The 1st ever Taipei Men Having Babies conference took place on March 9-10, 2019, at the W Taipei Hotel. Over 300 prospective parents from across Taiwan, Asia, and beyond enjoyed a weekend of workshops, and special in-depth panels about insurance, budgeting, medical and psychological aspects of surrogacy. Proceeds from the conference benefited the organization’s Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP).
Andrea has more than 25 years of clinical experience working in the mental health field. Her early training began in the field of Geriatrics. She has also had extensive experience working in an inpatient psychiatric facility where she was able to strengthen her testing and diagnostic skills. Andrea's focus on assisted reproduction stemmed from her own personal experience with infertility over 20 years ago when she was beginning her family. Since that time, Andrea has had three children, two with methods of assisted reproduction. Her past and personal experience provides her with the knowledge to skillfully assess prospective egg donors and surrogates. It also provides her with the compassion to provide support and guidance to individuals pursuing assisted reproduction. She continues her professional growth through research and involvement as a professional member of ASRM, Pathway 2 Parenthood, the ESHRE and Resolve. Andrea was the previously on the board of directors for the Egg Donation and Surrogacy Professional Association, Fertile Action and an advisor to Parents Via Egg Donation.
Barney Cheng landed on the Hollywood map as an actor in 2002 with his acclaimed performance in Woody Allen's Hollywood Ending. The New York Times described Cheng's comedic timing as "surgically precise." The Orange County Register raved that Cheng "steals every scene he's in." In addition to acting, Cheng is an award-winning writer-director. His award-winning films have collectively screened in over 100 film festivals worldwide. His Chinese-English language feature Baby Steps received Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access fellowship as well as jury and audience awards for best feature at numerous festivals. The San Francisco Chronicle calls Baby Steps an “engaging” and “touching” film. “Inarguably, here’s an LGBT film created by and starring Asian Americans that is definitely worth applauding,” raves Huffington Post. “Baby Steps is becoming more and more relevant by the second.”
Sandy Chuan, MD
Dr. Sandy Chuan is a double board certified fertility specialist, with extensive experience in third party reproduction. She is double-board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She graduated from the University of California Irvine (UCI) as a double major in Biology and Comparative literature with a minor in Chinese. She earned her medical doctorate from the prestigious University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine (UCLA) in 2003. Dr. Chuan relocated with her family to the United States from Taiwan when she was 8 years old. As a result of her international upbringing, she is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese. She is known for delivering compassionate and individualized care, optimizing the chance of success for each and every patient. She is passionate about family building for her patients and provides cutting edge care with a great track record of success to patients in the US and across the globe.
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.
Victoria Hsu is Co-founder and Executive Director of Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) which is one of the most important LGBTI organizations in Taiwan. Victoria is Attorney-at-Law (admitted in Taiwan in 1999). She was the lead lawyer in the marriage equality case that Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of in May 2017. With regard to assisted reproduction issues, she has helped several clients in Taiwan (including lesbian/gay and heterosexual couples) to set up legal arrangements in order to protect their rights and manage risks. Victoria is currently committee member of the Gender Equality Committee (GEC) of Executive Yuan (Taiwan’s cabinet). She was PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law at Université Paris X (France). She has two Master of Law degrees from the Université Strasbourg III (France) and from National Taipei University (Taiwan). She was also an openly lesbian candidate in Taiwan’s 2016 legislative election.
Francesca Kennedy is the Executive Director at International Surrogacy Center. Francesca guides Intended Parents through their first steps of starting their surrogacy journey. Francesca has a degree in Social Work and has been in the surrogacy industry for over 8 years. Francesca has been a surrogate four times, two of those times was a sibling journey for a same sex couple from Germany. Francesca is passionate about surrogacy and loves to help Intended Parents and Surrogates have a great journey that they can reflect on for the rest of their lives.
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.
Founder and CEO of Portico Media, a Taiwan-based content production, content aggregation and channel distribution company. The company has received major accolades from the Golden Horse Awards (Best Short) and the Taipei Film Festival (Best Feature), to name a few. Since 2009, Portico has been working in collaboration with key Taiwanese IPTV, digital cable, OTT and mobile operators by distributing to them some of the world’s premium channels and content. Portico’s content partners include: NBCUniversal, Viacom, A&E, CNBC Asia, Blue Ant, CinemaWorld, Fashion TV and DW. In 2015, Portico’s production division launched HahaTai, the go-to destination for comedy and humor content and marketing. In 2016, Portico started DramaQueen, the US TV series and movie news website, as well as the two entertainment and lifestyle platforms GagaTai and LalaTai for the gay and lesbian communities. At the same time, it launched the first LGBTQ focused OTT service GagaOOLala in Asia, following the industry trend to bring more entertainment to niche groups. Within this platform, Portico has already coproduced queer content with teams in the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and it is currently looking for new coproduction partnerships around the world.
