The 15th Annual NY Men Having Babies
Surrogacy Seminar & Gay Parenting Expo


November 8-10, 2019


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Conference speakers


Panelists


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Brandon J. Bankowski, MD, MPH


Dr. Bankowski is one of the most-respected and experienced physicians helping LGBTQ intended parents build their families through donor egg surrogacy in the USA. He is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist with extensive experience in IVF, egg donation, surrogacy and genomics. He has practiced at Oregon Reproductive Medicine (ORM) since 2005. He and his partners at ORM have helped LGBTQ intended parents from across the world build their families. Dr. Bankowski is passionate about providing ORM’s patients the best care and the highest chance for success on their first attempt, while looking after the genetic health of their family. His vision lead to the formation of ORM Genomics, ORM’s industry-leading reproductive genomics program and in-house genetics laboratory, as well as the integration of advanced genetic screening of all donors in the ORM Donors program. He is committed to helping LGBTQ intended parents using donor egg surrogacy benefit from the latest advances in genetic screening to help them have the best chance of a healthy baby on their first attempt.
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Said T. Daneshmand, MD, FACOG. Advisory_Board-60


Dr. Daneshmand of San Diego Fertility Center is an internationally recognized fertility specialist with extensive experience in providing third-party reproductive services. 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), one of the most successful IVF regimens currently available. These groundbreaking findings were published in the internationally respected medical journal, Fertility and Sterility, where he served as a reviewer. Dr. Daneshmand completed his fellowship and residency at UCLA. He is specialty board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and sub specialty in Reproductive Endocrinology. Among his achievements, Dr. Daneshmand is the recipient of the Eileen Pike Medical School Valedictorian Award and the PCRS Fellowship and Practicing Physician Research Award. He served as the President of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, is a member of the Decherney Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). He speaks French, Spanish and Farsi.
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Victoria Ferrara, Esq. Advisory_Board-60


Victoria Ferrara is the Founder and Legal Director of Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists, LLC, a successful surrogacy matching agency, through which she has helped many couples and individuals have children. One of her achievements is the landmark decision of Raftopol v. Ramey, 12 A.3d 783 299 Conn. 681 (2011), a Connecticut Supreme Court case that essentially created a new way to establish legal parentage in Connecticut, i.e., by being a party (Intended Parent) to a valid gestational agreement regardless of genetic connection to the child to be born to the gestational surrogate. Attorney Ferrara appears frequently in courts throughout the State of Connecticut for all matters in involving assisted reproduction law, pre-birth orders, and adoptions, including co-parent and step-parent adoption matters. She is a member of the Academy of Assisted Reproductive Law Attorneys, the Family Law Institute, the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association, and the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association..
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Jerald S. Goldstein, MD. Advisory_Board-60


Dr. Jerald Goldstein is the founder of LGBT Fertility, a division of Fertility Specialists of Texas, which he founded in 2005. He has helped thousands of couples achieve their dream of having a child and has extensive experience in surrogacy and IVF. His passion for helping gay men achieve their goal of having a child combined with the excellent success rates of the IVF laboratory at FSTX has made the IVF/Surrogacy program of the practice one of the most successful in the nation. A native Texan with more than 15 years’ experience in the field, Dr. Goldstein received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas. He is specialist board certified Obstetrics and Gynecology and is subspecialty board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Goldstein was an assistant professor in the division of reproductive endocrinology at Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis. He is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
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Virginia Hart Advisory_Board-60


Virginia Hart has been an insurance broker for the past 25 years, the last 17 years specializing in insurance for all aspects of assisted reproduction. As founder and CEO 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 in the U.S. as well as internationally. With her extensive breadth of knowledge and expertise in the Assisted Reproductive Technology insurance industry, Virginia is often requested as a guest lecturer at numerous conferences and recently published an article in the American Bar Association Section of Family Law "Family Advocate" magazine. Focusing on offering clients the knowledge to help them better understand their liability exposures and the best available financial risk management solutions is always one of Ms. Hart's highest priorities.
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Diane Hinson, Esq. Advisory_Board-60


