seminars

Men Having Babies Midwest - 2018
Surrogacy Seminar & Gay Parenting Expo


Chicago, April 14-15, 2018



Conference speakers


Panelists


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Juan Alvarez, MD

Dr. Juan P. Alvarez is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of California, Los Angeles and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Alvarez completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine and received his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. A native of Colombia and fluent in Spanish, Dr. Alvarez feels a special connection to Latino/Hispanic patients. He is committed to helping, treating, and advocating for the reproductive health of the LGBTQ community with a specific interest in egg donation, sperm donation, and surrogacy. Dr. Alvarez’s published research has centered around topics such as PCOS, miscarriage, the impact obesity has on egg quality, ovarian function, and fertility potential. “As a member of the LGBTQ community, I want to help, treat, and advocate for the reproductive health of the LGBTQ with a specific interest in egg donation, sperm donation and surrogacy. As a native of Colombia, I am fluent in Spanish.”
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Elizabeth Barbieri, M.D.

Dr. Barbieri is one of the lead physician-partners at Oregon Reproductive Medicine (ORM) – recognized globally for its success rates and for being among the top 3 IVF programs in the US for donor egg surrogacy by number of cycles annually. She is highly respected for her personalized care and experience building families through IVF, egg donation, surrogacy and reproductive genomics. She is instrumental in the high medical standards within ORM Donors and ORM Surrogacy. She has a particular interest in pre-implantation genetic diagnostics and is a lead physician directing ORM Genomics. She joined ORM in 2009. Dr. Barbieri is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist. She holds a bachelor degree with distinction from Yale University, and completed her medical training at University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center, and the Weill Cornell Center for Reproductive Medicine. She is honored to work with LGBTQ families across the US and globally and is committed to helping all her patients achieve their dream of a healthy baby on their first attempt.
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Scott Buckley

Scott Buckley is the Director of Operations at Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, LLC. He received his bachelors at Boston College and his law degree from Boston College Law School. Scott not only oversees the day-to-day operations at Circle, but also addresses insurance questions and conducts legal consultations with intended parents. He has had the pleasure of helping Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation bring over 1,500 babies into the world for couples and singles from 73+ countries and 6 continents. Scott has moderated and presented on the legal aspects of surrogacy and egg donation at conferences throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. He has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers each year since 2012.
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Ariadna Cymet Lanski


Dr. Ariadna Cymet Lanski is a clinical psychologist who offers a wide range of psychological services to meet the unique needs of individuals and couples coping with fertility challenges. Her services include consultation and support during various stages of fertility treatment, consultation for individuals using egg/sperm donor or gestational carriers. Additionally, Dr. Cymet Lanski conducts egg donor and gestational carrier assessments. Dr. Ariadna Cymet Lanski's clinical practice specializes in reproductive health issues -from preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum adjustment to parenthood. Through the years, Dr. Cymet Lanski has provided support and assistance in understanding the psychological impact of fertility issues and other reproductive crises. She has helped many patients to manage stress and feel empowered about their choices. To this end, Dr. Cymet Lanski frequently utilizes mindfulness concepts and is a strong believer in the relationship between emotional and physical wellbeing.
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Kristen Hanson

Kristen Hanson is the Co-Owner and Executive Director of Finance and Contracts at Simple Surrogacy. Kristen oversees the financial aspects of Simple Surrogacy, as well as managing the escrow accounts of our clients. Kristen’s legal responsibilities include working with associate attorneys to determine state laws and required legal proceedings; locating separate legal counsel experienced in surrogacy law for Client and Surrogate; review and assist in negotiating the surrogacy contract between Recipient Couple and Surrogate; and overseeing all necessary legal filings and procedures (such as pre-birth orders and step parent adoptions) to establish parental rights for Intended Parents. Kristen’s escrow responsibilities include overseeing the escrow and managing the account; monitoring and authorizing disbursements in accordance with your contract; and sending intended parents itemized monthly statements of the escrow activity. Kristen’s first priority is to make sure all of our client’s money is handled in the most responsible way, that our Surrogates never receive a late payment, and that our clients are assured that their money is well managed. Kristen is an experienced Egg Donor, and has extensive first-hand knowledge of the donation process.
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Virginia Hart


