The 17th Annual Men Having Babies East Coast
Surrogacy Conference & Gay Parenting Expo


New York, September 18-19, 2021


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Presenters


Steven H. Snyder, Esq.

Steven H. Snyder, Esq., is the founding and principal partner of Steven H. Snyder & Associates, and he is the Director IARC Surrogacy a full-service surrogacy agency, both 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.

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.

Susanna Park, MD 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 at California Fertility Partners. 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.

Anate A. Brauer, MD, FACOG

Anate A. Brauer, M.D., FACOG, is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist.  She serves as Shady Grove Fertility- New York’s IVF Director. Dr. Brauer earned her medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine.  She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Brauer has expertise in all areas of infertility and third party reproduction including donor egg, donor sperm and gestational surrogacy. She applies the latest clinical data, state-of-the-art technology, and extensive clinical experience to optimize pregnancy rates while minimizing patient stress with her supportive and individualized approach to care. Dr. Brauer has published and presented at numerous local and national meetings on the topics of optimizing fertility treatments in patients with diminished ovarian reserve, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fertility preservation and use of gestational surrogacy. She is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology and an active member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.


Anthony Brown

Anthony Brown is a Parent Intake Consultant for Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, as well as an Attorney and the Chairman Emeritus of Men Having Babies. He graduated from Brooklyn Law School, where he served as research assistant to Nan Hunter, the founder of The Gay and Lesbian Project at the ACLU.  Anthony and his husband were the subjects of CNN's, "In America, Gary and Tony Have a Baby”, a documentary about their journey of having a child through surrogacy. He is also a member of The Family Law Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association, and the Committee for Assisted Reproduction of the American Bar Association. Anthony enjoys meeting with intended parents and sharing his personal experience with surrogacy. 

Amelia Demma, Esq.

Amelia Demma is a New York licensed attorney and founder of Law Offices of Amy Demma, exclusively providing services to those engaged in assisted family building. Amelia is actively engaged in the nation's most established infertility patient advocacy groups and professional organizations.  She is an admitted Fellow to the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Technology Attorneys, a member of the Legal Professionals Group of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, a past legal advisor to Parents Via Egg Donation and to the Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy. Amelia is currently a board member at New York Attorneys for Adoption and Assisted Family Formation. She served for many years as Vice President on the board at RESOLVE New England and in 2012 completed her tenure as President at RNE. In 2020 Amelia was the New York State Captain for RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day and will resume that role in 2021. Amy is the proud parent of 25 year-old IVF conceived twins.


Megan Hall

Megan founded Surro Connections after seeing first-hand the need for a more unique surrogacy agency for all family types. Her vision & leadership are the heart of our organization. It is her commitment and passion that truly serves as the foundation of our agency approach. It is our goal to give each party the focus and attention they deserve through this very personal process. She has both a professional and personal investment in your experience, ensuring your comfort, regardless of the services provided. Megan is passionate and eager to see your dreams of a growing family come true, and also has great appreciation for the women giving the gift of Surrogacy. Megan is the mother of 3 beautiful children, 1 born through IVF, and has been a Gestational Surrogate for three other families as well. Her experience in deeply rooted careers after graduating with her MBA in both Business Administration and Accounting, were not nearly as fulfilling as the work she does today with each individual involved in Surro Connections.

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.

Kyle Dean Massey

Kyle is the director of the surrogacy program at Elevate Egg Donors and Surrogates, 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.

Julia Ross

Julia is a Military spouse, adoptive parent, infertility survivor and proud 3x Gestational Surrogate. As Director of client care for Canadian Surrogacy Options, Julia works to support intended parents and surrogates as they embark on their journey to parenthood.

Daniel Skora, MD

Daniel A. Skora, M.D., is a physician at Fertility Specialists of Texas, and serves as medical director of third party and LGBTQ+ services. A proud member of the LGBTQ community, Dr. Skora is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.  He graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a certificate in neuroscience from Princeton University. After working as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Skora attended the University of Minnesota medical school where he received his medical degree. He completed his residency at George Washington University Hospital and his fellowship at The Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. Dr. Skora is passionate about all aspects of infertility. He is dedicated to addressing the unique needs of the whole patient and calls upon his education and experience in psychology to help each one overcome the emotional challenges of trying to conceive. Dr. Skora is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Richard Vaughn, Esq.

