advisory_Board-60


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.
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John Hesla, MD Advisory_Board-60


John S. Hesla is one of the most respected and experienced physicians helping LGBTQ intended parents build their families through egg donor surrogacy. He joined ORM Fertility (formerly Oregon Reproductive Medicine) in 1999 as the co-founder of its groundbreaking IVF program - helping to build one of the first embryology clean rooms in the world. Dr. Hesla is internationally recognized for his innovative methods of treating infertility and his overall tenacity and dedication to helping patients achieve their dream of becoming parents. Prior to joining ORM Fertility, Dr. Hesla was director of IVF and head of reproductive surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Hesla is globally recognized by the LGBTQ community for his compassionate approach and consistent success. Dr. Hesla has been instrumental in setting ORM Fertility's high standards in all aspects of its program and helping it consistently achieve among the highest live birth success rates of all US IVF clinics. His goal is to help LGBTQ intended parents achieve first time success and a healthy family.
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Diane Hinson, Esq. Advisory_Board-60


Diane Hinson, a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, founded Creative Family Connections LLC on the principle that “everyone can build a family.” After starting her own family as a single mother, Diane built a full-service surrogacy agency and reproductive rights law firm that is consistently one of the highest-ranked agencies in the world. Clients from across the country and around the world choose CFC for the compassionate care and legal expertise that Diane and her team provide. Because of her passion for family equality, Diane has fought to obtain landmark court rulings for same-sex parents. She has opened doors to IVF clinics for gay fathers, drafted and advocated for gay-friendly surrogacy legislation, served as HRC’s pro-bono counsel for surrogacy issues, spoken frequently about surrogacy, and provided surrogacy advice on the well-known Surromoms.com website. She has also collaborated with fellow surrogacy attorneys to develop an in-depth 50-state surrogacy law analysis, which is widely relied upon in the surrogacy world and cited in the media.
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Vasanti Jadva, PhD


Dr Vasanti Jadva’s BSc in Psychology was from City University, where she later worked as a Research Assistant at the Family and Child Psychology Research Centre on a project looking at families created using reproductive technologies. During this time she also conducted her PhD which examined sex differences in 12-24 month-old infants' preferences for colours, toys and shapes. She joined the Centre for Family Research in March 2006. She is currently a Senior Research Associate and an Affiliated Lecturer at the Department of Psychology and a member of the National Gamete Donation Trust’s advisory council.
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Nir Keren


Nir Keren, originally from Israel now lives in Toronto, Canada with his partner Bob. Nir has assisted several of his friends throughout their surrogacy journeys, in different countries which has opened his eyes to the many challenges intended parents are facing to create their families. Nir's background is in business improvment and marketing however after seeing first hand the obstacles international IP's endure, he felt that his mission and passion is to bring the awareness of the Canadian surrogacy option to IP's seeking alternative options. He has now dedicated his life to support IP's around the world to have a smooth and straight-forward journey in Canada. Alongside Dr. Librach and The CReATe Fertility Centre, he has now established 'Babies Come True', a concierge service in Canada that will help and support international IP's throughout their surrogacy journey. Nir and his husband are currently going through the process of surrogacy in Canada themselves and love to share their story.
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Jens Landwehr


Jens and his husband are a German couple who had their daughter and son in two different surrogacy journeys in the USA. The couple are among the first gay German couples to have had children from surrogacy, and were featured in a documentary by ARD, Germany’s public broadcasting corporation. Jens is also the founder and Chairman of VFLLD, an association in Germany to support legalization of surrogacy through education, events and family support. Furthermore, he talks about the day to day challenges of same sex families with surrogacy kids in his private blog www.greta-henri.family and his YouTube Channel.
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Luc Nibbeling


Luc Nibbeling and his partner Luuk would like to become parents via the Dutch (inter)national children adoption program. In their search for information about same-sex parenthood possibilities in the Netherlands, Luc consulted the Dutch rainbow family foundation “Meer dan Gewenst”, and is president of this non-profit organization since June 2018. As president, he has contact with members of parliament and other political or non-profit bodies to help improve rainbow family rights in the Netherlands. At this moment, Dutch legislation concerning surrogacy is being extended. Meer dan Gewenst provides information to LGBT intended parents. At the informational meetings they welcome many intended parents. The foundation also serves as a community for rainbow family members.
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Molly O’Brien, Esq.


