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

Chicago, April 8-9, 2017

Conference speakers


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Brandon J. Bankowski, MD, MPH
Dr. Bankowski is one of the most-respected and experienced physicians helping LGBTQ intended parents build their families through donor egg surrogacy in the USA. He is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist with extensive experience in IVF, egg donation, surrogacy and genomics. He has practiced at Oregon Reproductive Medicine (ORM) since 2005. He and his partners at ORM have helped LGBTQ intended parents from across the world build their families. Dr. Bankowski is passionate about providing ORM’s patients the best care and the highest chance for success on their first attempt, while looking after the genetic health of their family. His vision lead to the formation of ORM Genomics, ORM’s industry-leading reproductive genomics program and in-house genetics laboratory, as well as the integration of advanced genetic screening of all donors in the ORM Donors program. He is committed to helping LGBTQ intended parents using donor egg surrogacy benefit from the latest advances in genetic screening to help them have the best chance of a healthy baby on their first attempt.
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Kristen Hanson

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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Dr. Sigal Klipstein

Dr. Klipstein is a sub specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. She is a physician at InVia Fertility Specialists in Chicago, where she also directs the Egg Donor Program. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She completed both her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Harvard Medical School. In addition, she completed a fellowship in Medical Ethics at Harvard University. Dr. Klipstein charts the national Ethics Committee of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Klipstein has extensive experience working with same sex couples, egg donation and gestational surrogacy. Dr. Klipstein is widely published, having written numerous articles in both medical and ethics journals. She has also authored several book chapters and presented at numerous medical conferences. She is fluent in Spanish and Hebrew.
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Kim Monroe

Kim Monroe has over 15 years of experience in reproductive healthcare, with a focus on the intersection of genetics and fertility. She has built her career on building relationships with organizations that are devoted to delivering excellent care to everyone’s definition of family. At GenePeeks, Kim helps bring the most advanced genetic screening to intended parents through partnerships with top donor agencies and clinics. Kim received her Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Laboratory Technology from Webster University and completed her Medical Technology Internship at Washington University.
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Jan Nussbaum, Ph.D.

Jan Nussbaum completed his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University. He has remained involved as a contributing service faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at Northwestern Medical School. Dr. Nussbaum has a private practice with many years of experience counseling individuals, couples and families related to infertility, assisted reproduction and adoption. He provides mental health consultations/screenings related to egg, sperm and embryo donation as well as surrogacy. He consults to a number of infertility clinics and egg donation and surrogacy agencies. He provides psychotherapy to adults, individually and as couples, with a variety of concerns. He and his wife have greatly enjoyed raising two adopted daughters.
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Susanna Park, M.D.

World renowned for her fertility expertise, IVF success and excellence in medical care, Dr. Susanna Park has practiced as an infertility physician for the past 15 years. Dr. Park joined the San Diego Fertility Center in 2012 following her tenure at Columbia University in New York City. Her passion is to combine her extensive experience as an infertility physician with individualized care and compassion. Dr. Park is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She graduated summa cum laude from Siena College and obtained her medical degree at Albany Medical College. Dr. Park completed her residency and her fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Park has developed a large international referral practice due to her excellent patient rapport, high success rates, and fluency in Spanish and Korean. Dr. Park works closely with the leading egg donor and surrogacy agencies to assist the LGBT community build families.
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Satin Patel, MD.

Dr. Satin Patel is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist with Fertility Specialists of Texas. Dr. Patel's special interests in assisted reproductive technologies include preimplantation genetic diagnoses, fertility preservation, polycystic ovary syndrome and hysteroscopic surgery techniques. Dr. Patel graduated from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) summa cum laude with a degree in Neuroscience, and then attended David Geffen School of Medicine also at UCLA. Dr. Patel completed his fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.Dr. Patel has been invited to speak at several international conferences and has published several scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the Biennial Review of Infertility and Fertility and Sterility, among others. Dr. Patel is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, American College for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Society of Reproductive Surgeons, Texas Medical Association and Dallas County Medical Society.
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Heather Ross, Esq.

Heather Ross co-founded the law firm of Ross & Zuckerman, LLP in 2005 to focus solely on legal issues surrounding assisted reproductive technology. Prior to forming Ross & Zuckerman, LLP she worked for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago representing low-income women in various civil matters, including family law and juvenile court. Ms. Ross serves as chair to the Legal Advisory Council of Path 2 Parenthood (formerly known as the American Fertility Association). She is also a member of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, secretary of the Legal Professional Group of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, a professional member of Resolve, and a committee member of the American Bar Association’s Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee.
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Leia Swanberg.

