seminars

Men Having Babies Florida - 2019
Surrogacy & Gay Parenting Conference


Fort Lauderdale, June 8-9, 2019



Full conference program


Saturday, June 8, 2019


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Registration: 8:15-9:00 AM
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Planning your journey: 9:00-10:30 AM (Gallery Ballroom A)
We will open our session with introductions and a comparison of surrogacy with other parenting options. We will then provide 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 regarding IVF, egg donation and surrogacy options.
  • Considering your family vision, financial constraints, risk tolerance and ethical preferences.
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Coffee Break: 10:30 AM -11:00 AM

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Picking providers, budgeting and financial assistance: 11:00 AM -12:15 PM (Gallery Ballroom A)
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 /Book Fair: 12:15 - 2:00 PM (Gallery Ballroom B)
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Enjoy a buffet lunch, and explore our book fair and Gay Parenting Services Expo: more than twenty tables where you can meet and receive information from leading clinics, surrogacy agencies, lawyers and supporting community organizations. The extensive book fair will feature both books about the surrogacy process, and books for children born through surrogacy to gay fathers. The expo and book fair will remain open until 5:00 pm. Lunch is sponsored by Creative Love Egg Donor & Surrogacy.
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Breakout sessions - come meet the sponsors: 2:00 - 4:00 PM (Hermitage, Metropolitan, Ballroom A)
Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in up to 7 introductory group consultations with the various providers. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know these agencies and clinics more closely. Most sessions will be 18 minutes long (plus 2-3 minutes switch time), and the last two are only 8 minutes. They take place simultaneously in 4 meeting rooms. The Gay Parenting Expo will also continue to be available during this period.

Hermitage

Metropolitan

Gallery Ballroom A

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2:00-2:18 PM
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Susanna Park, MD
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Kristen Hanson
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Wendy Arker
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2:20-2:38 PM
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Jerald Goldstein, MD
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Mark Leondires, MD
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Wendy Arker
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2:40-2:58 PM
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Ruthi David
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Mark Denker, MD
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Marcelo J. Barrionuevo, MD
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3:00-3:18 PM
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Nir Keren
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Enrique Soto, MD
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Marcelo J. Barrionuevo, MD
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3:20-3:38 PM
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Teresa Rockey
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Enrique Soto, MD
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Victoria Ferrara, Esq.
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Colleen Wagner-Coughlin
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Optional private consultations: 3:00 - 7:00 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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“Legal Clinic”: 3:00 - 7:00 PM (various rooms, please check at the registration desk)
Two legal experts will be available for several hours for 20 minute private sessions. This is an opportunity to ask questions and receive general guidance on specific legal issues relevant to various circumstances. However note these sessions are not meant to provide formal legal services or serve as substitute for such. Sign up during registration, or throughout the day at the registration desk, as long as sessions are still available.

- Marla Neufeld, Esq.
/ Greenspoon Marder
- Cindy Wasser, LLB
/ Hope Springs Fertility Law, Canada
- Heather May, Esq.
/ Tripcony May
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Coffee Break / Gay Parenting Expo / Book Fair: 4:00 - 5:00 PM (Gallery Ballroom B)
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Enjoy a coffee break, explore our Book Fair and the Gay Parenting Services Expo: more than twenty tables where you can meet and receive information from leading clinics, surrogacy agencies, lawyers and supporting community organizations. Sponsored by IVF Florida
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Personal stories panel: 5:00 AM - 5:45 PM (Gallery Ballroom A)
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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. The panel is sponsored by Elevate Egg Donor Agency

Moderator: Shelly Marsh, former surrogate and MHB’s marketing manager
Panelists include:

Pamela Henderson
Pamela Henderson is a single mother of three children. She has also been a surrogate mother once and an egg donor twice. She gave birth to a girl for a gay man in France. She still remains in contact with him and Ines (who is now six).

Steven Lazarus
Steven Lazarus would have been happy to adopt but the idea of surrogacy and having a biologically child was appealing. After 20 months of ups and downs. Maya and Leah were born. Steven keeps in touch with his surrogate. Steven is excited to help others go through the process.

Amanda Andrews
Amanda Andrews is a married mom of three children. She has completed 2 surrogacy journeys; one domestic and one international. She keeps in contact with both sets of parents.