Molly O’Brien has worked in the field of Assisted Reproduction since 2005. Previously, she worked for an Egg Donation Agency and a Surrogacy Agency where she became familiar with all aspects of assisted reproduction. Since becoming an attorney in 2011, she has gained extensive experience in drafting and negotiating Surrogacy, Egg Donation and Sperm and Embryo Donation Contracts. Ms. O’Brien has also appeared before many local Judges to help parents finalize their parental rights, and has extensive experience in obtaining all documents necessary for her clients to return to their home country. Molly O’Brien graduated Magna Cum Laude from Whittier Law School and authored a Whittier Law Review titled: An Intersection of Ethics and the Law: The Frozen Embryo Dilemma and the Chilling Choice Between Life and Death. Ms. O’Brien is the Chair of the Legal Professional Group section of ASRM. Additionally, Ms. O’Brien is a member of the ABA A.R.T. committee and the ABA Sponsorship Committee, and she is a member of SEEDS.
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Samuel C. Pang, MD


Dr. Samuel Pang is a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist and the Medical Director of Boston IVF’s Donor Egg and Gestational Surrogacy Program. Dr. Pang and his husband have two sons conceived through IVF with donor eggs and gestational surrogacy, so he fully appreciates the process of IVF with donor eggs and gestational surrogacy from both the patient and clinical perspectives. Since 1996, Dr. Pang has led Boston IVF’s Third Party Reproduction Program, which provides IVF for patients who need to use donor eggs and/or a gestational surrogate.  He has been treating gay male couples with IVF since 1998, and has since treated dozens of gay male couples successfully. Additionally, he has been recognized by Boston magazine as Top Doctor in the field of infertility since 2012. Dr. Pang completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto and received his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the UCLA School of Medicine.
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Ida Parisi


Ida Parisi is a highly qualified Italian lawyer in the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) field of law providing legal consulting services about family and fertility law. With offices in Taranto and Milan, the firm provides continuous legal assistance. She is also member of the American Bar Association (ABA) – Family Law Section, Assisted Reproductive Technologies Committee. She is the author of many articles about fertility and surrogacy law published by Italian and international scientific journals, and is actively engaged in the field by participating in conferences to discuss fertility and surrogacy law from an international perspective. While in the U.S she attended many ASRM meetings and seminars about fertility and surrogacy law that enhanced her knowledge. She also acquired extensive experience in working with American attorneys and agencies. It is her firm belief that to best advise her clients it is necessary to know other jurisdictions and be able to identify the most favorable legal system. Commitment, dedication and attention to the client are among the main goals of the firm.
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Joao De Pinho, MD


Dr. Joao De Pinho, founder and medical director of American Fertility Services is a world-renowned fertility specialist that focus in third-party reproduction. He has a bachelor's in Pharmacy, graduated magna cum laude from Medical School, board certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology (OBGYN) in Europe and the U.S. at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston) with distinction and completed his Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) fellowship at Columbia University (New York). He is the recipient of numerous awards and publications, resulting in advances for improving sperm/egg freezing and genetic selection, a reviewer for the prestigious scientific Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, and belongs to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine review committee. Dr. De Pinho has participated as an advocate worldwide for the rights to parenthood through surrogacy at local European legislative and medical forums. He is well respected by the leading surrogacy and donor matching agencies in assisting prospective parents in the LGBT community globally on their journey to parenthood. Dr. Pinho speaks Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.
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Clélia Richard


Clélia was sworn in as a lawyer in Paris in January 2004. She created her own legal office in October 2006, working mainly in family law. She has been involved in the fight for gay and lesbian parenting since 2008. With Serge Portelli, a magistrate in Paris, she co-authored the book "Families’ Wishes" ("Désirs de familles") on gay and lesbian parenting, published in April 2012. The legislators are invited there not only to open marriage to non-heterosexual people, but also to think differently and in a global manner about filiation law. Working with many professional couples who are eager to start a family with the help of a gestational carrier, Clélia has developed expertise is numerous legal and social problems posed by the current French legislation, and she has been advocating an intellectually radical change in the way surrogacy is considered.
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Steven H. Snyder, Esq. Advisory_Board-60


Steven H. Snyder, Esq., is the founding and principal partner of Steven H. Snyder & Associates, and he is the Director of the International Assisted Reproduction Center (IARC), a full-service surrogacy and egg donation agency, both located in the U.S. in Minnesota. His life’s passion is to help others experience the joys of being a parent, as he has experienced raising his two children. Mr. Snyder is an active leader in numerous professional organizations, including the Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy (SEEDS), RESOLVE Infertility, 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.
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Richard Vaughn, Esq.


