Men Having Babies Midwest - 2017
Surrogacy Seminar & Gay Parenting Expo

Chicago, April 8-9, 2017

Full conference program

Saturday, April 8, 2017

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Registration: 5:00-5:30 PM (3rd Floor)
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Is surrogacy right for you? Overview and personal stories: 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM (Theater, 3rd Floor)
We will open our session with introductions, a comparison of surrogacy with other parenting options, and an overview of the considerations for choosing various parenting routes.

To help you further understand what surrogacy entails from the personal standpoint, you will have an opportunity to hear personal testimonies from a diverse group of of gay surrogacy dads, the surrogates who helped them, and an egg donor.

Panelist include:

Frankie Nelson
Frankie and his husband BJ live in Toronto, Canada. In June, 2014 they welcomed their son Milo, born via gestational surrogacy. Their
birth photo and story has been shared around the world. As educators, it is important for them to inform others the importance of skin to skin contact for newborns, understand surrogacy, and to show the world that family is about love!

Josie Dahlager
Josie is a gestational carrier from Minneapolis who carried twice for the same gay couple who live nearby. Both families remained great friends and get together often. Josie
blogged about her journeys, including an emotional video that documents her second surrogacy birth.

Bill Guest
Bill is a single gay father from the Chicago area, who had his daughter via gestational surrogacy, in October 2016. Bill was a recipient of GPAP Stage I benefits for their journey.

Corina Maria Teofilo Mattson
Corina is a surrogate from Chicago who carried Bill’s baby. She is also a couples and family therapist at Live Oak. Corina and her husband have three children ranging from 3 to 7 years old.

Laura Alabre
Laura has been a known egg donor to several couples all over the world. She currently serves as the case manager for dozens of gay couples and singles who are having their children with the help of MHB’sGay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP).
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BJ (left) and Frankie with their surrogate Kathy
holding Milo in the delivery room

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Josie with the first baby she carried for a Minneapolis
gay couple

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Coffee break: 6:30-6:45 PM
Sponsored by GenePeeks
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A mindful look at surrogacy - Psychological and Ethical Aspects: 6:45-8:00 PM (Theater, 3rd Floor)
In this session we will examine the psychological, social and ethical concerns that some prospective parents and surrogates may feel in advance of this joint journey, and might stand in the way of having an open and connected process. We will then offer possible coping mechanisms, support resources and best practices to address these concerns.

We will look at questions such as:
  • How can the parties best prepare for the journey, find the right match and adjust expectations?
  • What are the typical dynamics in the relationship between the intended parents and the surrogates?
  • How to best navigate difficult decision points and deal with the inherent uncertainty in the process?
  • How do parents and surrogates deal with critical social views of surrogacy?
  • What are the roots for concerns about exploitation and commodification in surrogacy?
  • What are the experiences of children born via surrogacy?
We will present recent academic research on surrogacy, and evidence from studies about the way surrogacy affects the the welfare of the child, the surrogate, and her family. We will also look at programs meant to encourage a more mindful surrogacy experience, such as MHB's Framework for Ethical Surrogacy.

Moderator: Ron Poole-Dayan, surrogacy father, executive director of MHB
  • Sigal Klipstein, MD, FACOG, RE at InVia Fertility Specialists, Chair of the Ethics Committee of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, member of the ASRM Ethics Committee.
  • Jan Nussbaum, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, third party family building.
  • Corina Maria Teofilo Mattson, LMFT, Couple & Family Therapist, Gestational Carrier.
  • Josie Dahlager, Gestational Carrier.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

