MHB 2020 Parenting options for European Gay Men Virtual Conference & Expo

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November 7-8, 2020


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Virginia Hart

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.

Said T. Daneshmand, MD, FACOG.

Dr. Daneshmand has experience in complex IVF cases, and Egg Donor/Surrogacy care. Dr. Daneshmand completed his fellowship and residency at UCLA. He is specialty board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and sub-specialty board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Eileen Pike Medical School Valedictorian Award, the PCRS Fellowship and Practicing Physician Research Award, and the ASRM STAR AWARD. He has served as the President of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society (Iota Chapter) and is a member of the DeCherney Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). Dr. Daneshmand speaks French, Spanish and Farsi. Intended parents have travelled from more than 40 countries in 2019 alone to seek his help in their journey to parenthood.  He was the Principal Investigator in the Multi-Center Global research trial of non-invasive PGT-A, the latest technique for assessing embryonic genetic health without the need for embryo biopsy.

Brad Spencer 

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

Diane Hinson, Esq. 

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.

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.

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 IARC Surrogacy a full-service surrogacy agency, located in the U.S. in Minnesota. Mr. Snyder is an active leader in numerous professional organizations, including RESOLVE, 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.

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.

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.

Anthony M. Brown, Esq., board chairman 2013-2019

Anthony is the founder of Time For Families Law, PLLC and currently is a senior associate at the law firm of Chianese and Reilly Law,P.C., heading their family and estates law division serving married and unmarried individuals, couples and families. Anthony was the Executive Director of The Wedding Party and was been a Board member since its inception in 1999.  Anthony has worked as a law guardian at The Children’s Law Center, representing the legal needs of children in Brooklyn Family Court. Anthony also worked as a legal intern for Lambda Legal in the summer of 2002. Anthony was appointed as a board member and Secretary of the board of Men Having Babies upon its incorporation in July 2012 and served as Board Chairman from 2013 to 2019.

Scott Buckley

Scott Buckley is the Vice President of Client Services at Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, LLC. He received his bachelors at Boston College and his law degree from Boston College Law School. In his current role as the Vice President of Client Services, Scott oversees the Circle team, as well as serving clients. He enjoys meeting with Intended Parents, whether in Boston, on Skype, or in their hometowns throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. Scott has moderated and presented on panels focused on different aspects of surrogacy and egg donation; including legal, budgeting and insurance across the world. He has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers each year since 2012.

Stephanie Caballero, Esq.

Stephanie M. Caballero, Esq. and her firm, The Surrogacy Law Center, PLC, have represented thousands of clients from all over the world in Surrogacy, Egg, Sperm, and Embryo Donation arrangements. They specialize exclusively in Family Formation and Reproductive Law and have appeared on various programs and in print media including the Today Show, Access Hollywood, HuffPost Live, ABC News, Fox San Diego, BBC Mundo, The Daily Beast, In Touch, The Bakersfield Californian, The Examiner, Creating a Family, NPR, The LA Times, The Union Tribune and the L.A. Daily Journal. Stephanie had her own infertility journey. After eight years of treatments including over 10 artificial insemination procedures, three surgeries, three miscarriages, and 13 IVF procedures, she finally realized her dream of having children when a surrogate carried her twins. Stephanie is a member of the American Bar Association, San Diego Bar Association, and American Society of Reproductive Medicine, serving on the board of its Legal Professional Group. Stephanie also serves on the boards of Parents Via Egg Donation and Fertile Action.

Maître Catherine Clavin

Me Catherine CLAVIN est avocate au barreau de Marseille depuis plus d’une 20 aine d’années et exerce principalement en droit de la Famille et en droit du travail. Elle a co-fondé l’AARPI Clavin-Richard avec Me Clelia RICHARD, avocate au barreau de Paris, cabinet d’avocats dont l’objectif affiché est de conseiller les particuliers et défendre les intérêts des familles formées grâce aux techniques de médecine reproductive. Membre de la Commission Juridique de l’Association des Parents et futurs parents Gay et Lesbiens (APGL) depuis plusieurs années, Catherine CLAVIN a également co-fondé l’Association Française des Avocats LGBT+ (AFALGBT+) dont elle est aujourd’hui la secrétaire.

