Men Having Babies South - 2018
Surrogacy & Gay Parenting Conference
Austin, March 3-4, 2018
Simi Denson is a Texas attorney whose practice focuses solely on gestational surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology law. Simi’s professional commitment to the surrogacy community is grounded in her two personal surrogacy experiences—she delivered a baby boy in 2010 and triplets in 2013 and maintains close friendships with both families. She believes in the positive potential of surrogacy and has represented diverse families in over 1,000 surrogacy arrangements. In response to her clients’ demands for a new and responsive agency model and with her professional colleagues’ encouragement, she founded PrimaVita Surrogacy with partners Tiffany Finley and Amanda Smith. PrimaVita Surrogacy provides personalized matching, professional guidance, and attentive relationship support to ensure a positive surrogacy experience for both intended parents and gestational carriers. The PrimaVita team wants parents and surrogates to look back on their shared surrogacy journey fondly, remembering that it was full of trust, security, and love. Simi and PrimaVita Surrogacy are committed to inclusive and creative family-building, and are proud to support Men Having Babies.
Victoria Ferrara, Esq.
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..
Jerald S. Goldstein, M.D.
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.
Solveig Gramann, LICSW
Solveig Gramann is the Surrogate Screening and Support Manager for Circle Surrogacy, as well as Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Solveig earned her Master's in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. During her master's program, she trained at two major hospitals in Texas. At these institutions, she worked primarily with women populations conducting psychosocial assessments, connecting patients and their families with local and national resources, collaborating with the interdisciplinary health team, as well as providing clinical support. At Circle, Solveig screens and supports surrogates. She also works on the consultation team to provide support to intended parents in their initial engagement with the agency
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. Virginia maintains the highest standards for her clients and is passionate about the role of financial planning and risk management as part of the family building journey. 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. Ms. Hart states, “Providing financial options that are both effective and minimize risks are my priority in helping my clients build their families”.
Amanda Hurliman, M.D.
Dr Amanda Hurliman is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist. She joined ORM in 2013 and helps build families worldwide through IVF, egg donation, surrogacy, and reproductive genomics. As a fellow, Dr. Hurliman received the prestigious ASRM/SREI National Research Service Institutional Training Award for her research. Along with the entire team she is committed to helping every patient at ORM achieve their dream of a healthy baby on their first attempt. She completed her education and medical training at Oregon Health and Science University and University of Vermont.
Dean Hutchison, Esq.
Dean Hutchison is Director of Legal Services for Circle Surrogacy and Vice Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Richmond and his law degree from Suffolk University. Prior to working with Circle Surrogacy, he was an attorney at Lawson & Weitzen in Boston, Massachusetts for six years. Dean has managed hundreds of ART matters over the course of his career and has organized and presented on many panels on the legal aspects of surrogacy and egg donation. He has been named a Rising Star in Massachusetts Super Lawyer and Boston Magazine every year since 2009.
Andy is the Head of Healthcare and Social Services Giving at The Morris Foundation in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the father to his 10-year son through domestic, private adoption. He and his Husband Brian founded The Handsome Father in 2013, a nonprofit organization helping gay men realize their dreams of becoming fathers. Today, The Handsome Father provides financial support to organizations, such a Men Having Babies, that carry on that work.
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 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.
Vickie Schafer, Ph.D.
Dr. Vickie Schafer is a licensed psychologist in Austin, Texas. She is a member of the Mental Health Professional's Group of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. She is passionate about assisting individuals and couples in building their family. Dr. Schafer completes psychological consultations with intended parents to help ensure their journey in third party reproduction is a positive experience. She also completes consultations and psychological evaluations for egg donors, sperm donors, embryo donors, and gestational surrogates. Dr. Schafer is especially excited about surrogacy as an option to help gay men to build their families.
Steven H. Snyder, Esq.
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.
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.
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.
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 COO of the Wartburg, a leading provider of senior healthcare and residential services in NY. 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.
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.
Georges Sylvestre, MD, board member
Georges Sylvestre is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist specialized in High-Risk Pregnancies, currently Chairman of OBGYN at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in Queens. Georges and his husband David Margolis live in Manhattan, and are the proud fathers of Tristan and Noah, born in 2010 and 2013 via gestational surrogacy. Having grown up in France, Canada and Switzerland, the Sylvestre-Margolis boys speak French and English at home, and has traveled extensively across the world, making a point of meeting other LGBT gay couples raising children. Georges' profession and personal experience give him a unique advantage in understanding the medical, psychological, ethical and financial challenges of the IP/couple –egg donor – Gestational surrogate triad.
Michael Wetson, board member / treasurer
Michael is co-owner and Director of Professional Service Delivery for Inscio, LLC, a Dallas-based consulting firm specializing in connecting information with people via NetSuite and other leading solutions. Michael Wetson’s first experience with surrogacy began as he and his husband Shawn started their journey in 2012. Their twins, Olivia and Sawyer, were born via an anonymous egg donor and Gestational Surrogate in 2013. When not chasing the twins around the house or resolving employee and customer requests, Michael and Shawn enjoy running (or napping, whichever task wins the toss). Michael is a graduate of the University of Kansas, has mentored several gay couples as they began their own journey, and has been an outspoken advocate for gay families for the past several years.
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.
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.
Hilary is the International Nurse Coordinator for the Ovum Donor and Surrogacy program at CReATe Fertility Centre in Toronto, Canada. Hilary has been a nurse for over 13 years and an IVF & Infertility Nurse since 2013 but has truly found her passion in third party reproduction. Hilary has two young daughters who are her whole world and she strongly believes that every individual regardless of location, family dynamic or sexual orientation should have the opportunity to become parents as well. “Third party reproduction is one of the most challenging yet rewarding areas to work in. It brings me so much fulfilment and gratification to be able to help create families for intended parents all over the world.”
Heather Hoff, MD
Heather Hoff, M.D. of Prelude Fertility considers patient care a team effort involving advanced technology and expert care, and she is committed to providing compassionate care that is personalized for every patient. She obtained her medical degree and completed the Research Distinction Track at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and residency training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where she received numerous teaching and research awards, including Best Chief Resident Educator and the Resident Research Award. Dr. Hoff then ventured south for her Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellowship at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Hoff’s research during fellowship was focused on improving embryo implantation. Her research has led to numerous publications in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, including the field’s leading journals, and she has presented her work both nationally and internationally. Dr. Hoff enjoys all aspects of Reproductive Endocrinology, with special interest in infertility, same-sex couple fertility support, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and elective fertility preservation. She is committed to providing compassionate and individualized care to achieve successful outcomes.
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.