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Our Family Coalition & Men Having Babies present:

2018 SF Surrogacy Conference, Jan 13-14

Full conference program

Saturday, January 13, 2018

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Registration: 3:00-3:30 PM (10th Floor)
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Is surrogacy right for you? Overview and personal stories: 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM (Commandants Room, 10th 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 and the surrogates who helped them.

Panelists include:

Chris Tye-Walker
Chris, a celebrity fitness trainer, and his husband Shaun, a cosmetic dentist, live in LA. Soon after they married in November 2015, the couple quickly began the process of completing their family. They welcomed their son born August 2017 and are hoping to be able to give Flynn a baby brother or sister by Christmas 2018.

Shelly Marsh
Shelly is finishing up her third and final surrogacy, she carried twin boys for a gay couple from the Norway, and two singletons for a gay couple from Los Angeles. She and her husband Brian live in CA with their two daughters.

Michael Von Habsburg
Michael and his husband Tony live on the West Valley area of Los Angeles. In April of 2017, they welcomed their son Rexford, born via gestational surrogacy in Santa Rosa, CA. Tony and Michael were recipients of GPAP stage I. Michael obtained his doctorate degree, PsyD, in February 2016, and his thesis/dissertation was about the Gay and Lesbian population engaging in Artificial Reproductive Services. Michael is writing a book about his experience with the process.

Valerie Murray
Valerie is a three-time surrogate living in Central California. She carried children for both heterosexual and same sex couples. She works in local law enforcement and volunteers at several social services organizations. Valerie has a 21 year old son and 17 year old daughter. She feels surrogacy has helped to grow her own family, and they all maintain close, loving relationships. Valerie’s daughter proudly speaks of the family with her social network and usually refers to the three girls her mother carried as her sisters.
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Chris (left) and Shaun Tye-Walker with their son Flynn

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Shelly with her Norwegian couple, and the twins she carried for them.

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Michael (left) and Tony with their son Rexford

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Coffee break: 4:45-5:00 PM
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A mindful look at surrogacy - Attitudes and Ethics: 5:00-6:15 PM (Commandants Room, 10th Floor)
In this session we will examine how we feel about surrogacy: the meanings and significance people tend to attribute to surrogacy in their lives, with a special focus on surrogates’ perspective. We will look at questions such as:
  • What are the dominant social perceptions of surrogacy in the U.S. and Canada?
  • How do surrogates understand their experiences?
  • 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 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

Speakers / Panelists:
  • Elliott Kronenfeld, LICSW, Insight Brookline Psychotherapy
  • Michael Von Habsburg, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist, Kaiser Permanente.
  • Qin Fan, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist.
  • Barney Cheng, director & writer, “Baby Steps”.
  • Michelle Pine, surrogate mother and MHB board member.
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Break / Light Supper: 6:15-6:45 PM
Sponsored by International Surrogacy Center
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Planning your parenting journey: 6:45-8:00 PM (Commandants Room, 10th 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.

Optional Social Activities Post-Conference:

Post Conference Happy Hour: 8:00 PM

Join us at the hotel’s panoramic Leatherneck Steakhouse & Chesty’s Bar to close the evening with a social gathering. This casual time will be a great opportunity to discuss the information from the day’s sessions as well as network with other parents, intended parents and professionals. Sponsored by SeedTrust.
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    Refreshments will be served.
  • Registered attendees receive a coupon for one free drink.
  • Optional dining available at the adjacent restaurant.

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“Baby Steps” - Film Screening & Director Talk: 9:00 PM

A screening of the acclaimed gay surrogacy movie "Baby Steps,” and a discussion with Barney Cheng, the director and star of the movie at the Crystal Lounge.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

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Registration: 8:30-9:00 AM (10th Floor Foyer)
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Picking providers, budgeting and financial assistance: 9:00-10:15 AM (Commandants Room, 10th 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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Coffee break: 10:15-10:30 AM
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Expert Panel: Medical Aspects of Surrogacy 10:30-11:45 AM (Commandants Room, 10th Floor)
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
- Susanna Park, M.D.
/ San Diego Fertility Center
- Guy Ringler, M.D.
/ California Fertility Partners
- John Norian, M.D.
/ HRC Rancho
- Ashim Kumar, M.D.
/ Western Fertility Institute
- Eldon Schriock, M.D.
/ Pacific Fertility Center
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Lunch / gay parenting expo: 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM (Crystal Ballroom, 11th Floor)
Enjoy a buffet 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 5:30 pm. Lunch is sponsored by the San Diego Fertility Center.
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Expert Panel: Budgeting and Insurance 1:15-2:30 PM (Commandants Room, 10th Floor)
A closer look at medical insurance and surrogate compensation packages
Moderator: Ron Poole-Dayan / MHB board
- Victoria Ferrara, Esq.
/ Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists
- Diane Hinson, Esq.
/ Creative Family Connections
- Kathryn Kaycoff, MA
/ Agency for Surrogacy Solutions
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Breakout sessions - come meet the sponsors: 2:30 - 4:30 PM (10th Floor Rooms: Regimental, Heritage, Commandants, plus Crystal Lounge, 11th 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.

10th Floor: Commandants Room

10th Floor: Regimental Room

10th Floor: Heritage Room

11th Floor: Crystal Lounge

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2:30-2:48 PM
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Susanna Park, MD
Said T. Daneshmand, MD, FACOG
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Maria Valencia
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Victoria Ferrara, Esq.
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Brandon Bankowski, MD, MPH
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2:50-3:08 PM
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Susanna Park, MD
Said T. Daneshmand, MD, FACOG
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Maria Valencia
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Brad Spencer
Jay Cook, RN
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Brandon Bankowski, MD, MPH
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3:10-3:28 PM
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Diane Hinson, Esq.
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Guy Ringler, MD
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Brad Spencer
Jay Cook, RN
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Eldon Schriock, M.D.
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3:30-3:48 PM
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Diane Hinson, Esq.
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Guy Ringler, MD
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Salli Tauzke, MD

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Nir Keren
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3:50-4:08 PM
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Ashim Kumar, MD
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John Chally, JD
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Donna Raidy
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John Norian, MD
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4:10-4:30 PM
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Ashim Kumar, MD
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John Chally, JD
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Steven Snyder, Esq.

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John Norian, MD
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Optional private consultations: 3:00 - 8:00 PM (various rooms, please check with participating providers for more details)
Several clinics and agencies 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: 4:30 - 5:30 PM (Crystal Lounge, 11th Floor)
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.

Specialty Sessions

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5:30-6:30 pm

Regimental Room, 10th Floor

Commandants Room, 10th Floor

Heritage Room, 10th Floor

Expert legal panel: Legal status of surrogacy across the USA and Canada, contracts, securing parentage rights
Moderator: Sherman Taylor II / MHB board
- Dean Masserman, Esq.
/ Vorzimer Masserman
- Steven Snyder, Esq.
- Molly O’Brien, Esq.
/ Law Offices of Molly O’Brien
- Tabitha Lundberg Koh, J.D.
GPAP Q&A: Learn more about GPAP
Facilitator: Ron Poole-Dayan / MHB Executive Director
Case Manager: Laura Alabre / MHB

Life After Birth: Resources and Family Support Services with Our Family Coalition
Facilitator: Polly Pagenhart, Our Family Coalition