Sara R. Cohen, LLB

Sara Cohen is a fertility law lawyer at Fertility Law Canada in Toronto, with clients throughout Canada and beyond.  She regularly acts for intended parents, surrogates, donors, cryobanks, hospitals, distributors and fertility clinics on a wide range of fertility law issues. Sara was recently named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada.  She is on the board of directors of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, sits on the ethics committee of one of Canada’s pre-eminent clinics, and is the president of Fertility Matters Canada. She is also an adjunct professor of reproductive law at Osgoode Hall Law School, a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA), and on the executive of the American Bar Association’s Family Law Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Sara is a frequent guest speaker in Canada and abroad. She loves what she does, cares about her clients, and it shows.

Marjorie E. Dixon, MD, FRCSC, FACOG, REI

Dr. Dixon founded Anova Fertility & Reproductive Health with the vision of a reproductive medicine centre where evidence-based medical care could be balanced with compassion for any person who requires assistance to create their families. With over 18 years of reproductive health experience, Dr. Dixon has taken the approach of educating to empower – with both patients and peers. In addition to presenting at international conferences, she is involved in physician/community outreach, offering lectures and information sessions to facilitate patients' management through the often challenging process of dealing with infertility. To further public education, Dr. Dixon was involved in developing a documentary for the Discovery Channel, looking at the human reproductive system. She is a staunch advocate for women's health and the right to a family for the LGBTQ community. In 2018 she won the RBC Canadian Women of Influence Momentum Award and, in 2017, was recognized as the YMCA Woman of Distinction.  In 2020/2021, Dr. Dixon is proud to be a Perspectives Columnist for the organization Women of Influence.

Wilma Eusman

Wilma Eusman graduated in Civil Law and in International Law in 1980. She became a Clerk at the District Court of Amsterdam in the Family Division and in the Division of the Court’s President. She was sworn in as a lawyer in 1987 and has been a partner at Advocatenkantoor De Binnenstad in Amsterdam since then. In the last two decades she became specialized in legal aspects concerning children born in non-traditional families, ie children of lesbian and gay couples and children born via ART. She also speaks at conferences and meetings regarding this topic, in The Netherlands as well as abroad. She is a member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Family Law, Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee, and a member of the Euro LTBG Family Law Institute. From 2014 to 2016 she was a member of the Government Committee on the Reassessment of Parenthood. This Commission advised the Dutch Government on new regulations regarding multiple parenthood, custody and surrogacy.

Marc Faber

Marc and his boyfriend have 5-year-old twins and a 2-year-old boy with the help of two surrogate moms and an egg donor from the USA. For 6 years he is a board member at the Dutch foundation “Meer dan Gewenst”. This non-profit organization is active in Holland for LGBT families and intended mothers and fathers. They are committed to help lesbians, gay men and bisexuals who have chosen to have children within their relationship. At the informational meetings they welcome almost 1000 intended parents a year. Meer dan Gewenst also closely follows developments concerning gay/lesbian parenthood in Holland. By means of contacts with Dutch politicians they try to put this topic on the agenda. For instance, the legal situation of families with multiple parents and surrogacy are their priorities at this moment. Marc started the first male meetings for gays who intend to have kids and he was the driving force in the first family boat at the Amsterdam Canal Pride this year. Marc and his surrogate mom were also one of the speakers at the main program at the first MHB conference in 2015.

Jean-Raphaël Hureau

Jean-Raphaël is the author of a multidisciplinary book about surrogacy oriented to the general public: GPA, l’essentiel pour comprendre, devoted to different perspectives of experts in their fields and the second GPA pour tous, offers a surrogacy glossary describing more than 230 related terms. Jean-Raphaël is a parent through surrogacy, administrator of the French Union Family Affairs, engineer, civil protection expert, and activist who has been involved in the voluntary sector for nearly 20 years, before becoming a self-taught specialist in the field of surrogacy. He is a member of the French Association of Gay and Lesbian Parents and Future Parents (APGL), where he acts as the surrogacy referent, coordinator of French antennas.

Amanda Hurliman, MD

Dr. Hurliman is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist and is dedicated to helping build LGBTQ+ families. She joined ORM Fertility in 2013 and helps build LGBTQ 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. She completed her education and medical training at Oregon Health and Science University and University of Vermont. Along with the entire team she is committed to helping every patient at ORM Fertility achieve their dream of a healthy baby on their first attempt.

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.

