MHB 2021 Parenting options for European Gay Men Conference & Expo

Brussels, November 6-7 2021

Event Home

Full conference program


Friday, November 5, 2021

Stacks Image 95272
Registration: 16:30 - 17:00
Stacks Image 95275
The Brussels Advocacy & Research Forum - Surrogacy Families: Stigma and Stereotypes: 17:00 - 18:30
The MHB Advocacy and Research Forums (ARFs) are an opportunity to look at the social, ethical, legal and empirical aspects of surrogacy and LGBT parenting. This program addresses the proposition that families formed through surrogacy are often misrepresented by the media, pop culture and political discourse. It can be argued that they are affected by myths and misconceptions even more than the prospective parents or the children they help bring to this world. The Forum will facilitate a discussion about what we know from experience and research on the actual motivations and life circumstances of surrogates, and how they feel about the way they are portrayed.
Stacks Image 95278
Welcome Reception! 18:30
Meet and network with the Forum's presenters, dozens of surrogacy professionals, community activists, and prospective parents.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Stacks Image p95357_n2
Registration: 8:15-9:00 (Floor 1)
Stacks Image 95413
Overview of parenting options for European gay men, including US, Canada and other international destinations: 9:00-9:30 (Grand Ballroom, Floor 1)
Introductions and an overview of parenting options for European gay men.
Stacks Image 95373
Planning your parenting journey: 9:30-10:30 (Grand Ballroom, Floor 1)
Surrogacy fathers from the USA and Europe will lead a comprehensive surrogacy workshop that was developed based on the accumulated knowledge of hundreds of gay men who have already gone through the process. In the first part we will go over the various surrogacy arrangements available for gay men, and prepare you to make the basic decisions regarding your surrogacy journey. Topics covered will include:
  • Basic terminology, types and components of typical surrogacy arrangements.
  • Typical sequence and timeline for gestational surrogacy journeys.
  • Major decisions that shape the surrogacy journey.
  • Considering your family vision, financial constraints, risk tolerance and ethical preferences.
  • Known vs. anonymous egg donations.
  • Ethical best practices.
Stacks Image p95359_n2
Coffee break: 10:30-11:00
Sponsored by Alcea Surrogacy
Stacks Image 95438
Comparative Panel: Surrogacy in Canada and the USA - 11:00-11:30 (Building A: English, Français, Nederlands, Deutsch)
coming soon…

- Julia Ross, Canadian Surrogacy Options
Stacks Image 95416
Getting started guide: picking providers, surrogacy resources and financial assistance (GPAP) - 11:30-12:00 (Building A: English, Français, Nederlands, Deutsch)
An overview of 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.
Stacks Image 95645
Q&A session: The Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) and the Membership Benefits Program (MBP) - 12:00-12:30 (Building A)
- Ron Poole-Dayan
/ MHB - Executive Director
- Lisa Schuster
/ MHB - GPAP Program Manager
Stacks Image 95667
Considerations for Egg Donation - 12:30-12:45
Locating and selecting egg donors.

Moderator: TBD

- Kyle Dean Massey
/ Elevate
- Richard Vaughn
/ International Fertility Law Group
Stacks Image 95378
Lunch / Gay Parenting Resource Fair: 12:45-14:00 (Foyer & Park Ballroom, Floor 1)
Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists_230
Enjoy a buffet lunch and explore the resource fair of Gay Parenting Services (Park Ballroom) - more than twenty tables where you can meet and receive information from leading clinics, surrogacy and adoption agencies, lawyers and supporting community organizations. The fair will continue until 17:00.
Lunch is sponsored by Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists.
Stacks Image 95381
Breakout sessions - come meet the sponsors: 14:00-16:00 (1st & 26th Floors - see table)
Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in up to 5 introductory group consultations with the various providers. Most sessions will be 18 minutes long (plus 2-3 minutes switch time), and the last two are only 8 minutes. They take place simultaneously in 4 meeting rooms. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know these agencies and clinics more closely. See the "Breakout Sessions" table for a list and schedule. The Gay Parenting Resource Fair will also continue to be available during this period.

