We're Back: MHB 2021 Parenting options for European Gay Men Conference

Brussels, November 6-7 2021


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Presenters


Victoria Ferrara, Esq.

As the Founder & Legal Director of Worldwide Surrogacy, Vicki leads the agency with a passion for law and the family formation process. She brings over 25 years of experience practicing assisted reproductive technology law and surrogacy law to help people make their dreams of family come true - just as hers have. She and her spouse, Michelle Loris, have two sons, Sal and Nick. Vicki has been practicing assisted reproductive technology, surrogacy, and family law for over 25 years, and serves as the Founder & Managing Partner of Ferrara Law Group, PC. One of Vicki’s greatest achievements is the landmark decision of Raftopol v. Ramey, a Supreme Court case that created a new way to establish legal parentage in Connecticut. The case determined that an Intended Parent was granted rights to a child via a valid gestational agreement regardless of genetic connection to the child to be born to the gestational surrogate. 

Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer is the Founder and Owner of Same Love Surrogacy, a global leading egg donor and surrogacy agency based in Los Angeles. Brad and his husband have twin boys conceived through IVF with the good fortune to have a family member as their egg donor and an exceptional gestational carrier. It was his personal journey that helped build a full service agency in 2014 that is owned and operated by gay fathers. Brad is globally known for providing best in class services to LGBTQ individuals seeking to become parents through assisted reproductive technology. He has successfully helped LGBTQ individuals build their families, including HIV-positive gay men. Brad works closely with the leading IVF clinics, attorneys and insurance companies in the US. Brad was born, raised and resides in Los Angeles. Prior to founding Same Love, he worked as a successful investment investor for 20 years and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Finance from California State University Northridge. Brad is an active supporter and volunteer for The Trevor Project, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth.

Steven H. Snyder, Esq.

Steven H. Snyder, Esq., is the founding and principal partner of Steven H. Snyder & Associates, and he is the Director IARC Surrogacy a full-service surrogacy agency, both located in the U.S. in Minnesota. Mr. Snyder is an active leader in numerous professional organizations, including RESOLVE, the American Fertility Association, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the American Bar Association Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee. Mr. Snyder is the author of numerous articles and continuing legal education materials. He is also a frequent national and international lecturer and continuing legal education presenter in the area of assisted reproductive technology law. Mr. Snyder regularly contributes to various media interviews and publications as a legal expert in assisted reproduction and third-party reproduction legal issues.

Guy Ringler, MD

In clinical practice for over twenty years, Dr. Guy Ringler has developed a large international referral practice due to his excellent patient rapport and expertise in IVF, surrogacy, and gay family building at California Fertility Partners. As one of the world’s first fertility doctors to help gay men become fathers through egg donation and surrogacy, Dr. Ringler has been recognized by the American Fertility Association (AFA) with an Achievement Award. He regularly lends his voice to the public conversation about gay family-building as a spokesperson for GLAAD and a contributor to the Huffington Post. Dr. Ringler has worked closely with the AFA to increase public awareness of fertility options for people with HIV, and he has helped many HIV-positive people have children through assisted reproduction. Dr. Ringler is on the advisory board of Men Having Babies and lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Mark Rios.

Jerald S. Goldstein, MD

Jerald Goldstein is the medical director and founder of Fertility Specialists of Texas. Dedicated to helping single and coupled gay patients build their families, Goldstein is known for excellent success rates in reproductive medicine, especially third-party reproduction, egg donation and surrogacy. LGBT patients from Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and across the United States seek his medical care. Dr. Goldstein is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and in the sub-specialty of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He has presented before numerous medical conferences and been published in peer reviewed journals. Goldstein graduated with honors from Tulane University followed by Medical School at the prestigious University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of Men Having Babies and has served on the faculty of the Washington University Medical School in St. Lewis. Dr. Goldstein has been committed to helping the LGBT community since he founded FST in 2005 and he is responsible for the birth of 1000’s of babies during his career. Of parenthood, Goldstein says, “Having two boys, ages 14 and 16 years old, I know how much they have changed my life and am committed to making that a reality for others.”