Diane Hinson, a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, founded Creative Family Connections LLC on the principle that “everyone can build a family.” After starting her own family as a single mother, Diane built a full-service surrogacy agency and reproductive rights law firm that is consistently one of the highest-ranked agencies in the world. Clients from across the country and around the world choose CFC for the compassionate care and legal expertise that Diane and her team provide. Because of her passion for family equality, Diane has fought to obtain landmark court rulings for same-sex parents. She has opened doors to IVF clinics for gay fathers, drafted and advocated for gay-friendly surrogacy legislation, served as HRC’s pro-bono counsel for surrogacy issues, spoken frequently about surrogacy, and provided surrogacy advice on the well-known Surromoms.com website. She has also collaborated with fellow surrogacy attorneys to develop an in-depth 50-state surrogacy law analysis, which is widely relied upon in the surrogacy world and cited in the media.
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Kurt Hughes


Kurt M. Hughes has been involved with adoption and assisted fertility family-building since 1995. As part of his law practice with Murdoch Hughes, Twarog and Tarnelli, PC, he is a Vermont attorney who is a member of both the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. He has provided legal services for hundreds of adoptions and assisted fertility arrangements, including gestational surrogacy, and egg and sperm donation contracts. Kurt has long seen the need for a local matching organization dedicated to the needs of Vermont residents who wish to build their families through gestational surrogacy, as well as the needs of Vermont women who wish to become gestational surrogates to help others achieve the dream of parenthood. Kurt, along with his partner Jes Stumpf, launched Vermont Surrogacy Network, LLC in September 2014. Vermont Surrogacy Network provides an ethical, well supported matching journey for both intended parents and gestational surrogates.
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Nir Keren


Nir Keren, originally from Israel now lives in Toronto, Canada with his partner Bob. Nir has assisted several of his friends throughout their surrogacy journeys, in different countries which has opened his eyes to the many challenges intended parents are facing to create their families. Nir's background is in business improvment and marketing however after seeing first hand the obstacles international IP's endure, he felt that his mission and passion is to bring the awareness of the Canadian surrogacy option to IP's seeking alternative options. He has now dedicated his life to support IP's around the world to have a smooth and straight-forward journey in Canada. Alongside Dr. Librach and The CReATe Fertility Centre, he has now established 'Babies Come True', a concierge service in Canada that will help and support international IP's throughout their surrogacy journey. Nir and his husband are currently going through the process of surrogacy in Canada themselves and love to share their story.
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Elliott Kronenfeld, LICSW, CST


Elliott Kronenfeld, LICSW, CST is a certified sex therapist and a father through adoption and gestational surrogacy. He has worked in the fields of adoption, gestational surrogacy and family formation for 15 years. He is known around the country as a specialist in fertility, and speaks at various venues about how GLBTQ families are formed and thrive. He is the founder and Clinical Director of Insight Brookline Psychotherapy in the Boston area. His new book, Couples by Intention, is due out by the end of the year.
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Mark P. Leondires, MD


Dr. Mark Leondires is founder and Medical Director at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT). After he and his husband Greg had two children through the complex journey of egg donation and surrogacy he realized the need for a more comprehensive concierge service for assisted reproductive team. Thus the birth of RMACT's LGBTQ-focused family building program, Gay Parents To Be. He is proud to enable members of the LGBTQ community to build the family of their dreams, as he believes all hurdles are surmountable and the joys of parenting are boundless. Dr. Leondires is board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) and Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility (REI), and has been selected a Best Doctor in America, a Top Doc by Castle Connolly and the 2015 Path to Parenthood Visionary Award Recipient for his outstanding commitment to patient care and building families.
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Mary Riddle, Ph.D.


Dr. Riddle received her PH.D. in Clinical Health Psychology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University. Dr. Riddle is an Assistant Teaching Professor in The Department of Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University and maintains a private practice devoted to Reproductive Psychology (Family Life Psychological Services, LLC). Her area of expertise is in the evaluation and counseling of gestational surrogacy arrangements. Current research interests include aspects of Gestational Surrogacy including the psychological well-being of the biological children of surrogates, the role of religion and spirituality in the process of surrogacy, and the use of narrative assessment in the psychological evaluation of gestational surrogates. She is the past Chair of the Mental Health Professional Group (MHPG) of The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). She currently serves as a member of the task-force on qualifications for fertility counselors and the abstract committee of the MHPG. Dr. Riddle also serves on the Editorial Board of Fertility and Sterility, the medical journal of the ASRM.
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Guy Ringler, MD Advisory_Board-60


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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Meryl Rosenberg, Esq.