Remo Building A

Remo Building B

Remo Building C

Remo Building D

14:00 - 14:20

Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO

14:20 - 14:40

Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO

14:40 - 15:00

Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO

15:00 - 15:20

Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO

15:20 - 15:40

Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO

15:40 - 15:50

15:50 - 16:00

Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Alt Text is good for SEO
Stacks Image 95384
Gay Parenting Resource Fair / Coffee Break: 16:00-17:00 (Park Ballroom, Floor 1)
Sponsored by San Diego Fertility Center.
Stacks Image 95392
A mindful look at surrogacy - Psychological and Ethical aspects: 17:00-18:00 (Grand Ballroom, Floor 1)
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 are they different than the perceptions in Europe?
  • 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: Silvia Schnider-Fox, PsyD, MHB board member

Speakers / Panelists:
  • Kim Bergman, PhD, Growing Generations
  • Dr. Vasanti Jadva, Centre for Family Research, Cambridge University
  • Lisa Schuster, surrogate mother and MHB’s GPAP program manager.
Stacks Image p95364_n3
Personal stories panel: 18:00-18:45 (Grand Ballroom, Floor 1)
Hear the diverse personal experiences of several gay surrogacy dads and surrogates (sponsored by Surro Connections)

Panelists include:






18:45-19:30 - Teen Panel: Surrogacy children of gay dads share their stories (Room)

This panel is unique for featuring exclusively children in gay headed families formed through surrogacy. Parents, children, prospective parents, psychologists, social workers, students, researchers and other professionals are all welcome.

19:30 - Happy Hour

International Surrogacy Center_230x80
Join us in Park Ballroom (Floor 1) 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 International Surrogacy Center).

  • drinks-happy-hour-rainbow
    Refreshments will be served.
  • Registered attendees receive a coupon for one free drink.

Free admission - open to members of the LGBT community

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Stacks Image 95396
Registration: 8:15-9:00 (Floor 1)
Stacks Image 95399
Expert Panel: Medical Aspects of Surrogacy 9:00 - 10:30 (Grand Ballroom, Floor 1)
The medical screening of future fathers, egg donors and surrogates, the creation of optimal embryos, and the IVF process.

Moderator: Said Daneshmand, MD / San Diego Fertility Center

- Guy Ringler, MD
/ California Fertility Partners
- Jerald Goldstein, MD
/ Fertility Specialists of Texas
- Ashim Kumar, MD

/ Western Fertility Institute
Stacks Image 95402
Coffee break: 10:30-10:45
Stacks Image 94828
Expert Panel: Budgeting and Insurance issues for non-USA residents: 10:45-11:30 (Building A)
A closer look at medical insurance and surrogate compensation packages. This panel addresses specific surrogacy budgeting considerations for non-USA residents.
ART Risk_220
Sponsored by Art Risk

Moderator: Ron Poole-Dayan, MHB board

- Brad Spencer
/ Same Love Surrogacy
- Diane Hinson, Esq.
/ Creative Family Connections LLC
- Virginia Hart
/ Art Risk
Stacks Image 95690
IVF and Surrogacy Benefits at Work: 11:30-11:45 (Building A)
An overview on opportunities to receive coverage of surrogacy related medical costs as part of employee benefits or state-mandated insurance.

Moderator: Ron Poole-Dayan, MHB board

- Brad Spencer
/ Same Love Surrogacy
- Diane Hinson, Esq.
/ Creative Family Connections LLC
- Virginia Hart
/ Art Risk
Stacks Image 95408
Country-specific expert panels: 11:45-13:00 (France: Grand Ballroom, floor 1, Belgium: floor 26, meeting room 1, German: floor 26, meeting room 2, Netherlands: floor 26, meeting room 3, and the rest of Europe: floor 25, meeting room 3).
This session will provide in-depth advice for prospective parents in four different groups: Belgians, Dutch, French, Germans and European in general (from the UK, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, etc.). The sessions will be facilitated by experienced surrogacy parents from the various countries. Panelists will include American and European legal experts to discuss how parental rights can be established in the USA, and specific legal arrangements needed for each country in order to bring the babies back, and to secure residency and parental rights in each country.

Legal experts
  • Attorney Wilma Eusman / The Netherlands
  • Avv. Ida Parisi / Italy
  • Attorney Clélia Richard / France
  • Attorney Fabian Gaudry / Belgium
  • Andrea Woelke / A German and an English family law solicitor based in London
  • Victoria Ferrara, Esq. / Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists
  • Stephanie Caballero / Surrogacy Law Center
  • Molly O’Brien, Esq. / International Fertility Law Group
  • Steve Snyder, Esq. / International Assisted Reproduction Center (IARC)
  • Cindy Wasser / Hope Springs Fertility Law Canada
  • Rich Vaughn, Esq. / International Fertility Law Group