Virginia Hart

As founder and CEO of ART Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions, Inc.  Virginia Hart is an insurance agent with over 25 years’ experience, specializing in insurance for all aspects of assisted reproduction since 2001.  Virginia is a community leader with an extensive breadth of knowledge, expertise, and passion for the Assisted Reproductive Technology field. Ms. Hart is a frequent guest lecturer at the ABA Family Law section and New York LGBT Center conferences, as well as SEEDS Brown Paper Bag series events.  Additionally, she serves on the MHB Advisory Circle.  Virginia, successfully and diligently, develops products and cost management solutions in the ART community. The insurance world is ever changing and as such, she remains current on insurance issues utilizing commercial insurance, specialty products, and financial case management options for her clients.  Virginia expresses: “Helping to find financial solutions for people passionate about creating a family is one of my greatest joys.  Seeing their dreams come true drives me forward in finding the best solutions to continue to create families.”

Said T. Daneshmand, MD, FACOG

Dr. Daneshmand is specialty board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and sub-specialty board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology. He serves on the board of several surrogacy advocacy groups. He has collaborated to develop in vitro fertilization (IVF) protocols to improve pregnancy rates, including PTEC (post-thaw extended culture), which is one of the most successful IVF regimens currently available. These groundbreaking findings were published in the internationally respected medical journal, Fertility and Sterility, where Dr. Daneshmand also served as a reviewer. As a leading physician in fertility care at San Diego Fertility Center, intended parents have travelled from more than 40 countries in 2019 alone to seek his help in their journey to parenthood.  He was the Principal Investigator in the Multi-Center Global research trial of non-invasive PGT-A, the latest technique for assessing embryonic genetic health without the need for embryo biopsy.

Stephanie Caballero, Esq.

Stephanie M. Caballero, Esq. and her firm, The Surrogacy Law Center, have represented thousands of clients from all over the world in Surrogacy, Egg, Sperm, and Embryo Donation arrangements. Stephanie has appeared on various programs and in print media including the Today Show, Access Hollywood, HuffPost Live, ABC News, Fox 5 San Diego, BBC Mundo, The Daily Beast, In Touch Magazine, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, The Union Tribune and L.A. Daily Journal. After eight years of treatments including more than 10 artificial insemination procedures, three surgeries, three miscarriages, and 13 IVF procedures, Stephanie finally realized her dream of having children when a surrogate carried her twins. Stephanie is a member of the American Bar Association, Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, and American Society of Reproductive Medicine, having chaired and served on the Legal Professional Group board. Stephanie lives and works in beautiful San Diego County with her family and two toy poodles and in her free time enjoys cooking, swimming, reading, yoga and traveling.

Sara R. Cohen, LLB

Sara Cohen is a fertility law lawyer at Fertility Law Canada in Toronto, with clients throughout Canada and beyond.  She regularly acts for intended parents, surrogates, donors, cryobanks, hospitals, distributors and fertility clinics on a wide range of fertility law issues. Sara was recently named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada.  She is on the board of directors of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, sits on the ethics committee of one of Canada’s pre-eminent clinics, and is the president of Fertility Matters Canada. She is also an adjunct professor of reproductive law at Osgoode Hall Law School, a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA), and on the executive of the American Bar Association’s Family Law Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Sara is a frequent guest speaker in Canada and abroad. She loves what she does, cares about her clients, and it shows.

Fabien Gaudry

Fabien, who is both French and Belgian, joined the Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation team as an International Outreach Associate after becoming a dad through surrogacy. Fabien earned his Master's Degree in European Law, and has worked as a lawyer in the insurance industry in France, as well as in the communication department of a non-profit organization. His passion for surrogacy and willingness to share his personal story, allows him to easily connect with International intended parents as part of the consultation legal team. Fabien is active in the gay community, and loves spending time with his daughter and son. 

Ashim Kumar, MD

Dr. Kumar is board certified in reproductive endocrinology, obstetrics and gynecology, and practices near Los Angeles, California at Western Fertility Institute. In recent years he has focused his efforts on those who have had difficulty conceiving and require third party reproduction (egg donation and gestational surrogacy). Obtaining the highest success rates achievable today, by combining meticulous attention to detail, a 7-day work ethic, the best support staff, and the latest technology, over half of his current patients travel from overseas which include countries such as Australia, China, Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Israel, UK, Netherlands, and India. Dr. Kumar’s fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility allowed him to work with world-renowned leaders in the field at both UCLA and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Highly regarded in the field, he has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. He serves as an ad hoc reviewer for the journal Fertility and Sterility and is a Pacific Coast Reproductive Society member.

Julia Ross

Julia is a Military spouse, adoptive parent, infertility survivor and proud 3x Gestational Surrogate. As Director of client care for Canadian Surrogacy Options, Julia works to support intended parents and surrogates as they embark on their journey to parenthood.