Richard Vaughn and his husband are parents via surrogacy and egg donation, and Rich is the founding principal of International Fertility Law Group, a law practice focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Rich Chaired the American Bar Association ART Committee from 2013-2018, developing education for ART attorneys, model legislation for governance of U.S. ART providers, and guidelines for international surrogacy, parentage and citizenship rights. He has presented at numerous legal and family-building conferences around the world, including at Cambridge University and Yale University law schools, and on television and radio shows. In addition to a published book on developing an ART law practice, he has been published in numerous professional journals around the world and in the US. Away from the office, Rich is a proud advocate for LGBTQIA equality and gay and lesbian parenting - serving on the Emeritus Board and Policy Advisory Council of the Family Equality Council and providing community service in the medical, health and wellness industries.
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Cindy R. Wasser, LLP


With her unique background as a high-profile criminal defence lawyer for 20 years and, extraordinary journey as an Intended Parent, Cindy Wasser offers an unparalleled service to Intended Parents and Surrogates. Her firm, Hope Springs Fertility Law™ is one of the leading firms in Canada with a large international clientele including many from the UK. Her clients work with many agencies and clinics throughout North America. With extraordinary passion and heart, Cindy’s team prepares the necessary contracts and once their baby is born, obtains the parental rights orders and birth certificates quickly and efficiently, making the Intended Parents’ journey as simple as possible. Cindy is known as a champion of parental rights in Canada having lobbied government and courts to establish better practices benefiting parents and their children.  She has been called upon to provide legal advice to other fertility lawyers, medical practitioners and, consulting agencies; has lectured about fertility law at medico-legal conferences and hospitals and, is published in a leading medical journal. For more information visit.

MHB team


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Michael Doyle, MD, board member


Dr. Doyle is the founder of CT Fertility where he served as medical director for 25 years. During that time he was responsible for the successful surrogacy journeys of hundreds of gay men both in the US and abroad, and in his career helped in the creation of over 7,000 babies. He was an early advocate for safe and ethical surrogacy treatment and a strong proponent of non-anonymous egg donation. He also led one of the first and largest frozen donor egg banks in the US. After retiring from clinical practice in 2017, Dr. Doyle now devotes some of his time to several non-profits which are focused on educational access and community development, and he currently plays lead roles in both philanthropic and VC groups which invest in and assist social entrepreneurs around the world. He is thrilled to join the Men Having Babies board and hopes to focus on both development efforts and advocacy initiatives aimed at legalizing surrogacy anywhere where it currently faces opposition.
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Sarah Beth Lardie, Fundraising and Development Manager


With more than a decade of experience in advancing the mission, vision, and goals of non-profit and socially responsible for-profit companies, Sarah Beth has helped to lead the financial growth and expansion of a wide range of successful organizations including The Jane Goodall Institute, United Nations Women’s Humanitarian Action Program, and the Mandela Scholars Program. Closer to home, Sarah Beth has worked with Pride at Work, Fifth Avenue Committee, and City University of New York. Sarah Beth was also a Co-Founder at Joshua Venture, a social venture fund for non-profit entrepreneurship that funded 16 projects across the United States. Her articles on impact investing and trends in global philanthropy have been published by The DO School, ZEIT Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, and others. She is a Mentor with MIT’s LaunchX program and routinely consults with social entrepreneurs and those seeking to support innovative projects in civil society.
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Kent Lenzen, Events Manager


Kent Lenzen joined the MHB team in May of 2019. His responsibilities include planning and facilitation of MHB conference events along with varied tasks assisting the MHB team with their many responsibilities. Prior to joining MHB he worked as Director of Sales for the Lansing Center, in Lansing, Michigan and Program Manager for an automotive trade association. He brings a wealth of experience in event planning and non-profit association and hospitality management. Kent, most recently, enjoyed teaching children with cognitive impairments. He now lives in the Chicago, Illinois area with his partner of over 30 years.
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Shelly Marsh, Marketing Manager