Virginia Hart has been an insurance broker for the past 24 years, the last 16 years specializing in insurance for all aspects of assisted reproduction. As owner of ART Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions, Inc. she remains current on insurance issues pertinent to the field and works with her clients to find the best solution, whether it be through commercial insurance, specialty products, or financial case management. Licensed in all 50 states, this allows her to work with clients regardless of location to find the best solution. With a BA in Communication Studies from University of California, Los Angeles and her extensive breadth of knowledge, Virginia often speaks at numerous conferences because of her expertise in Assisted Reproductive Technology insurance.
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Dr. Sigal Klipstein


Dr. Klipstein is a sub specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. She is a physician at InVia Fertility Specialists in Chicago, where she also directs the Egg Donor Program. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She completed both her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Harvard Medical School. In addition, she completed a fellowship in Medical Ethics at Harvard University. Dr. Klipstein charts the national Ethics Committee of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Klipstein has extensive experience working with same sex couples, egg donation and gestational surrogacy. Dr. Klipstein is widely published, having written numerous articles in both medical and ethics journals. She has also authored several book chapters and presented at numerous medical conferences. She is fluent in Spanish and Hebrew.
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Susanna Park, M.D.

World renowned for her fertility expertise, IVF success and excellence in medical care, Dr. Susanna Park has practiced as an infertility physician for the past 15 years. Dr. Park joined the San Diego Fertility Center in 2012 following her tenure at Columbia University in New York City. Her passion is to combine her extensive experience as an infertility physician with individualized care and compassion. Dr. Park is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She graduated summa cum laude from Siena College and obtained her medical degree at Albany Medical College. Dr. Park completed her residency and her fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Park has developed a large international referral practice due to her excellent patient rapport, high success rates, and fluency in Spanish and Korean. Dr. Park works closely with the leading egg donor and surrogacy agencies to assist the LGBT community build families.
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Guy Ringler, M.D.

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. 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.
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Silvia Schneider Fox, PsyD


Dr. Silvia Schneider Fox is a clinical psychologist and founder of Fertility Resilience, a reproductive psychology practice with offices in the Chicago area. A specialist in the field of reproductive medicine, adoption and family building since 1992, Dr. Fox counsels individuals and couples in various areas of family building, including ART, collaborative reproduction, pregnancy loss, and parenting after infertility. She conducts third party evaluations, facilitates mind/body programs; researches, writes and presents on a variety of topics related to family-building. Dr. Fox has had her own experience with infertility. After undergoing extensive infertility treatment, she and her husband became parents through IVF. Nowadays, she combines her personal, research and clinical experience into one voice, on her Fertility Resilience blog.

MHB speakers


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Anthony M. Brown, Esq., Board Chairman


Anthony currently is a senior associate at the law firm of Chianese and Reilly Law,P.C., heading their family and estates law division serving married and unmarried individuals, couples and families. Anthony is the Executive Director of The Wedding Party and has been a Board member since its inception in 1999. Anthony is the founder of TimeForFamilies.com, a web environment dedicated to assisting gay and lesbian couples create their own families. Anthony has worked as a law guardian at The Children’s Law Center, representing the legal needs of children in Brooklyn Family Court. Anthony also worked as a legal intern for Lambda Legal in the summer of 2002. Anthony was appointed as a board member and Secretary of the board of Men Having Babies upon its incorporation in July 2012 and has served as Board Chairman since 2013.
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Shelly Marsh, Marketing Manager


Shelly joined the Men Having Babies team in December 2017 as our Marketing Manager. Her primary focus is help promote our organization while growing the attendance and visibility of our conferences. Prior to joining our team she worked at a California based fertility clinic as the Marketing Manager. Shelly is also a three time surrogate mother to same sex male couples. She lives in Southern California with her wonderful husband and two children, Aubrey and Stella.
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Frank Nelson, board member