Meryl B. Rosenberg Esq. has been an attorney specializing in assisted reproductive technology (ART) since 1993. She helps all intended parents — individuals and couples alike — to form their families through surrogacy as well as legal services for gamete donation, embryo donation, step- and second-parent adoption. Ms. Rosenberg is a Fellow of the AAARTA executive committee for the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, chair of the AAARTA membership committee, past chair of the executive board of the Legal Professional Group of ASRM, and co-chair of the Legal Advisory Committee of Path2Parenthood. She is a member of the ABA Reproductive Technology Committee and the Family Law Institute of the LGBTQ Bar. Collaborating with fellow attorneys in Maryland and DC, Meryl spearheaded ART legislation that became law in DC in 2017. She has been a guest lecturer for the University of Maryland School of Law, the American University Washington College of Law, the ABA Family Law Section, AAAA, ASRM, Rainbow Families DC, Path2Parenthood, Men Having Babies.
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Jan Silverman, PhD


For the past 25 years, Jan Silverman has worked in the field of reproductive health; supporting, educating and advocating for those requiring assistance to make their families. Starting off as a grass roots advocate, Jan co-founded the first Canadian infertility support network. After earning a second master’s degree, Jan established and ran the infertility support and education program at women’s college hospital in Toronto for 21 years. Jan was one of 11 experts selected to participate in the provincial expert panel on infertility and adoption. She is now in private practice providing counselling services to the Create Fertility Centre. Over the years she has provided services to the Gay Parenting Network, Daddies and Papas To Be and Dykes Having Tykes. Jan created her own family by adopting two (former) children.
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Steven H. Snyder, Esq. Advisory_Board-60


Steven H. Snyder, Esq., is the founding and principal partner of Steven H. Snyder & Associates, and he is the Director of the International Assisted Reproduction Center (IARC), a full-service surrogacy and egg donation agency, both located in the U.S. in Minnesota. His life’s passion is to help others experience the joys of being a parent, as he has experienced raising his two children. Mr. Snyder is an active leader in numerous professional organizations, including the Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy (SEEDS), RESOLVE Infertility, 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.
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Cindy R. Wasser, LLP


With her unique background as a high-profile criminal defence lawyer for 20 years and, extraordinary journey as an Intended Parent, Cindy Wasser offers an unparalleled service to Intended Parents and Surrogates. Her firm, Hope Springs Fertility Law™ is one of the leading firms in Canada with a large international clientele including many from the UK. Her clients work with many agencies and clinics throughout North America. With extraordinary passion and heart, Cindy’s team prepares the necessary contracts and once their baby is born, obtains the parental rights orders and birth certificates quickly and efficiently, making the Intended Parents’ journey as simple as possible. Cindy is known as a champion of parental rights in Canada having lobbied government and courts to establish better practices benefiting parents and their children.  She has been called upon to provide legal advice to other fertility lawyers, medical practitioners and, consulting agencies; has lectured about fertility law at medico-legal conferences and hospitals and, is published in a leading medical journal. For more information visit.

MHB team


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Jenny Congiardo, Director of Operations


Jenny joined MHB in October 2017 as the GPAP Application Coordinator, and was later appointed as Operations Manager. She brings her many years of non-profit and corporate communications experience to help facilitate the GPAP application process at both the Stage I and II levels. As Jenny is often the first MHB team member with whom Intended Parents interact, she strives to make the experience as pleasant as possible, drawing on her experience in the education field. She lives in Central Florida with her family, enjoying the sunshine and all of the happy faces.
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Michael Doyle, MD, board member


Dr. Doyle is the founder of CT Fertility where he served as medical director for 25 years. During that time he was responsible for the successful surrogacy journeys of hundreds of gay men both in the US and abroad, and in his career helped in the creation of over 7,000 babies. He was an early advocate for safe and ethical surrogacy treatment and a strong proponent of non-anonymous egg donation. He also led one of the first and largest frozen donor egg banks in the US. After retiring from clinical practice in 2017, Dr. Doyle now devotes some of his time to several non-profits which are focused on educational access and community development, and he currently plays lead roles in both philanthropic and VC groups which invest in and assist social entrepreneurs around the world. He is thrilled to join the Men Having Babies board and hopes to focus on both development efforts and advocacy initiatives aimed at legalizing surrogacy anywhere where it currently faces opposition.
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Sarah Beth Lardie, Fundraising and Development Manager