Shelly joined the Men Having Babies team in December 2017 as our Marketing Manager. Her primary focus is help promote our organization while growing the attendance and visibility of our conferences. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining our team, she worked at a California based fertility clinic as the Marketing Manager for over five years. Shelly is also a three-time surrogate mother to same sex male couples both domestic and international. She lives in Southern California with her wonderful husband and two children.
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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.
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Silvia Schneider Fox, PsyD, board member


Dr. Silvia Schneider Fox is a clinical psychologist and founder of Fertility Resilience, a reproductive psychology practice with offices in the Chicago area. A specialist in the field of reproductive medicine, adoption and family building since 1992, Dr. Fox counsels individuals and couples in various areas of family building, including ART, collaborative reproduction, pregnancy loss, and parenting after infertility. She conducts third party evaluations, facilitates mind/body programs; researches, writes and presents on a variety of topics related to family-building. Dr. Fox has had her own experience with infertility. After undergoing extensive infertility treatment, she and her husband became parents through IVF. Nowadays, she combines her personal, research and clinical experience into one voice, on her Fertility Resilience blog.
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Lisa Schuster, GPAP Program Manager


Lisa joined the MHB team in January of 2018 as the Stage II GPAP Case Manager, and was later promoted to GPAP Program Manager. Lisa’s responsibilities include development of ongoing partnerships in support of the assistance program, development of practices and initiatives to further the scope and reach of the program, coordination of the selection and matching process of Stage II candidates, and managing their journeys and budgets until they become parents. 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.
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Sherman L. Taylor II, Chairman of the board


Sherman is a technology manager in the Research & Development organization of Procter & Gamble, based in Cincinnati, OH. Sherman received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces from Carnegie Mellon University. Sherman leads of group of scientists and engineers to create new and improved consumer products; he has worked across a variety of brands in his career including Pampers, Vicks, PuR, Swiffer, Magic Erasers, Bounce and Downy. Sherman also leads the design of corporate training programs to accelerate the growth and development of New Hires upon entering the company. Sherman and his husband Andrew have two sons via surrogacy, born in 2013 and 2017.

Breakout sessions


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Maria Valencia


Maria Valencia was earning her bachelor’s degree in International Business and raising two boys when she started in the surrogacy industry. The first time Maria helped a couple all the way through their journey, she realized she had found her passion when she saw them hold their precious bundle of joy for the first time. Now in her thirteenth year in the industry Maria has built outstanding relationships with the best resources and has the experience to bring the dream of creating a family to life. The professional staff at ISC, under Maria’s direction, is committed to providing premier customer service and making the process of surrogacy a unique and enjoyable journey. Maria and her team work with her intended parents doctors, IVF clinic staff, attorneys, surrogates. Maria believes in building relationships with honesty, transparency, and communication. Maria founded International Surrogacy Center in 2011, she and her team enjoy building close relationships with their clients and seeing pictures of the families as they grow. Maria recently discovered how she can give back and volunteers at local shelters. ISC is also giving financial support to organizations that care for and find homes for rescued animals.
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Guy Ringler, MD Advisory_Board-60


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. 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.
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Brad Spencer Advisory_Board-60


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 The Trevor Project, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth.
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Kristen Hanson Advisory_Board-60


Kristen Hanson is the Co-Owner and Executive Director of Finance and Contracts at Simple Surrogacy. Kristen oversees the financial aspects of Simple Surrogacy, as well as managing the escrow accounts of our clients. Kristen’s legal responsibilities include working with associate attorneys to determine state laws and required legal proceedings; locating separate legal counsel experienced in surrogacy law for Client and Surrogate; review and assist in negotiating the surrogacy contract between Recipient Couple and Surrogate; and overseeing all necessary legal filings and procedures (such as pre-birth orders and step parent adoptions) to establish parental rights for Intended Parents. Kristen’s escrow responsibilities include overseeing the escrow and managing the account; monitoring and authorizing disbursements in accordance with your contract; and sending intended parents itemized monthly statements of the escrow activity. Kristen’s first priority is to make sure all of our client’s money is handled in the most responsible way, that our Surrogates never receive a late payment, and that our clients are assured that their money is well managed. Kristen is an experienced Egg Donor, and has extensive first-hand knowledge of the donation process.
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Daniel Skora, MD