Frank Nelson is a High School Teacher, working with at-risk youth in Toronto, Ontario. Frank received his Bachelor Degree in Architecture from Ryerson University and his Bachelor of Education from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Frank and his husband BJ have a son Milo who was born in June 2014 via gestational surrogacy. By some twist of fate, their birth photo went viral, and their surrogacy story was shared around the world. Since then, they have started their own website, familyisaboutlove.com, and they have also written a children's book called Milo's Adventures: A Story about Love, about their surrogacy journey. Frank believes that it is important to teach others about surrogacy, the importance of skin to skin contact and to show the world that family is about love.
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Michelle Pine, board member, chair of the Surrogates Advisory Committee


Michelle Pine is a special education teacher for students with mild disabilities at an alternative high school in Klamath Falls, Oregon, having previously taught special education and Language Arts in Portland. Michelle holds two Masters in Education from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Eastern Oregon University. When not working, Michelle enjoys reading and writing and spending time with her family exploring Oregon. Michelle is a two-time surrogate. In 2015 she carried boy/girl twins for a same-sex couple in Israel. She delivered a baby girl in September 2017 for a mixed-status same-sex couple from San Francisco. Michelle and her husband have three amazing children, all who played an important role in both surrogacy journeys and have enjoyed being a part of helping others become a family.
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Ron Poole-Dayan, Board Member / Executive Director


Ron is the executive director and founding board member 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 Administrator of the Jewish Home Lifecare Nursing Home in the Bronx. The couple met in 1994, and are among of 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.
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Catherine (Cat) Pursley, Finance and CRM Manager


Cat joined MHB Team in April 2017 to work alongside our Treasurer to improve financial management and reporting. She resides with her family in Atlanta, GA. Cat has over 20 years of experience in financial accounting and organizational business management, as well as government and legal contracts. She has experience in both the private and not for profit sector of business operations, accounting and contracts. Cat has helped multiple start up companies get off the ground, as well as reorganize existing growing companies to see them through to continued growth and profitability. Cat brings her experience to MHB to serve as the Finance and GPAP Relationship Manager.
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Sherman L. Taylor II, board member


Sherman is a technology manager in the Research & Development organization of Procter & Gamble, based in Cincinnati, OH. Sherman received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces from Carnegie Mellon University. Sherman leads of group of scientists and engineers to create new and improved consumer products; he has worked across a variety of brands in his career including Pampers, Vicks, PuR, Swiffer, Magic Erasers, Bounce and Downy. Sherman also leads the design of corporate training programs to accelerate the growth and development of New Hires upon entering the company. Sherman and his husband Andrew have a son via surrogacy, born in 2013.

Breakout sessions


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Frank Golden


Frank Golden has a B.S. in Management and over 14 years of expertise in consumer psychology. Throughout his career in various roles Frank was tasked with developing innovative processes to streamline the customer experience. Inspired by the success of his own journey to become a father Frank, joined with his Husband Adam to establish a third-party reproduction consulting agency: Golden Surrogacy. The pair now works passionately to assist all loving couples and individuals who wish to follow in their footsteps. Frank serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for Path2Parenthood, and is also a representative on the Corporate Member Council of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). In addition, Frank is a professional member with RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association. In furtherance of education to promote gay parenting options, Golden Surrogacy is a major supporter of the not-for profit organization Men Having Babies; listed as one of their highly rated service providers. Frank has become a leading resource for those who wish to pursue a path to parenthood through gestational surrogacy.
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Jennifer McArthur

Jennifer McArthur is the Director of Case Management for Worldwide Surrogacy, and has a Master's Degree in Social Work. Along with Victoria Ferrara, Esq. who is the founder and legal director of Worldwide Surrogacy, Jen is the first touch point for intended parents, and a primary source of communication throughout the journey. By providing a wealth of information about the matching process, screening of surrogates, insurance matters, as well as many other important details regarding the surrogacy journey. Jen provides ongoing support and case management to intended parents, and supervises other case managers who assist our intended parents with similar matters. In addition, Jen conducts all social work assessments of surrogates and further assists intended parents with the coordination of services. By conducting interviews of all our potential surrogates and working closely with intended parents, her goal is to ensure a good match for all parties involved. Jen is highly dedicated and enthusiastic about making a lasting difference in people's lives throughout their surrogacy journey.
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Angeline N. Beltsos, MD