With more than a decade of experience in advancing the mission, vision, and goals of non-profit and socially responsible for-profit companies, Sarah Beth has helped to lead the financial growth and expansion of a wide range of successful organizations including The Jane Goodall Institute, United Nations Women’s Humanitarian Action Program, and the Mandela Scholars Program. Closer to home, Sarah Beth has worked with Pride at Work, Fifth Avenue Committee, and City University of New York. Sarah Beth was also a Co-Founder at Joshua Venture, a social venture fund for non-profit entrepreneurship that funded 16 projects across the United States. Her articles on impact investing and trends in global philanthropy have been published by The DO School, ZEIT Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, and others. She is a Mentor with MIT’s LaunchX program and routinely consults with social entrepreneurs and those seeking to support innovative projects in civil society.
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Kent Lenzen, Events Manager


Kent Lenzen joined the MHB team in May of 2019. His responsibilities include planning and facilitation of MHB conference events along with varied tasks assisting the MHB team with their many responsibilities. Prior to joining MHB he worked as Director of Sales for the Lansing Center, in Lansing, Michigan and Program Manager for an automotive trade association. He brings a wealth of experience in event planning and non-profit association and hospitality management. Kent, most recently, enjoyed teaching children with cognitive impairments. He now lives in the Chicago, Illinois area with his partner of over 30 years.

Andrew Li, PhD, board member


Andrew, who holds a PhD in computer science, currently serves as a Vice President at a major investment bank in New York City. Andrew and his husband first learned of MHB by attending the NYC conference and monthly meetings as intended parents. The couple is currently on their first surrogacy journey, looking forward to completing their family with a child soon. MHB has been instrumental in their journey so far and Andrew wishes to pay it forward to other intended parents. He strongly believes that being a parent is everyone’s right, no matter their socioeconomic or ethnic background. Andrew is of Asian descent and hopes to help MHB overcome language and cultural barriers to more effectively reach out to Asian prospective parents who currently have limited access to the full breadth of resources the organization offers.
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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. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining our team, she worked at a California based fertility clinic as the Marketing Manager for over five years. Shelly is also a three-time surrogate mother to same sex male couples both domestic and international. She lives in Southern California with her wonderful husband and two children.
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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 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.
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Silvia Schneider Fox, PsyD, board member


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.
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Lisa Schuster, GPAP Program Manager


Lisa joined the MHB team in January of 2018 as the Stage II GPAP Case Manager, and was later promoted to GPAP Program Manager. Lisa’s responsibilities include development of ongoing partnerships in support of the assistance program, development of practices and initiatives to further the scope and reach of the program, coordination of the selection and matching process of Stage II candidates, and managing their journeys and budgets until they become parents. 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.
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Sherman L. Taylor II, Chairman of the board


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 two sons via surrogacy, born in 2013 and 2017.

Breakout sessions


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Susanna Park, MD Advisory_Board-60


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 and high success rates with a variety of treatments including IVF, donor eggs, egg freezing and gestational surrogacy. Dr. Park works closely with the leading surrogacy agencies to assist the LGBT community build families.
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Kristen Hanson Advisory_Board-60


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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Brad Spencer Advisory_Board-60


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 The Trevor Project, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth.
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Jen Rachman


Jen Rachman, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is an Outreach Coordinator at Circle Surrogacy and Egg Donation, LLC, one of the world's premier surrogacy agencies serving intended parents worldwide for over two decades. Jen, a cancer survivor and parent through surrogacy, serves as a resource and support person for Intended Parents from the Tri-State area. After her own surrogacy journey in 2010, she was inspired and compelled to join Circle. Jen has had the pleasure of helping Circle Surrogacy bring over 2,000 babies into the world. Jen has shared her experience and expertise with numerous publications and TV programs, and has moderated and presented at many conferences throughout the United States.
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Melvin Thornton, MD


Dr. Thornton has over 20 years' experience in the fertility field, including 15 years with the Columbia University IVF program as Medical Director and as Director of their donor egg program. His patients describe him as a reassuring, caring, and personable physician. Dr. Thornton has dedicated many years and countless hours to teaching and mentoring medical students, fellows, and residents as an Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia. He has published more than 50 papers, written several book chapters and presented nearly 100 abstracts at professional conferences on topics related to women's health and reproduction.
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Ashim Kumar, MD