LGBTQ Fertility physician Daniel A. Skora, M.D., a proud member of the LGBTQ community, is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is board eligible in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Skora graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a certificate in neuroscience from Princeton University. After working as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Skora attended the university of Minnesota medical school where he received his medical degree. Dr. Skora completed his residency at George Washington University Hospital and his fellowship at The Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. Dr. Skora is passionate about all aspects of infertility. He is dedicated to addressing the unique needs of the whole patient and calls upon his education and experience in psychology to help each one overcome the emotional challenges of trying to conceive. Dr. Skora is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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John Norian, MD


Dr. John Norian, a double board certified fertility specialist, received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons, completed his residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine program and his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health. He is passionate about helping gay men achieve their goals of family building and becoming fathers through egg donation and surrogacy. His philosophy in helping those realize their dream of having a family combines both the precision and science of reproductive medicine with a compassionate style of doctoring. Dr. Norian is very involved in all the clinical decisions and all of the fertility treatment procedures which have allowed our team and his patients to achieve the highest success rates. As a board member of Path2Parenthood, Dr. Norian has greatly helped to raise awareness and develop usable information about fertility options for gay men and the greater LGBT community.
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Shahin Ghadir, MD


Dr. Ghadir is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ community and has helped hundreds of same sex couples. As a founding partner of Southern California Reproductive Center, Dr. Ghadir is double Board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. SCRC has one the largest third-party divisions helping all individuals with donors and surrogates. He is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of OBGYN at UCLA and USC. Dr. Ghadir earned his bachelor's degree with cum laude in psychology From UCLA, and his medical degree from the Central University School of Medicine, where he graduated summa cum laude and was ranked first in his class. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, as well as a three-year subspecialty fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the combined UCLA and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center program. Dr. Ghadir currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Fertility Association as well as the Neuromuscular Disease Foundation (NDF).
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Miles Collins


Miles had his own personal experience with the Pacific Fertility Center of Los Angeles, as it was through Dr. Sahakian that he created embryos to eventually start his own family. Now Miles Collins is the President of PFCLA. Social infertility is a personal interest of his, and PFCLA is one of the top international destinations for third party reproductive services using surrogates and egg donors.
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Tatiana Walton, Esq.


Tatiana Walton has had the immense pleasure serving as a surrogacy consultant with Extraordinary Conceptions, a leading international surrogacy and egg donor agency. Tatiana’s invaluable role is assisting Portuguese speaking intended parents. Tatiana assists with the very first steps in searching and choosing the right surrogate, up to the final steps for the birth of a baby and its return home to their new, native home with its family. A mother of two children, Tatiana understands what it means to have the “love of a child,” and wants everyone to experience that same unconditional love. Prior to joining the Extraordinary Conceptions team in 2012, she worked at Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP as a project clerk, as well as a paralegal at Dreher and Associates. Tatiana earned her law degree from Mackenzie University School of Law in 1997 and is a licensed attorney with the Brazilian Bar Association.
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Megan Hall


Megan founded Surro Connections after seeing first-hand the need for a more unique surrogacy agency for all family types. Her vision & leadership are the heart of our organization. It is her commitment and passion that truly serves as the foundation of our agency approach. It is our goal to give each party the focus and attention they deserve through this very personal process. She has both a professional and personal investment in your experience, ensuring your comfort, regardless of the services provided. Megan is passionate and eager to see your dreams of a growing family come true, and also has great appreciation for the women giving the gift of Surrogacy. Megan is the mother of 3 beautiful children, 1 born through IVF, and has been a Gestational Surrogate for three other families as well. Her experience in deeply rooted careers after graduating with her MBA in both Business Administration and Accounting, were not nearly as fulfilling as the work she does today with each individual involved in Surro Connections.
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Marjorie E. Dixon, MD


Dr. Dixon is a graduate of the McGill University’s School of Medicine. Her initial postgraduate training was at the University of Toronto, in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her passion for reproductive medicine continued during her postgraduate training with a 3-year subspecialty, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology accredited fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Vermont. Dr. Dixon is an active member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and holds the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, where she actively participates in medical student and resident education. She continues to be an invited speaker at both national and international conferences in her field of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility as she continuously advocates for the women’s health and the LGBTQ community.