Samuel C. Pang, MD
Dr. Samuel Pang is a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist and the Medical Director of Boston IVF’s Donor Egg and Gestational Surrogacy Program. Dr. Pang and his husband have two sons conceived through IVF with donor eggs and gestational surrogacy, so he fully appreciates the process of IVF with donor eggs and gestational surrogacy from both the patient and clinical perspectives. Since 1996, Dr. Pang has led Boston IVF’s Third Party Reproduction Program, which provides IVF for patients who need to use donor eggs and/or a gestational surrogate. He has been treating gay male couples with IVF since 1998, and has since treated dozens of gay male couples successfully. Additionally, he has been recognized by Boston magazine as Top Doctor in the field of infertility since 2012. Dr. Pang completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto and received his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Guy Ringler, MD
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.
Nurit Winkler, MD
Dr. Nurit Winkler is the co-founder and co-owner of Los Angeles Reproductive Center. She completed her training as a fertility specialist at Brown University School of Medicine and at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where she earned multiple teaching and research awards. Dr. Winkler received her medical degree from the University of Pavia in Italy were she graduated with the highest distinction. After completing her training in both Europe and Israel, she moved to the US bringing with her expertise and unique approaches to fertility treatments especially in the field of egg donation and surrogacy. Dr. Winkler is in fact licensed to practice medicine on 3 different continent. With her unique international background and fluency in 3 languages Dr. Winkler treats regularly couples and singles from the LGBTQ community from all around the globe. Her ultimate goal as a fertility specialist is maintaining a high pregnancy rate which can only be achieved by combining advance technology, more than 15 years of experience in the field and personalized care.
Dr Wang is known by his patients as compassionate, empathetic, and personable. Since every patient’s journey to parenthood is unique, he believes in providing personalized care and empowering his patients with the knowledge to become partners in the decision-making process. He is knowledgeable and sees challenges that may arise during fertility treatment as opportunities to make advancements in reproductive medicine. He has published more than 20 manuscripts in obstetrics, gynecology as well as reproductive endocrinology and infertility. As a native of Taiwan, Dr Wang is fluent in Mandarin and Taiwanese.
Echo Yang is an attorney licensed to practice law in California, USA and P.R. China. Echo works at Law Offices of Robert Rettenmaier, PC. We are a law firm located in Southern California, U.S.A. We focus on surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation and embryo donation. We also safeguard your funds in an attorney-client trust account. We are a professional caring law firm that really cares about your experience. We hold your hand all the way through your journey. Echo speaks, reads and writes mandarin. Echo earned her first law degree from Yunnan University, China. When Echo practiced in China, she focused on cross-board transactions. She then earned Juris Doctor degree with Cum Laude honor from Western State College of Law in Fullerton, California. Echo was awarded the Outstanding Female Law Student Award of her class at commencement. Echo was a Western State Law Review member and published an article about global corporations’ civil liabilities when she was at the law school. Growing families globally is our focus!
Eva Yu is the Chinese Liaison and International Outreach Associate for Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation. Eva received her MBA in Marketing and Finance and BA degree in Economics from New York State University at Stony Brook. She also has an Extension Chinese-English Legal Translation certificate from the University of California Los Angeles. Originally from Hong Kong, Eva is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. At Circle, she uses her native languages to help provide support to Chinese speaking intended parents in their initial engagement with the agency. She also helps guide these intended parents through the surrogacy process and ensure they understand Circle's values and culture. Eva is passionate about the role she plays in facilitating intended parents' care in their surrogacy journeys.
Steve Chu, MD
Dr. Steve has been in clinical work for more than 20 years. He wanted to have a child 10 years ago. After attending a surrogacy seminar for gay men hosted by Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy seven years ago, he learned about the surrogacy options in the United States. Three years after embarking on his surrogacy journey, his dream finally came true. If he knew of MHB at the time, the whole process may have been easier and less convoluted.
Luke grew up and lives in Taiwan where he completed his university finance degree and LLM. Apart from that, Luke obtained his MBA degree overseas in the Netherlands and worked as a fixed income trader in the IB arm in London. He is now the local team head of a US Financial Institution in Taipei. Thanks to surrogacy, Luke is now a father of a two year old and planning for his second wonderful child. Luke is always eager to share the experience of his delightful journey and wishes we can have more diverse families and communities in Asia. He believes being a dad is a fantastic job in which he can find his inner kid, give advice like a buddy, and protect like a guardian.
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.
Kevin Lo, MHB volunteer
Kevin grew up and attended college in Taiwan before moving to New York City to pursue graduate school. It is there he met his partner Alex. When gay marriage was legalized in New York in 2011, they married and soon after moved to Japan where they lived and worked. A few years later they relocated to Taiwan to be closer to Kevin’s family. After the Defense of Marriage Act – the law that prevent same-sex marriage from being recognized by the federal government – was overturned in the US, they returned to NYC where they currently reside. They are now in the early stages of planning their surrogacy journey. Alex, a filmmaker, has been helping MHB produce their videos at their various conferences, which led to them volunteering to help plan this conference in Taiwan.
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.
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.
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.