Sarah Williams

Sarah heads the Surrogacy, Adoption, Fertility and Modern Family Law practice at this internationally recognised Top Tier London law firm, Payne Hicks Beach. Acknowledged for being “brilliant on the law, super with clients and extremely well connected”, Sarah’s specialist expertise in modern family law matters is complemented by her extensive international network of trusted and highly respected experts. Fielding a broad spectrum of clients, which include internationally recognised names, she is known for going the extra mile to assist her clients in creating the family they want. Sarah has over 15 years of extensive family law experience and spent the first decade of her career as a practising barrister representing parents, children, Guardians and the Official Solicitor, and was appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown. Sarah is asked frequently to comment on the latest legal developments for the media and is a regular contributor to specialist family law journals. She is also a Member of the American Bar Association and the Men Having Babies US Grant Committee.


MHB speakers


Jenny Congiardo, Director of Operations

Jenny joined MHB in October 2017 and held several roles in the organization before being appointed as Director of Operations. She brings her many years of non-profit and corporate communications experience to help improve MHB’s efficiency and effectiveness, while drawing on her experience in the education field to help make every person’s experience with MHB rewarding and pleasant. Jenny received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Florida, and she enjoys living with her husband and two children among the happy faces in sunny Florida.

Sara Miller, Director of Business Development

Sara joined the Men Having Babies team in June of 2020 as the Director of Business Development. Her primary focus is to expand and strengthen strategic partnerships with fellow third party reproductive professionals, to allow continued growth and education of the Men Having Babies' mission. Sara has a Bachelor's Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, and completed two years of an MD program at The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine before opting to discontinue her medical studies to spend more time with her growing family. Sara spent 10 years doing consulting work for a leading biotech company, before working as a Case Manager followed by Program Director and COO for a surrogate and egg donation agency. Additionally, Sara is a one-time surrogate, delivering in 2019 for a same-sex couple in Spain.

Ron Poole-Dayan, board member / Executive Director

Ron is the executive director and founder 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 COO of the Wartburg, a leading provider of senior healthcare and residential services in NY. The couple met in 1994, and are among 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.

Lisa Schuster, Director of Programming

Lisa joined the MHB team in January of 2018 as the Stage II GPAP Case Manager and has grown in her role to become the Programming Director. Lisa’s responsibilities include managing the Gay Parenting Assistance Program and Membership Benefits Program, developing and implementing content for educational programs, and working with partner organizations to help fulfill MHB’s mission. Lisa’s professional background is in business development and government contracting, and she also served as treasurer and financial planner for a local non-profit. Lisa was a gestational carrier twice for an international same sex male couple, and she lives with her husband and three children in Maryland.


Breakout sessions


Susanna Park, MD

Dr. Park is a fertility doctor double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She spent the first 10 years of her career as a fertility physician at Columbia University in New York City, considered to be one of the leading IVF programs in the USA. She joined the San Diego Fertility Center in 2012 where she combines her extensive experience as an infertility physician with personal care. In 2017, 2019, 2020, and again in 2021, Dr. Park was named "Top Doctor" by the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) in San Diego Magazine.


Nancy Block

Private Label Surrogacy Founder and Director, Nancy Block, started her career as an OB/GYN nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. In 2000 she founded The Center for Egg Options, a highly sought-after egg donor and surrogacy agency. After helping build families for 15 years, she sold her company to a national agency where she stayed on to assist with business development. Though she loved that part of the business, her heart longed to work with parents and surrogates again; she founded PLS in 2017, alongside an expert team. Nancy has served on the Advisory Board of Parents Via Egg Donation and the Executive Board of the Society of Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy. In 2018, she received the Shining Star award for her lifelong commitment to the industry’s best practices. Nancy has presented at numerous Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) conferences in the US, China, Israel, and Europe and is recognized as an expert in her field by her colleagues, clients, the medical community, and supporting professionals necessary to help clients realize their families.

Aurelien Evenor

Aurélien is one of the Intended Parent Coordinators at Surro Connections and is a father to 2 kids through surrogacy and egg donation. He felt the need to give back to the surrogacy community and help other families with their dreams of becoming parents. Aurélien is based out of Paris, France. He speaks English and French. His empathy, passion, and personal experience with surrogacy is what will make you feel you are being taken care of during your journey.

