The 2017 Brussels conference on
Parenting options for European gay men

September 23-24, 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

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Registration and welcome reception: 15:00-15:30 (Ballroom Floor, foyer)
Light refreshments will be served as you will have the opportunity to meet conference attendees and presenters from more than15 countries.
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Overview of parenting options available to European gay men, including surrogacy and adoption options in the USA and Canada: 15:30-16:00 (Ballroom Floor, room 8)
Introductions and a overview of surrogacy and adoption options for European gay men.
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Personal stories panel: 16:00 - 17:00 (Ballroom Floor, room 8)
Hear the diverse personal experiences of several gay surrogacy dads and surrogates.

Panelist include:

Remko and Bastiaan are a Dutch couple who have a 14 months boy through gestational surrogacy in Canada, and are expecting a second child soon (with the help of the same surrogate).

Jessica Huston
Jessica (Jess) is a gestational carrier from Connecticut who carried a baby for a German gay couple.

Jose Ramirez Moya
Jose and Mathias live in Berlin, and last October had a boy through gestational surrogacy in the USA.

Aymee is a gestational carrier from Idaho who carried a baby for a French gay couple.
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Jess with the German couple and the boy she
carried for them

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Jose and Mathias with their newborn baby

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Break: 17:00 - 17:15
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Evolving positions about surrogacy in Europe and relevant political developments: 17:15-18:30 (Ballroom Floor, rooms 8)
At this session we will review recent developments in the way European LGBT associations view the possibility of ethical surrogacy practices, and political developments around the continent that may affect parenting options for European gay men in the near future. We will hear from the vice president of the Network of European LGBTQI Families Associations (NELFA), Giuseppina La Delfa, about the organization’s new position on surrogacy and assisted reproduction technologies. MHB welcomes this position as a basis for a new consensus that can unite the LGBT community on the issue of best ethical practices for surrogacy and inspire future laws or regulations on the subject. We will then hear about developments in France, the Netherlands, Italy and other countries that may open the door to less restrictive policies on surrogacy and adoptions for gay men. Lastly, we will discuss what prospective parents can do presently, until the laws change in Europe. For this purpose we will discuss how they can currently identify ethically reputable providers, and “ethical best practices” for surrogacy.

  • Didier Disenhaus, board member of Homoparentalités ASBL, Belgium.
  • Giuseppina La Delfa / vice president of the Network of European LGBTQI Families Associations (NELFA)
  • Attorney Wilma Eusman / Member of the Dutch Government Advisory Commission to Reconsider Legal Parenthood.
  • Jean-Raphael Brault, surrogacy coordinator of APGL, France.
  • Ron Poole-Dayan, MHB board member / executive director.
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Coffee Break: 18:30-19:00 (Ballroom Floor, room 8)
Sponsored by Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists
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Planning your parenting journey: 19:00 -20:00 (Ballroom Floor, room 8)
Surrogacy fathers from the USA and Europe will lead a comprehensive surrogacy workshop that was developed based on the accumulated knowledge of hundreds of gay men who have already gone through the process. In the first part we will go over the various surrogacy arrangements available for gay men, and prepare you to make the basic decisions regarding your surrogacy journey. Topics covered will include:
  • Basic terminology, types and components of typical surrogacy arrangements.
  • Typical sequence and timeline for gestational surrogacy journeys.
  • Major decisions that shape the surrogacy journey.
  • Considering your family vision, financial constraints, risk tolerance and ethical preferences.
  • Known vs. anonymous egg donations.
  • Ethical best practices.
On the second part of this session, a representative of “A New Way” will offer a presentation about the possibility of adopting children from the USA.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

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Registration: 8:30-9:00 (Ground Floor, lobby)
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Country-specific expert panels: 9:00 -10:00 (France: room 8, Belgium: room 2, Netherlands / rest of Europe: room 1, Germany: room 14 - first floor)
This session will provide in-depth advice for prospective parents in four different groups: Belgians, Dutch, French, Germans and European in general (from the UK, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, etc.). The sessions will be facilitated by experienced surrogacy parents from the various countries. Panelists will include American and European legal experts to discuss how parental rights can be established in the USA, and specific legal arrangements needed for each country in order to bring the babies back, and to secure residency and parental rights in each country.