Gerald Vargas
Gerald Vargas & Rob Swinger met in 2009 in Hollywood, Florida while Rob was finishing his Veterinary Ophthalmology Residency. In 2012 they began the process of conceiving a child thru IVF. In 2014 they got married in the city of Chicago, and in August of 2017 they were blessed with beautiful boy and girl twins; Keegan and Francesca. They as a family love to travel and spending time with friends and family.
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Gerald and Rob with twins Keegan and Francesca.

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Steven Lazarus and his daughters Maya and Leah.

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A mindful look at surrogacy - Attitudes and Ethics: 6:00-7:15 PM (Gallery Ballroom A)
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. CST, surrogacy father
  • Jennifer McArthur, MSW, Worldwide Surrogacy.
  • Lisa Schuster, surrogate mother and MHB program manager, GPAP

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Free admission - open to members of the LGBT community


7:15 PM - Teen Panel: Surrogacy children of gay dads share their stories (Gallery Ballroom A)

The panel is offered in cooperation with the Outspoken Generation program of Family Equality Council. The program strives to empower those with LGBTQ parents to speak out about our community’s families. This panel is unique for featuring exclusively children in gay headed families formed through surrogacy. Parents, children, prospective parents, psychologists, social workers, students, researchers and other professionals are all welcome.

Moderator:

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Panelists (shown below with their families, left to right):
  • Paige Babushkin, 15 years old
  • Samantha Rothchild, 15 years old
  • Chloe Elderkin, 15 years old
  • Elinor Poole-Dayan, 18 years old

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8:00 PM - Happy Hour

Join us by the water at the hotel’s outdoor 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.

  • Refreshments will be served.
  • Registered attendees receive a coupon for one free drink.


Sunday, June 9, 2019


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Registration: 8:15-9:00 AM
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Expert Panel: Medical Aspects of Surrogacy 9:00 AM -10:30 PM (Gallery Ballroom A)
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The medical screening of future fathers, egg donors and surrogates, the creation of optimal embryos, and the IVF process. The panel is sponsored by American Fertility Services.

Moderator: Michael Doyle, MD / MHB board

Panelists:
- Mark Leondires, MD
/ Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT)
- Daniel Skora, MD
/ LGBT Fertility, a division of Fertility Specialists of Texas
- Enrique Soto, MD
/ IVF MD
- David Hoffman, MD
/ IVF Florida
- Susanna Park, MD
/ San Diego Fertility Center
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Optional private consultations: 9:00 AM - 1:00 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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Coffee break: 10:30 - 10:45 AM
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Expert Panel: Budgeting and Insurance 10:45-11:45 AM (Gallery Ballroom A)
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A closer look at medical insurance and surrogate compensation packages. The panel is sponsored by ART Risk.

Moderator: Ron Poole-Dayan / MHB board

Panelists
:
- Nir Keren
/ CReATe Fertility Centre, Canada
- Ruthi David
/ Creative Family Connections
- Victoria Ferrara, Esq.
/ Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists, LLC

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Q&A Sessions- 11:45 AM -12:45 PM (Gallery Ballroom A)
Legal Experts: Legal status of surrogacy across the USA and Canada, contracts, securing parentage rights

Moderator: Sherman Taylor / MHB board

Panelists
:
- Marla Neufeld, Esq.
/ Greenspoon Marder
- Cindy Wasser, LLB
/ Hope Springs Fertility Law
- Heather May, Esq.
/ Tripcony May

Budgeting & Financial Assistance: cost saving best practices, the Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP)

Panelists
:
- Lisa Schuster
/ MHB - GPAP Program Manager
- Jenny Congiardo
/ MHB - GPAP Coordinator


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Advice for prospective single fathers: 12:45 -1:45 PM (Louvre)
Hear from gay fathers who’ve gone through the surrogacy journey without a partner, and meet like-minded prospective fathers.

Facilitator: Elliott Kronenfeld, LICSW. CST, surrogacy father

Panelists:

Leigh Rothschild
Leigh is a single man who turned to surrogacy in 1993. It took 10 years for Leigh to have his daughter Samantha though surrogacy. Four years later with frozen embryos Samantha’s brother Reagan was born. In 2015 Leigh decided again to have another child, it took three years and several surrogates, but finally in 2018 Matthew was born. Of all the things Leigh has ever done, parenting has been the best experience of his life
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Steven Lazarus
Steven Lazarus would have been happy to adopt but the idea of surrogacy and having a biologically child was appealing. After 20 months of ups and downs. Maya and Leah were born. Steven keeps in touch with his surrogate. Steven is excited to help others go through the process.