Dr. Beltsos, CEO and Medical Director of Vios Fertility Institute, is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), practicing medicine since 1991. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Loyola University in 1995 followed by a fellowship in REI at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, completed in 1997. She is also the Clinical Research Division Director of Vios and participates in a number of research projects and scientific publications. She is a popular speaker, both nationally and internationally, and a frequent media resource on the topic of infertility. Dr. Beltsos is the executive chairperson for the Midwest Reproductive Symposium International, an international conference of fertility experts.
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Tricia Howard


Tricia has extensive knowledge in egg donation and the surrogacy process. With her had personal experience as a gestational surrogate and an egg donor, Tricia wanted to continue her dream of helping people experience the joys of parenthood. Tricia states, “I believe everyone should have the chance to fulfill their dreams of having a family. I am excited to guide everyone through their journey and help create the pathways to parenthood.” This, combined with her dedication and emotional connection to each client, ensures that each client understands and feels complete support throughout their endeavor. Ultimately, Tricia feels it is a privilege to work in the business of helping dreams comes true.
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Mary Murphey


Mary is the Director of Hope Surrogacy as well as a co-owner along with her partners LeeAnn Schulz and Amy Kothe. Mary’s background is in business having worked in corporate roles as a logistics analyst, corporate facilitator, and in customer service. Over the past 14+ years she has had the joy of helping clients fulfill their dream of having a family through surrogacy. Mary is a native Californian and transplant to Madison, Wisconsin. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara in Business Economics, and has been married to her husband, Dave for 30 years. She is also the proud momma of one daughter, Sarah, who lives in Boston, and one son, Graham, who is a recent graduate of Marquette University.
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Staci Swiderski


Staci Swiderski, CEO and Co-founder of Family Source Consultants has more than 15 years experience in Third Party Reproduction. Staci oversees the company to ensure values are applied consistently from top to bottom, across all departments by implementing the agencies vision, mission and overall direction. Being a former Intended Mother herself, as well as a known egg donor twice, Staci has the passion, knowledge and personal experience related to reproductive medicine and family building. In her free time, Staci enjoys reading, spending time with family, traveling and keeping up with the latest technologies.
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Robin von Halle


Robin founded ARR 25 years ago, in 1992, having received dual degrees in Psychology and Social Work from Ohio University. Her personal experiences with infertility led her to do extensive research into the available options, which highlighted for her what was missing in the fertility industry. She saw an opportunity to make a difference for other intended parents—to offer them trusted options to grow their families and to serve as an advocate for them throughout the process. ARR has gone on to become one of the premier egg donation and gestational surrogacy agencies in the United States. In her role as CEO, Robin works very closely with intended parents to ensure that they understand the egg donation and surrogacy processes and benefit from her vast experience in the industry. From the time you begin working with ARR through the birth of your baby, Robin and the ARR team remain available to you whenever you need them.
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Colleen Wagner-Coughlin


Colleen Wagner-Coughlin is the founder and Director of aParent IVF Laboratory, which provides experienced embryology services for the physicians at Fertility Centers of Illinois. Among them, renowned reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Brian Kaplan has maintained a longstanding relationship with Colleen and performs his cases at aParent IVF. Her expertise and straightforward approach, combined with her ability to personalize each patient’s care has earned recognition and respect from the colleagues and patients with whom she has worked in her more than 30 years as an embryologist. As a strong patient advocate, Colleen has worked to advance IVF in the LGBT community. She has been recognized with the Advocacy Award by Path2Parenthood and was one of the first non-physicians to earn the prestigious Resolve Award for Patient Advocacy. Her work in same sex parent advocacy was recently featured in a series of articles in Chicago’s LGBT newspaper, The Windy City Times. She has also been featured on Windy City Live, Good Morning America, Nightline and in the Chicago Tribune.