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Registration: 8:30-9:00 AM (3rd Floor)
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Planning your parenting journey: 9:00-10:30 AM (Theater, 3rd Floor)
This is the first part of our comprehensive surrogacy workshop that was developed based on the accumulated knowledge of hundreds of gay men who have already gone through the process.
Topics covered will include:
  • Basic terminology, types and components of typical surrogacy arrangements.
  • Typical sequence and timeline for gestational surrogacy journeys.
  • Legal considerations in the USA and Canada.
  • Major decisions that shape the surrogacy journey.
  • Considering your family vision, financial constraints, risk tolerance and ethical preferences.
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Coffee break: 10:30-10:45 AM
Sponsored by Golden Surrogacy
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Picking providers, budgeting and financial assistance: 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM (Theater, 3rd Floor)
On the second part of our workshop we will provide peer advice on selecting 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 expo: 12:00 - 1:30 PM (Baran Hall, 2nd floor)
Enjoy lunch and explore our Gay Parenting Services Exhibit: more than twenty five tables where you can meet and receive information from leading clinics, surrogacy agencies, lawyers and supporting community organizations. The expo will remain open until 4:00pm. Lunch is sponsored by the San Diego Fertility Center.
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Breakout sessions - come meet the sponsors: 1:30 - 3:30 PM (Rooms 201-204, 2nd Floor)
Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in up to 6 introductory 20-minute group consultations with the various seminar sponsors. Take advantage of this opportunity to "shop around" and get to know these agencies and clinics more closely. See the table below.

2nd Floor: 201

2nd Floor: 202

2nd Floor: 203

2nd Floor: 204

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1:30 pm
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Susanna Park, MD
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Frank Golden
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Kim Monroe
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Clifford Librach, MD
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1:50 pm
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Susanna Park, MD
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Frank Golden
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Kim Monroe
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Clifford Librach, MD
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2:10 pm
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Brandon Bankowski, MD
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Jennifer McArthur
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Stephanie Scott
Kristen Hanson
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Leia Swanberg
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2:30 pm
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Brandon Bankowski, MD
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Jennifer McArthur
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Stephanie Scott
Kristen Hanson
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Leia Swanberg
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2:50 pm
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Zara Griswold
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Sigal Klipstein, MD
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Satin Patel, MD
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Keely Seaverson, Esq.

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3:10 pm
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Zara Griswold
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Mary Ellen McLaughlin
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Jennifer White
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Dr. Melvin Thornton
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Gay parenting expo / networking reception: 3:30 - 4:00 PM (Baran Hall, 2nd floor)
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Prospective parents, parents (&children!), psychologists, social workers, students, researchers and other professionals are invited to network and exchange perspectives over refreshments. Our Surrogacy Expo will run in parallel. Sponsored by Canadian Fertility Consultants
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Optional private consultations: 3:30 - 8:30 PM (various rooms on the 2nd floor, please check with participating providers for more details)
Several providers will be available in offices for private consultations with prospective parents that wish to explore the options they offer in more depth. Prospective parents may request to coordinate consultations in advance using this form. Consultation slots may also be available last minute for those who want to first hear the providers at the conference.

Specialty panels

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4:00-4:45 pm

Theater, 3rd Floor

Reception hall, 3rd Floor

Budgeting: A closer look at medical insurance and surrogate compensation packages
Moderator: Ron Poole-Dayan / MHB board
- Kristen Hanson
/ Simple Surrogacy
- Leia Swanberg
/ Canadian Fertility Consulting
- Jennifer White
/ Colorado Surrogacy
Medical workshop I: Choosing egg donors and creating optimal embryos
Moderator: Sherman Taylor / MHB board
- Satin Patel, M.D.
/ Fertility Specialists of Texas
- Sigal Klipstein, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.
/ InVia Fertility
- Kim Monroe
/ GenePeeks
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4:45-5:30 pm
Expert legal panel: Legal status of surrogacy across the USA and Canada, contracts, securing parentage rights
Moderator: Anthony Brown, Esq. / MHB board
- Heather Ross, Esq.
/ Ross & Zuckerman, LLP
- Cindy Wasser, LLB
/ Hope Springs Fertility Law
Medical workshop II: choosing an optimal surrogate and making crucial decisions during the IVF process
Moderator: Sherman Taylor / MHB board
- Susanna Park, M.D.
/ San Diego Fertility Center
- Brandon Bankowski, M.D.
/ Oregon Reproductive Medicine