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Surrogacy Conference & Gay Parenting Expo


New York, September 18-19, 2021


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Full conference program


Friday, September 17:

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Registration: 3:30 - 4:00 PM (4th Floor - Lobby)
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The NY Advocacy & Research Forum - The Intensified Commercialization of the Surrogacy Field: 4:00 - 6:00 PM (4th Floor - Gramercy)
Many professionals in the surrogacy and fertility fields are mission-driven and passionate about helping same-sex future parents and those struggling with infertility. However, in recent years, we have witnessed an intensification of commercial practices such as "bidding wars" on surrogates, commission based "marketplaces," acquisitions, mergers, and even IPO's. All the while, surrogacy costs are steadily increasing but it is hard to claim that any of these developments have improved the experiences or outcomes of surrogacy journeys. MHB is inviting the professional community, surrogates, and other non-profit activists to weigh in on ways in which we can counter the increased commercialization and strengthen more mission-focused practices.
Note: Anyone who has already registered for the NY Conference does not need to register again for this event. All others are invited to register at no cost.

Registration and more details of the event are at the Forum's page.
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Welcome Reception! 6:00 PM (4th Floor - Lobby)
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Meet and network with the Forum's presenters, dozens of surrogacy professionals, community activists, and prospective parents. The Forum and Welcome Reception are sponsored by EMD Serono and Warshaw Burstein Fertility Law Group.

Saturday, September 18:

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Registration: 8:30 - 9:00 AM (4th Floor - Lobby)
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Planning your Journey: 9:00 - 10:00 AM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
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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Comparative Panel: Surrogacy in Canada and the USA: 10:00 - 10:30 AM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
At this session we will present the aspects of pursuing surrogacy in Canada, including the ways in which this option differs from surrogacy in the US.

Moderator: Frank Nelson, MHB board member

Panelists
:
- Julia Ross, Canadian Surrogacy Options
- Steven Snyder, IARC Surrogacy
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Coffee Break: 10:30 - 10:50 AM
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Sponsored by Alcea Surrogacy
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Getting Started Guide: picking providers, surrogacy resources and financial assistance - 10:50 - 11:40 AM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
An overview on online resources, support groups and other guidance MHB offers to prospective gay fathers, suggestions on how to effectively gather information and select surrogacy providers, and on how to make the process more affordable with discounts and financial assistance.
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Q&A session: MHB Membership Benefits Program (MBP) and The Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP)- 11:40 AM - 12:10 PM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
Panelists:
- Ron Poole-Dayan, MHB - Executive Director
- Lisa Schuster, MHB - Director of Programming
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Considerations for Egg Donation - 12:10 - 12:45 PM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
Locating and selecting egg donors.

Moderator: Michael Doyle, MD, MHB board member

Panelists
:
- Kyle Dean Massey, Elevate Donors and Surrogates
- Richard Vaughn, International Fertility Law Group
 
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Lunch / Gay Parenting Expo / Book Fair: 12:45 - 2:00 PM (5th Floor - Majestic Ballroom)
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Enjoy lunch and explore our Book Fair and the Gay Parenting Services Expo: 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 5:00pm. Lunch is sponsored by San Diego Fertility Center.
 
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Breakout Sessions - come meet the sponsors: 2:00 - 4:10 PM (4th floor - various rooms, see table)
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 surrogacy providers. Most sessions will be 18 minutes long (plus 2-3 minutes switch time), with some of the closing sessions lasting 8 minutes each. They take place simultaneously in 4 meeting rooms. The Gay Parenting Expo will also continue to be available during this period.


Gershwin 1


Gershwin 2


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Gramercy

2:00-2:20 PM

2:20-2:40 PM

2:40-3:00 PM

3:00-3:20PM

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3:20-3:40 PM

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3:40-3:50 PM

3:50-4:00 PM

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4:00 - 4:10 PM

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Private consultations with service providers: 3:00 - 7:00 PM (various rooms, please check with participating providers for more details)
Several clinics and agencies will be available on-site for private consultations with prospective parents who 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 during the breakout sessions.
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Gay Parenting Expo / Coffee Break: 4:10 - 5:00 PM (5th Floor - Majestic Ballroom)
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Sponsored by Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists
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A Mindful Look at Surrogacy - Psychological and Ethical aspects: 5:00 - 5:55 PM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
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: Elliott Kronenfeld, LICSW. CST, father through surrogacy and adoption

Speakers / Panelists:
  • Joey Guzman-Kuffel, LMFT, Counseling with Joey
  • Megan Hall, Surro Connections
  • Sara Miller, MHB Director of Business Development
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Coffee Break: 5:55 - 6:10 PM
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Sponsored by Alcea Surrogacy
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Personal Stories Panel: 6:10 - 7:00 PM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
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.
 


Open to conference attendees and MHB Supporting Members

7:00 PM - Happy Hour and Member Social

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Join us at the hotel 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 Carrying Hope Surrogacy.

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


Sunday, September 19:

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Registration: 8:15 - 9:00 AM
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Expert Panel: Medical Aspects of Surrogacy: 9:00 - 10:30 AM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
The medical screening of future fathers, egg donors and surrogates, the creation of optimal embryos, and the IVF process.

Moderator: Guy Ringler, MD, California Fertility Partners

Panelists:
- Anate Brauer, MD, Shady Grove Fertility
- Susanna Park, MD, San Diego Fertility Center
- Jeffrey Wang, MD, American Fertility Services
- Dan Skora, MD, Fertility Specialists of Texas
- Mark Leondires, MD
, RMACT
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Private consultations with service providers: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM (various rooms, please check with participating providers for more details)
Several clinics and agencies will be available on-site for private consultations with prospective parents who 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 during the breakout sessions.
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Legal Clinic: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM (various rooms, please check with participating providers for more details)
Several legal experts will be available throughout the day 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, please note that these sessions are not meant to provide formal legal services or serve as substitutes for such. Sign up during registration, or throughout the day, as long as sessions are still available.

Providers:
- Richard Vaughn, International Fertility Law Group
- Amelia Demma, Esq., Law Offices of Amelia Demma
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Coffee Break: 10:30 - 10:45 AM
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Sponsored by Alcea Surrogacy
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Expert Panel: Budgeting and Insurance for U.S. and Canadian surrogacy 10:45 - 11:30 AM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
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A closer look at medical insurance and surrogate compensation packages. The panel is sponsored by ART Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions.

Moderator: Lisa Schuster, Director of Programming

Panelists
:
- Diane Hinson, Esq., Creative Family Connections
- Virginia Hart, ART Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions
- Kristen Hanson, Simple Surrogacy
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IVF and surrogacy coverage at workplaces or via health insurance 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
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An overview on opportunities to receive coverage of surrogacy related medical costs as part of employee benefits or state-mandated insurance. The panel is offered in collaboration with RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association.

Panelists
:
- Amanda Rush, RESOLVE
- Ron Poole-Dayan, MHB - Executive Director
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Q&A Session: Legal Experts - 12:00 - 12:45 PM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
Legal status of surrogacy across the USA and Canada, contracts, securing parentage rights.

Panelists:
- Amelia Demma, Esq., Law Offices of Amelia Demma
- Anthony Brown, Esq., Circle Surrogacy
- Victoria Ferrara, Esq., Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists
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Advice for Prospective Single Fathers: 12:45 - 1:45 PM (4th Floor - Gershwin Ballroom)
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