Men Having Babies South - 2017
Surrogacy & Gay Parenting Conference

Dallas, June 10-11, 2017

Full conference program

Saturday, June 10, 2017

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Registration: 5:00-5:30 PM
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Is surrogacy right for you? Overview and personal stories: 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM (Windsor ballrooms 1&2)
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.


Heather Jacobson, PhD
Heather Jacobson is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington whose research centers primarily on various routes to family formation. She is the author of Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies.

Panelist include:

Martin Sigler
Martin Sigler, and his husband, Tim, are parents to 2 year old Gabriel who was born in May 2015 with the help of a gestational carrier. They live in Dallas, Texas where Tim is a full-time stay at home dad.

Susan Taylor
Susan is a two time gestational surrogate who lives in Fort Worth with her husband, Chris, and their four children. In addition to being a surrogate, wife, and mother, Susan is a Licensed Midwife. Susan recently completed her second journey with Intended Fathers, Paul and Emilio, from Spain. They enjoyed a beautiful planned home birth of Baby Joel. Paul and Emilio also documented their travel to the US for the birth of their son in this gorgeous video.

Adam Hurst
Adam, and his husband Shawn, welcomed twin boys in May 2015 with the help of Adam's younger twin sisters who acted as the egg donor and gestational carrier. Both Adam and Shawn work full-time in the healthcare industry.

Michelle Pine
Michelle Pine and her husband have three children, and live in Oregon. In 2015 she carried twins as a gestational surrogate for a gay couple from Israel, and has recently begun a second journey with a serodiscordant couple from San Francisco. Michelle is an MHB board member and the chair of the Surrogates Advisory Committee.

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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Martin (right) and Tim with their son Gabriel.

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Susan and the Spanish couple she helped.

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Left to right: Ethan, Shawn, Adam, and Skyler Hurst.

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Michelle and the twins she carried.

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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 (Windsor ballrooms 1&2)
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
  • Heather Jacobson, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Patricia McBride-Houtz, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist at the Center for Assisted Reproduction Excellence (CARE Fertility), TX.
  • Tracy Crain, M.S., Licensed Professional Counselor, infertility and family building.
  • Michelle Pine, Gestational Carrier and an MHB board member.

Optional post-conference event: 8:00 PM

Parents / Intended Parents’ Happy Hour

Join us at the hotel’s Bistro to close the evening with a social gathering hosted by MHB Board Member Michael Wetson and his husband Shawn. This casual time will be a great opportunity to discuss the information from the day’s sessions as well as network with other parents and intended parents.
  • Refreshments will be served.
  • Registered attendees receive a coupon for one free drink.
  • Optional dining available at the adjacent Café Biarritz.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

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Registration: 8:30-9:00 AM
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Planning your parenting journey: 9:00-10:30 AM (Windsor ballrooms 1&2)
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 Fertility Specialists of Texas
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Picking providers, budgeting and financial assistance: 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM (Windsor ballrooms 1&2)
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 (Windsor ballrooms 3&4)
Enjoy a buffet lunch (courtesy of Simple Surrogacy) and explore our Gay Parenting Resource Fair: more than twenty tables where you can meet and receive information from leading clinics, surrogacy and adoption agencies, lawyers and supporting community organizations. The expo is co-sponsored by Dallas Voice, and it will remain open until 4:30pm.
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Breakout sessions - come meet the sponsors: 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in up to 5 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.





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Kim Monroe
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Jerald Goldstein, MD
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Stephanie Scott
Kristen Hanson
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Guy Ringler, MD
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Kim Monroe
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Jerald Goldstein, MD
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Stephanie Scott
Kristen Hanson
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Guy Ringler, MD
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Elizabeth Barbieri, MD
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Susanna Park, MD
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Stacy Swiderski
Zara Griswold
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Robert Kaufmann, MD
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Jay Cook, RN
(Jointly with HRC Fertility)
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Susanna Park, MD
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Stacy Swiderski
Zara Griswold
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Nir Keren
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Elizabeth Barbieri, MD
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John Norian, MD
(Jointly with Same Love Surrogacy)
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Robert Kaufmann, MD
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Nir Keren
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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.
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Gay parenting expo / networking reception: 3:30 - 4:30 PM (Windsor ballrooms 3&4)
This year, in parallel to the expo we will also hold a rally in solidarity with the National Pride March! Prospective parents, parents (&children!), professionals, students, researchers and allies are invited to network and exchange perspectives over refreshments.

Special free event

LGBT Family Reunion and Equality Rally

Join current and prospective gay families to take a stand for equality alongside the thousands marching in D.C and across the country.

Bring your children and enjoy:
  • Activities for children including photo booth, making signs, and more.
  • Book Fair of special children’s books for LGBT headed families / families created through surrogacy, and books about surrogacy for prospective parents.
  • Refreshments for all ages

Co-sponsored by the Dallas Voice and Rainbow Roundup.

bullet-arrow_icon-blue_12 Free admission; Please RSVP via email (unless you are already registered for the conference).

Specialty panels

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4:30-5:15 pm



Budgeting: A closer look at medical insurance and surrogate compensation packages
Moderator: Ron Poole-Dayan / MHB board
- Steve Snyder, Esq.
- Mary Fusillo
/ 3 Sisters Surrogacy
- Nir Keren
/ CReATe Fertility - Canada
- Michelle Pine
/ Surrogate , MHB board member

Medical workshop I: Choosing egg donors and creating optimal embryos
Moderator: Dr. Georges Sylvestre / MHB board
- Elizabeth Barbieri, M.D.
/ Oregon Reproductive Medicine
- Guy Ringelr, M.D.
/ California Fertility Partners
- Kim Monroe
/ GenePeeks
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5:15-6:00 pm
Expert legal panel: Legal status of surrogacy across the USA, contracts, securing parentage rights
Moderator: Sherman Taylor / MHB board
- Lauren Duffer, Esq.
/ The Law Office of Lauren Gaydos Duffer, P.C.
- Lori S. Meyers, Esq.
/ Meyers & O’Hara, LLP
Medical workshop II: choosing an optimal surrogate and making crucial decisions during the IVF process
Moderator: Dr. Georges Sylvestre / MHB board
- Jerald Goldstein, M.D.
/ Fertility Specialists of Texas
- Mark Leondires, M.D.
- John Norian, M.D.