Leia’s passion for alternative family building began at age sixteen, when she was a birth mother to a daughter placed in an open adoption. Since then, she has had four children of her own – ages 20,12, 2 and a new baby. She has been a gestational surrogate twice and an egg donor several times. Leia’s approach to surrogacy is simple – taking a holistic approach to ensure that all parties are supported, encouraged and protected. She has made great industry connections and working partnerships with professionals worldwide to ensure that she can help to develop the fertility plan that best suits your needs. Having owned Canadian Fertility Consulting since 2007, she has had the opportunity to help hundreds of couples become parents. Leia’s previous experience as a small business owner and background in management and small business development has helped her grow CFC into Canada’s foremost surrogacy consulting service. Leia and CFC have been featured many times in Canadian media, including Canada AM and The National Post, helping to depict third-party reproduction as a tangible and approachable subject in the country.
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Cindy R. Wasser, LLB

With her unique background as a high profile criminal defence lawyer for almost 30 years and, extraordinary journey as an Intended Parent, Cindy Wasser offers an unparalleled service to Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. Her firm, Hope Springs Fertility Law™ is one of the leading firms in Canada with a large international clientele. When the RCMP investigation into ART began in February 2012, Cindy was called upon to provide legal advice to other fertility lawyers, medical practitioners and, consultant agencies. Cindy has lectured about fertility law at medico-legal conferences and at hospitals and is published in a leading medical journal. During her criminal law career she successfully defended high profile cases; published and lectured. Cindy was a founding Director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted; the Chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the Ontario Bar Association and; a member of many Law Society Committees. Cindy and her husband are parents to two perfectly created daughters with the generous assistance of an ovum donor and two Surrogates.
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Jennifer White

Jennifer loves helping people realize their dream of becoming parents and is honored to play a role in this intimate and life-enhancing journey. She finds the work deeply rewarding. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Justice and Public Safety from Auburn University Montgomery, Jennifer spent 15 years as a paralegal, most recently with Trachman Law Center. She’s also worked in the insurance and medical fields, all to say she feels uniquely qualified to help intended parents and their surrogate sort through any bumps in the road. Thanks to a husband in the Air Force, Jennifer has lived in every region of the country as well as Germany and England—and she’s been to every state in the U.S., with the exception of Alaska. She’s the proud mom of one daughter and two fur-babies. With several half-marathons under her belt, she’s keen to fulfill a major life goal and run the full 26.2 miles. When you get the chance, ask Jennifer about the playground in Amersham, England, named after her.

MHB speakers

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Anthony M. Brown, Esq., Board Chairman

Anthony currently is a senior associate at the law firm of Chianese and Reilly Law,P.C., heading their family and estates law division serving married and unmarried individuals, couples and families. Anthony is the Executive Director of The Wedding Party and has been a Board member since its inception in 1999. Anthony is the founder of, a web environment dedicated to assisting gay and lesbian couples create their own families. Anthony has worked as a law guardian at The Children’s Law Center, representing the legal needs of children in Brooklyn Family Court. Anthony also worked as a legal intern for Lambda Legal in the summer of 2002. Anthony was appointed as a board member and Secretary of the board of Men Having Babies upon its incorporation in July 2012 and has served as Board Chairman since 2013.
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Ron Poole-Dayan, Board Member / Executive Director

Ron is the executive director and founding board member 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 Administrator of the Jewish Home Lifecare Nursing Home in the Bronx. The couple met in 1994, and are among of 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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Sherman L. Taylor II, board member

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 a son via surrogacy, born in 2013.

Breakout sessions

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Frank Golden

Frank Golden has a B.S. in Management and over 14 years of expertise in consumer psychology. Throughout his career in various roles Frank was tasked with developing innovative processes to streamline the customer experience. Inspired by the success of his own journey to become a father Frank, joined with his Husband Adam to establish a third-party reproduction consulting agency: Golden Surrogacy. The pair now works passionately to assist all loving couples and individuals who wish to follow in their footsteps. Frank serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for Path2Parenthood, and is also a representative on the Corporate Member Council of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). In addition, Frank is a professional member with RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association. In furtherance of education to promote gay parenting options, Golden Surrogacy is a major supporter of the not-for profit organization Men Having Babies; listed as one of their highly rated service providers. Frank has become a leading resource for those who wish to pursue a path to parenthood through gestational surrogacy.
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Jennifer McArthur