Dr. Kumar is board certified in reproductive endocrinology and obstetrics and gynecology and practices near Los Angeles, California. In recent years Dr. Kumar has focused his efforts for those that have had difficulty conceiving and require third party reproduction (egg donor and/or gestational surrogacy). With high success rates, over half of his current patients are from overseas which include Australia, Austria, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, The United Kingdom, etc. Combining meticulous attention to detail, 7-day a week work ethic, the best support staff (nursing & embryology) and the latest in technology, he is able to obtain the highest pregnancy rates achievable today. He has been asked to present his work across the world including Australia, India, China, and Italy and has contacts in numerous clinics that collaborate closely to provide seamless care.
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Gad Lavy, MD


Gad Lavy, M.D., F.A.C.O.G, is the medical director and founder of New England Fertility (NEF), the first non-hospital-based outpatient in vitro fertilization (IVF) center in the state of Connecticut. Dr. Lavy received his training at Hadassah Medical School at Hebrew University in Israel and completed his residency at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, where he served on the medical faculty of the Department of OB/GYN. Prior to founding NEF in 1991, Dr. Lavy was an assistant professor in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Yale University School of Medicine and served as the director of the program for assisted reproduction. Dr. Lavy is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology. He is a medical staff member in the Department of OB/GYN at Stamford Hospital and a consulting physician in the Department of OB/GYN at Greenwich Hospital. A member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the Society of Reproductive Surgeons, Dr. Lavy is an internationally recognized speaker and author.
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Marjorie E. Dixon, MD


Dr. Dixon is a graduate of the McGill University’s School of Medicine. Her initial postgraduate training was at the University of Toronto, in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her passion for reproductive medicine continued during her postgraduate training with a 3-year subspecialty, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology accredited fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Vermont. Dr. Dixon is an active member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and holds the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, where she actively participates in medical student and resident education. She continues to be an invited speaker at both national and international conferences in her field of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility as she continuously advocates for the women’s health and the LGBTQ community.
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Emily Westerfield


Emily Westerfield is a passionate surrogacy advocate, a devoted women’s wellness activist and a four-time surrogate mother. As the Director of Surrogacy Engagement and Matching, Emily has helped hundreds of families through their surrogacy journeys, alleviating stress throughout the entire process. She’s well-versed in the legality and array of emotions associated with surrogacy. Her experience is deployed into offering expertise to both intended parents and surrogates, to fully facilitate and support them from start to finish. During her illustrious career, Emily has partnered with several fertility specialists, including gynecologists, urologists, and reproductive endocrinologists. Her strategic collaboration with Dr. F. Nicholas Shamma birthed the launch of Gift of Life Surrogacy Agency – an agency committed to providing comprehensive and unique experiences for intended parents and gestational carriers. Emily is an ardent contributor to women’s development and improved livelihood with her works featured on Women magazines including Women's Health, Bustle, Thrive Global and Authority. She’s a mother of three beautiful children and also an active gestational carrier having carried both singletons and multiples.
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Shahin Ghadir, MD


Dr. Ghadir is a huge advocate for the LGBTQ community and has helped hundreds of same sex couples. As a founding partner of Southern California Reproductive Center, Dr. Ghadir is double Board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. SCRC has one the largest third-party divisions helping all individuals with donors and surrogates. He is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of OBGYN at UCLA and USC. Dr. Ghadir earned his bachelor's degree with cum laude in psychology From UCLA, and his medical degree from the Central University School of Medicine, where he graduated summa cum laude and was ranked first in his class. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, as well as a three-year subspecialty fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the combined UCLA and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center program. Dr. Ghadir currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Fertility Association as well as the Neuromuscular Disease Foundation (NDF).
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John Norian, MD


Dr. John Norian, a double board certified fertility specialist, received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons, completed his residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine program and his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health. He is passionate about helping gay men achieve their goals of family building and becoming fathers through egg donation and surrogacy. His philosophy in helping those realize their dream of having a family combines both the precision and science of reproductive medicine with a compassionate style of doctoring. Dr. Norian is very involved in all the clinical decisions and all of the fertility treatment procedures which have allowed our team and his patients to achieve the highest success rates. As a board member of Path2Parenthood, Dr. Norian has greatly helped to raise awareness and develop usable information about fertility options for gay men and the greater LGBT community.
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Kyle Dean Massey


Kyle is the director of the surrogacy program at Elevate, and has spent years working with egg donors from around the globe as a donor specialist. He worked for a top tier fertility clinic as the National Business Developer, and has now moved back into his passion position helping build families through egg donation and surrogacy.