news

Sep 2018
Aug 2018
Feb 2018
Oct 2016
Sep 2016
Jun 2016
Mar 2016
May 2015
Nov 2014
Sep 2014
Jun 2014
Oct 2013
Jun 2013
Apr 2013
Mar 2013
Feb 2013
Dec 2012
Oct 2012
Sep 2012
Jul 2012
May 2012
Apr 2012
Mar 2012
Feb 2012
Jan 2012
Dec 2009

Meeting April 19 discussed future of the MHB Network as nonprofit.

ORG
On Thursday, April 19, we held a special meeting in NY to discuss the future of our Men Having Babies network. The group of volunteers who participated agreed unanimously on the following agenda:
  • We will start the process of incorporating as a nonprofit organization.
  • We will raise funds through event and website sponsorships + raise funds directly.
  • The funds will first serve to continue to develop our workshops, events and online resources.
  • We will add advocacy to promote greater understanding and acceptance of surrogacy as one of the network’s goals.
  • We will work towards establishing a fund to provide financial assistance to gay men who want to become surrogacy dads!
Read more about the meeting and next steps. And mark your calendars: next meeting to discuss the future of the organization is Wednesday, May 16, 6:30pm in NY (details soon).
Our recently launched surveys (now also available in Spanish!), with well over 200 responses so far, are already helping many IPs to evaluate potential service providers. But they have also provided much feedback about programing needs, and it is clear much more can be done to help our members become parents and find the unique resources and support even after they become parents. We also know from the surveys that people consistently underestimate the cost of the process (IPs expect to spend less than $100k, while GS on average is about $110k, and TS is $72k) - so it is clear financial assistance to people who cannot afford the entire process will be extremely welcome. Indeed there are many foundations that assist infertile heterosexual couples, but none so far for gay men.

While expanding our activities is an exciting proposition, it was also noted in the meeting that without at least some additional resources soon, we will not even be able to maintain the current level of operations. Current operations have been dependent mostly on one volunteer, with the help of a few facilitators for the NY workshop. Over time this the local NYC support group grew to a network of hundreds of gay surrogacy parents and prospective parents from around the world (over 650 in last count). While our NY seminar and workshop are still prominent, MHB Europe is at the end of the month, and our website, surveys and providers guide are attracting many new people. While this is becoming unsustainable in a volunteer format, in fact we have an opportunity to grow MHB into something much more significant by tapping into the fundraising potential that became evident in recent events (so far revenues have gone exclusively to the hosting organizations).

We identified several areas where we need assistance:
  • Legal help to incorporate the organization.
  • Help in getting the fundraising effort started.
  • Volunteers to help lead the activities and outreach.

Below are some initial thoughts about possible goals and tools.

Goals:

* Provide educational and practical information to assist gay prospective parents achieve their surrogacy parenting goals.

* Provide gay surrogacy parents relevant resources and networking opportunities, and the tools to give back by assisting parents-to-be.

* Promote the affordability of surrogacy related services through financial assistance and the encouragement of transparency and customer feedback.

* Raise awareness about the potential benefits and meaningful relationships surrogacy arrangements can bring about.

* Promote surrogacy practices that minimize the risks and maximize the potential short and long term benefits to all involved.

* Promote innovation and research into surrogacy practices and the provision of related services.

Tools:

* Organize workshops, exhibits and seminars directly and in cooperation with community organizations.

* Provide educational and practical information through digital media (web, social networks, videos, etc.).

* Solicit donations for a financial assistance fund and oversee the distribution of financial assistance to prospective parents.

* Negotiate with service provider discounts for network members (may not be the same for each provider).

* Conduct surveys to provide transparency and feedback about service providers, and promote research goals (in cooperation with non-gay groups). It was agreed that this function may be better achieved in a separate framework (SurrogacyAdvisor).