Legal experts
  • Attorney Wilma Eusman / The Nethreland
  • Prof. Dr. Sven Eggermont / Universiteit Antwerpen / Desdalex Attorneys
  • Attorney Clélia Richard / France
  • Attorney Rolf Behrentin / Germany
  • Victoria Ferrara, Esq. / Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists
  • John Weltman, Esq. / Circle Surrogacy
  • Steve Snyder, Esq. / International Assisted Reproduction Center (IARC)
  • Molly O’Brien, Esq.
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Break: 10:00-10:15
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Picking providers, budgeting and financial assistance: 10:15 AM - 12:00 (Ballroom Floor, room 8)
Peer advice will be offered on selecting ethically reputable surrogacy service providers, cost saving tips, and resources for financial support. Topics covered will include:
  • Where to start (agency, clinic, surrogate or donor).
  • Selecting an agency and clinic.
  • Estimated costs, and factors that affect costs.
  • Cost saving best practices.
  • Financial help through the Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP).
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Lunch / Gay Parenting Resource Fair: 12:00 - 13:30 (Ballroom Floor - foyer, rooms 10-11)
Enjoy a buffet lunch and explore the resource fair of Gay Parenting Services (rooms 10-11) - more than twenty tables where you can meet and receive information from leading clinics, surrogacy and adoption agencies, lawyers and supporting community organizations. The fair will continue until 16:30.
Lunch is sponsored by San Diego Fertility Center.
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Breakout sessions - come meet the sponsors: 13:30 - 15:30 (Ballroom Floor and First Floor - see table)
Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in up to 5 introductory 20-minute group consultations with the various providers. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know these agencies and clinics more closely. See the "Breakout Sessions" table for a list and schedule. The Gay Parenting Resource Fair will also continue to be available during this period.

Room 1

Room 2

Room 14

Room 15-16-17

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Jamie Speer, MS
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Said Daneshmand, MD
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Steven Snyder, Esq.

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Victoria Ferrara, Esq.
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Jamie Speer, MS
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Said Daneshmand, MD
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Steven Snyder, Esq.

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Victoria Ferrara, Esq.
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Guy Ringler, MD
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Brandon Bankowski, MD, MPH
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Rebecca Silver
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Leia Swanberg
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Guy Ringler, MD
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Brandon Bankowski, MD, MPH
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John Chally, JD
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John Weltman
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John Norian, MD
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Nir Keren
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Kathryn Kaycoff
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John Weltman
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Juan Tecles
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Nir Keren
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Kathryn Kaycoff
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Megan Hall
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Resource fair & networking reception: 15:30 - 16:30 (Ballroom Floor - room 10-11)
Prospective parents, parents (&children!), activists, psychologists, social workers, researchers and other professionals are invited to network and exchange perspectives over light refreshments. The Gay Parenting Resource Fair will run in parallel.

Specialty panels

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Room 15-16-17, 2nd Floor

Room 14, 2rd Floor

Budgeting your surrogacy journey: A closer look at medical insurance and surrogate compensation packages
Moderator: Ron Poole-Dayan / MHB board
- Victoria Ferrara
/ Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists
- Leia Swanberg
/ Canadian Fertility Consulting
- John Weltman
/ Circle Surrogacy
Medical aspects of surrogacy: The medical screening of future fathers, egg donors and surrogates, the creation of optimal embryos, and the IVF process.
Moderator: Dr. Georges Sylvestre / MHB board
- Brandon Bankowski, M.D.
/ Oregon Reproductive Medicine
- Dr. John Norian
- Dr. Said Daneshmand
/ San Diego Fertility Center
- Jamie Speer, MS