Jerald S. Goldstein, MD
Founder and medical director of Fertility Specialists of Texas, Dr. Jerald S. Goldstein is a native Texan who received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas. He is board certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Goldstein was an assistant professor in the division of reproductive endocrinology at Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis. He has presented before numerous medical conferences and published in such peer-reviewed journals as Fertility and Sterility and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Goldstein 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. Dr. Goldstein has repeatedly been recognized by peers and patients alike as a leader in his field. He has been voted a Best Doctor in D Magazine, as well as listed as a top doctor in several publications including Texas Monthly’s annual list of Super Doctors.
Maria Valencia was earning her bachelor’s degree in International Business and raising two boys when she started in the surrogacy industry. The first time Maria helped a couple all the way through their journey, she realized she had found her passion when she saw them hold their precious bundle of joy for the first time. Now in her thirteenth year in the industry Maria has built outstanding relationships with the best resources and has the experience to bring the dream of creating a family to life. The professional staff at ISC, under Maria’s direction, is committed to providing premier customer service and making the process of surrogacy a unique and enjoyable journey. Maria and her team work with her intended parents doctors, IVF clinic staff, attorneys, surrogates. Maria believes in building relationships with honesty, transparency, and communication. Maria founded International Surrogacy Center in 2011, she and her team enjoy building close relationships with their clients and seeing pictures of the families as they grow. Maria recently discovered how she can give back and volunteers at local shelters. ISC is also giving financial support to organizations that care for and find homes for rescued animals.
Stephanie Scott is the Executive Program Director at Simple Surrogacy. Stephanie is responsible for the initial screening of all Intended Parents, Surrogates, and Egg Donors who apply with our program. She reviews all new applicant profiles, records, references, insurance policies, and ensures all applicant background investigations have been completed and cleared before matching within our program (investigation includes a search of both Federal and State criminal records, as well as a Residential History and Social Security Verification). She also ensures that the surrogates in our program have optimal medical coverage to cover the pregnancy and delivery and arranges for all parties to obtain a life insurance policy.
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.
Jay Cook-Wong is co-owner and co-founder of Same Love Surrogacy, a full service gay owned and operated egg donor and surrogacy agency based in West Hollywood, CA. Jay married to Danny Cook-Wong along - the personal experience of gay dads who created their family via surrogacy and egg donation. What all this personal experience taught us is that more and more LGBTQ individuals are seeking to become parents via assisted reproductive technology, and we want to assist intending parents through their journey to parenthood while giving back to the LGBTQ community. Jay was born in Michigan and has resided in Los Angeles, CA for the past 20 years with his husband and twin boys. He has worked as a health club general manager and registered nurse. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Fitness Management and an Associates degree in Nursing. Jay utilizes his management and medical experience as a unique blend to assist LGBTQ in the creation of families.
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.
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.
Teo Martinez graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Later he earned an executive MBA from Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management, where he was inducted as a Beta Gamma Sigma honoree. Teo began his career with Growing Generations in 1998, and is considered an authority in the field of surrogacy and egg donation administration, as well as cost analysis. As CEO, Teo oversees the Strategic Development of Growing Generations and is the executive officer in charge of customer care and satisfaction. Teo also is Chairman of the board of directors of Youth Emerging Stronger (YES). With his educational background, volunteer work and over two decades of experience in the industry, Martinez is one of the most knowledgeable and accomplished professionals in the field of surrogacy and egg donation.
Dr. Shamonki received his medical degree and OB/GYN residency at the University of Vermont. He completed his reproductive endocrinology and infertility fellowship at Cornell University, considered by many in the field as the premier fellowship in the country. After fellowship, Dr.Shamonki spent one year perfecting his skills at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, where he performed thousands of ultrasounds and procedures. In 2006 Dr. Shamonki joined his alma mater UCLA and, as Director of In-Vitro Fertilization and Assisted Reproduction, quickly developed the IVF Program at UCLA into a center of excellence. He has published numerous papers and has won several awards, including the Carbee Award for excellence in OB/GYN, the Patients' Choice Award and America's Top Doctors Award. In his words, "I had the great fortune of growing up learning about reproductive medicine through the eyes of my father, Dr. Issa Shamonki, who was one of the pioneers in the field. I hope to continue his legacy by providing care of the highest quality, with great compassion and consideration.
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.
Connie was born in Texas and raised in Taiwan. She graduated from National Chung Hsing University in Taichung and obtained an MBA in the United States. As a surrogacy coordinator at Extraordinary Conceptions, she helps coordinate the entire journey from the intended parents and surrogate's matching process to the baby’s delivery. Connie is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English. As a mother of two, fulfilling other people's dreams of having children is her passion.
Dawn Baker is the founder and Director of US Surrogacy LLC. She enjoys her family of three amazing young adult children and traveling with her husband. An ardent supporter of the ability to have a family, much of her passion for surrogacy comes from her experience as an infertility patient and her 5 year journey to have her second son. Dawn brings significant work experience from the legal field, having worked as a paralegal for 20 years. Prior to her legal career, she served as a Personnel Specialist in the US Army and as Assistant to the Personnel Director on Yokota Air Base, Japan. She believes that an inherit desire for a family is within many of us and we are blessed to have the options in our society to realize that desire. She is passionate about the ability to help parents throughout the world as they follow their dream to build or grow their family!