Jennifer McArthur is the Director of Case Management for Worldwide Surrogacy, and has a Master's Degree in Social Work. Along with Victoria Ferrara, Esq. who is the founder and legal director of Worldwide Surrogacy, Jen is the first touch point for intended parents, and a primary source of communication throughout the journey. By providing a wealth of information about the matching process, screening of surrogates, insurance matters, as well as many other important details regarding the surrogacy journey. Jen provides ongoing support and case management to intended parents, and supervises other case managers who assist our intended parents with similar matters. In addition, Jen conducts all social work assessments of surrogates and further assists intended parents with the coordination of services. By conducting interviews of all our potential surrogates and working closely with intended parents, her goal is to ensure a good match for all parties involved. Jen is highly dedicated and enthusiastic about making a lasting difference in people's lives throughout their surrogacy journey.
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Zara Griswold

As a mother of boy/girl 13 year old twins via Gestational Surrogacy and Egg Donation, Zara feels fortunate in being able to continue her dedication to Family Building via Third Party Reproduction in her position as Co-founder and Director of the Gestational Surrogacy program at Family Source Consultants. Zara has made it her life mission to help others achieve their family building dreams as well. Zara's passion for educating and supporting others, along with her personal interest in Surrogacy and Egg Donation, inspired her to write the book, Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories, published in 2006.
Zara received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Science degree in Education from Northern Illinois University.
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Clifford Librach, M.D.

Dr. Librach is the founder and Director of the CReATe Fertility Centre and CReATe Cord Blood Bank (Toronto, Canada). He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto. He served as Division Head of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Women’s College Hospital for 23 years. Dr. Librach has been the Chair of Ontario Medical Association Reproductive Biology since 2004. He co-founded the Canadian Fertility and Andrology (CFAS) IVF Improvement Committee. He has been interviewed extensively on ART-related topics in the national and international media. Dr. Librach is the pioneer and leader in the field of the third party reproduction and runs the largest egg donation and gestational surrogacy program in Canada. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed original publications including an analysis of the medical, psychosocial and legal issues involved in surrogacy program; as well as the largest published series on assisted reproduction for the same-sex male couples and single men.
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Mary Ellen McLaughlin

Mary Ellen McLaughlin began working with ARR soon after it was founded. A registered nurse with a BSN from DePaul University in Chicago, Mary Ellen spent the first part of her career working in intensive care. She then moved on to obstetrics and gynecology, which included the early era of infertility treatments. At ARR, Mary Ellen interviews, guides and advocates for gestational surrogates throughout their surrogacy journey and maintains those relationships over time. She also works closely with egg donors and intended parents. Mary Ellen's medical knowledge coupled with her compassion for all those involved in third party reproduction make her ideal for her position.
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Keely A. Seaverson, Esq.

Keely Seaverson has been a part of the IARC team since 2006. She is an educator and guide to parties undergoing surrogacy and egg donation and has worked with hundreds of intended parents in all aspects of their family-building processes. Keely's work in this field has involved working closely with other professionals in the U.S. and internationally, including attorneys, fertility physicians, psychologists and medical insurance specialists. This has led to a broad and deep understanding of this field and the accompanying legal, medical, psychological, and financial components of this complex process, to the benefit of IARC’s clients. The most rewarding part of her role at IARC is helping clients make decisions that will lead them to a successful outcome (a baby!). Not all programs take an unbending path; they may have twists and turns, and Keely prides herself as a problem-solver on behalf of clients so their goal is ultimately realized.
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Melvin Thornton II, MD

Dr. Melvin Thornton II is the Acting Medical Director & Director, Donor Egg Program at CT Fertility. Dr. Thornton has deep expertise in the areas of IVF, surrogacy and donor egg, fertility preservation and male infertility. He recognizes the stressful nature of infertility treatment and brings a compassionate touch to every interaction. Known for his calm demeanor, his patients frequently describe him as a reassuring and personable physician who truly cares. Prior to joining CT Fertility, he spent 15 years with the Columbia University IVF program where he held many leadership posts, including Medical Director of its Westchester campus and Director of the donor egg program. In addition to his practical medical experience, he has devoted countless hours to sharing his passion for RE by teaching and mentoring medical students, fellows, and residents as an Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia. Dr. Thornton has published more than 30 papers, written several book chapters and presented nearly 40 abstracts at professional conferences.