Joao Feldman DePinho, MD

Dr. Feldman DePinho graduated from Medical School Magna cum laude and has a bachelor's in Pharmacy. He completed his OBGYN residency at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston) and his Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship at Columbia University (New York). He is a recipient of numerous awards & publications for significant fertility advancements, with ongoing collaborative stem-cell research alongside Columbia University. He has long served at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine review committee. Dr. DePinho, the founder of Reproductive America & Proud RCA Parents, a New York and Connecticut practice based on embracing diversity, compassionate, personalized care, state-of-the-art technologies, and the highest success rates while cost-effective. Moreover, Dr. DePinho is well-known for his long-standing dedication for more than 15 years to Third-Party Reproduction (Egg-Donation/Surrogacy), assisting successfully over 5,000 family building journeys and strong LBGTQ+ community rights advocate worldwide. He is well-recognized as a trusted Third-Party Reproduction reference by the most trustworthy referring sources, communities, and surrogacy agencies, both in the US and Internationally. Dr. DePinho speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish, French.

Brett Griffin-Young

Brett, who is based in the United Kingdom with his husband Matt, is Head of International Client Services for Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation. He serves as a resource and support for Intended Parents from more than 25 countries around the world. Brett has more than twelve years of experience in surrogacy and has two sons, Sebastian born in 2009 and Frederick born in 2020, through the Circle Program. After his first surrogacy journey in 2009, he was inspired and compelled to join Circle. “I’m so appreciative that Circle has given me the opportunity to draw on my personal experience to help others understand surrogacy as a family building option. To be able to assist Intended Parents from all around the world and bring the dream of parenthood to a reality is a true honor”. Brett has shared his experience and expertise with numerous publications and TV programs, and has presented at conferences throughout Europe, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Jeffrey Hu

Jeffrey Hu, Founder and Managing Director of SurrogateFirst, a full-service surrogacy agency that has successfully assisted intended parents start their families from the US, Europe and Asia. SurrogateFirst’s multi-lingual staff speak native English, French, Spanish and Mandarin; representing a truly global team capable of serving Intended Parents around the world. Jeffrey’s journey started 15 years ago in China as an international intended parent himself, struggling for almost a decade to start a family. Jeffrey intimately understands the challenges (and joy) of navigating the international surrogacy journey. Based in Los Angeles, Jeff is an active participant in the lives of his 3 young children. Prior to SurrogateFirst, Jeffrey spent 10 years as the Founding Partner of Atomic Recruitment, helping to scale one of China’s largest private agencies with 8 offices and 250 staff, serving Fortune 500 clients. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics at the University of California, Irvine and acquired his Master’s in Business Administration at USC Marshall School of Business.

Caitlin Moran

Caitlin is the L.A. Egg Donors' Program Manager. She oversees our egg donor program and coordinates the matching process. With a dedicated and warm approach, Caitlin guides our intended parents not only in the search for their desired donor, but also assists them with the financial planning of their journeys. Ultimately her goal is making sure all their initial needs are met at the highest level possible. Caitlin’s favorite moments are when the little ones come back to visit with their parents and enjoys the baby cuddles.

Hanneke Naus

Hanneke has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She worked as Director of Marketing for Philips Healthcare and was based out of Europe, Asia, and the US. She joined the SurroPlans team a year and a half ago. She is from the Netherlands and currently works from the Mediterranean office in order to get more sunshine than is available in Seattle.

Craig Reisser

Craig Reisser is a parent through egg donor surrogacy in the USA and was a patient at ORM Fertility.  He found his egg donor in the ORM egg donor program.  His two surrogacy journeys, one after the other working with the same surrogate and during which he had first-time success with each step in the IVF process, took just under three years from start to finish to build his family. Craig has helped hundreds of intended parents globally.  He has written and spoken extensively on family building through egg donation and surrogacy.  Craig now guides ORM’s international intended parents from across Europe and other countries smoothly through the egg donor surrogacy process. Craig is based on-the-ground in Europe to help intended parents simplify their IVF process and reduce costs by completing their portion of the process locally in Europe.  Craig is expert in many of the specific legal and process needs of European intended parents. Craig parle français.

Daniel Skora, MD

Daniel A. Skora, M.D., is a physician at Fertility Specialists of Texas, and serves as medical director of third party and LGBTQ+ services. A proud member of the LGBTQ community, Dr. Skora is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Skora graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a certificate in neuroscience from Princeton University. After working as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Skora attended the University of Minnesota medical school and received his medical degree. Dr. Skora completed his residency at George Washington University Hospital and his fellowship at The Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. Dr. Skora is passionate about all aspects of infertility. He is dedicated to addressing the unique needs of the whole patient and uses his education and experience in psychology to help each one overcome the emotional challenges of trying to conceive. Dr. Skora is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.