Jens Landwehr

Jens and his husband are a German couple who had their daughter and son in two different surrogacy journeys in the USA. The couple are among the first gay German couples to have had children from surrogacy, and were featured in a documentary by ARD, Germany’s public broadcasting corporation. Jens is also the founder and Chairman of VFLLD, an association in Germany to support legalization of surrogacy through education, events and family support. Furthermore, he talks about the day to day challenges of same sex families with surrogacy kids in his private blog www.greta-henri.family and his YouTube Channel.


MHB speakers


Jenny Congiardo, Director of Operations

Jenny joined MHB in October 2017 and held several roles in the organization before being appointed as Director of Operations. She brings her many years of non-profit and corporate communications experience to help improve MHB’s efficiency and effectiveness, while drawing on her experience in the education field to help make every person’s experience with MHB rewarding and pleasant. Jenny received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Florida, and she enjoys living with her husband and two children among the happy faces in sunny Florida.

Sara Miller, Director of Business Development

Sara joined the Men Having Babies team in June of 2020 as the Director of Business Development. Her primary focus is to expand and strengthen strategic partnerships with fellow third party reproductive professionals, to allow continued growth and education of the Men Having Babies' mission. Sara has a Bachelor's Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, and completed two years of an MD program at The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine before opting to discontinue her medical studies to spend more time with her growing family. Sara spent 10 years doing consulting work for a leading biotech company, before working as a Case Manager followed by Program Director and COO for a surrogate and egg donation agency. Additionally, Sara is a one-time surrogate, delivering in 2019 for a same-sex couple in Spain.

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 Director

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.


Breakout sessions


Kristen Hanson 

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.

Christene Anthony

As an intended parent case manager for the Center for Surrogate Parenting, Christene Anthony provides information and support to intended parents throughout the surrogacy process, from exploring options to matching with a surrogate, taking care of all financial and legal aspects, and participating in the pregnancy and birth. Christene has focused her career on helping others, first in the corporate sector and then as an independent counselor assisting intended parents and surrogates in the unique relationship aspects of surrogacy. Intended parents find her experience extremely valuable while navigating surrogacy with Christene as a case manager. Christene holds a Master of Arts degree in marriage and family therapy, and has also worked as an elementary school and private practice counselor and in corporate external affairs, specializing in philanthropy and large community volunteer projects. She has taught English as a second language to adults from all over the world, learning about different cultures and forming many international friendships.

Ashley Cantrell

Ashley is a mother to two boys and joined the surrogacy world in 2013. She completed her first journey as a gestational surrogate for a same sex couple in January 2019, giving birth to a perfect little boy. She is now in the process of a sibling journey. She lives in Houston, TX and is the Surrogate Program Manager at Surro Connections. She recruits and filters all surrogate applications and she is also a caring surrogate coordinator. Her passion and drive to support surrogates on their journeys is what will make you feel that your surrogate is being well taken care of.

Petra Hollosi

Petra has nearly a decade of increasingly senior expertise in the health industry of which half has been spent in the infertility sector. With years of experience as an IVF nurse and EMR specialist,  Petra joined Extraordinary Conceptions as the Senior Client Relations where she is focusing on developing the Canadian and International Egg Donation and Surrogacy Programs and their growth, nationally and globally. As part of her role, Petra builds and maintains relationships with clinics assisting intended parents, egg donors, and surrogates throughout their journey. Inherent to her responsibilities, is reinforcing and ensuring best results through the sourcing of top tier clinics to patients. Petra also ensures smooth process towards successful pregnancies for Intended Parents. Petra is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community and her favourite part of her role is providing accessibility to fertility services for patients all over the world.

Michael Serwa

Michael is the Intended Parent Coordinator at Surro Connections and is a father of three through surrogacy and egg donation. In 2017, he and his husband welcomed their son, Noah, and in 2019 they welcomed their surprise twins, Leah and Maya. Michael spent eight years working for a big corporation, but when his son was born, he felt the need to give back to the surrogacy community and help other families with their dreams of becoming parents. In 2019, Michael and his husband also donated their remaining embryos to a same-sex couple living in California who are now expecting a little boy. Although the agency is located in Oregon (USA), Michael is based out of Barcelona,Spain, and speaks English, French, and Spanish. His empathy, passion, and personal experience with surrogacy is what will make you feel you are being taken care of during your journey.