Richard Vaughn and his husband are parents via surrogacy and egg donation, and Rich is the founding principal of International Fertility Law Group, a law practice focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Rich Chaired the American Bar Association ART Committee from 2013-2018, developing education for ART attorneys, model legislation for governance of U.S. ART providers, and guidelines for international surrogacy, parentage and citizenship rights. He has presented at numerous legal and family-building conferences around the world, including at Cambridge University and Yale University law schools, and on television and radio shows. In addition to a published book on developing an ART law practice, he has been published in numerous professional journals around the world and in the US. Away from the office, Rich is a proud advocate for LGBTQIA equality and gay and lesbian parenting - serving on the Emeritus Board and Policy Advisory Council of the Family Equality Council and providing community service in the medical, health and wellness industries.

Jeffrey Wang, MD

Dr. Wang is the Medical Director at American Fertility Services and is board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology as well as Obstetrics and Gynecology. He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and his fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University. He was awarded the Vitals Compassionate Doctors award 4 years in a row and the Vitals Patients Choice Award 6 years in a row. He 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.


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, Director of Programming

Lisa joined the MHB team in January of 2018 as the Stage II GPAP Case Manager and has grown in her role to become the Programming Director. Lisa’s responsibilities include managing the Gay Parenting Assistance Program and Membership Benefits Program, developing and implementing content for educational programs, and working with partner organizations to help fulfill MHB’s mission. 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


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. As a leading physician in fertility care at San Diego Fertility Center, 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.

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. He is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist with extensive experience in IVF, egg donation, surrogacy and genomics. He has practiced at ORM Fertility since 2005. He and his partners at ORM Fertility have helped LGBTQ intended parents from across the world build their families. Dr. Bankowski is passionate about providing ORM Fertility'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 led to the formation of ORM’s industry-leading reproductive genomics program, as well as the integration of advanced genetic screening of all donors in ORM’s 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.

Allison Bloom, DO

Allison Bloom, DO, is experienced in the field of in vitro fertilization with a particular interest in LGBTQ+ family building. In addition to her medical training, Dr. Bloom earned a Master’s in Public Health and is an advocate for fertility awareness and education. She truly believes in teaching and empowering her patients. An avid lifelong learner herself, Dr. Bloom continually pursues educational opportunities to stay abreast of the latest advancements in the field of infertility and is an active member of many professional societies. Dr. Bloom and her wife underwent infertility treatment for over a year before successfully conceiving twin boys through IVF. Their family building experience has helped her truly understand the physical and emotional journey of her patients and shapes her empathic and holistic approach to treatment. Dr. Bloom practices at Main Line Fertility’s Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr and Havertown offices and is also available for virtual telemedicine appointments for out-of-town patients. 

Dean Hutchison

Dean has been part of the Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation family since 2004. Along with being Circle’s Vice President of Legal Services, Dean is also an Attorney and the 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. Dean has managed thousands of ART matters over the course of his career and has organized and presented on many panels – both US and International - on the legal aspects of surrogacy and egg donation. In his current role as the Vice President of Legal Services, Dean oversees Circle’s legal team, as well as serving clients. He enjoys meeting with Intended Parents, whether in Boston, on Zoom, or in their hometowns throughout the world. Dean is married with 3 beautiful children, and has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers and Boston Magazine each year since 2009.

Ashim Kumar, MD

Dr. Kumar is board certified in reproductive endocrinology, obstetrics and gynecology, and practices near Los Angeles, California at Western Fertility Institute. In recent years he has focused his efforts on those who have had difficulty conceiving and require third party reproduction (egg donation and gestational surrogacy). Obtaining the highest success rates achievable today, by combining meticulous attention to detail, a 7-day work ethic, the best support staff, and the latest technology, over half of his current patients travel from overseas which include countries such as Australia, China, Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Israel, UK, Netherlands, and India. Dr. Kumar’s fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility allowed him to work with world-renowned leaders in the field at both UCLA and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Highly regarded in the field, he has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. He serves as an ad hoc reviewer for the journal Fertility and Sterility and is a Pacific Coast Reproductive Society member.

Charlene Kuspa

Charlene is the co-founder of Carrying Hope Surrogacy. Charlene has a strong background in business and mentorship as well as law enforcement holding two different degrees. She is kind, compassionate and loves to serve others. Charlene has served as a surrogate for an international couple and later carried again for a couple in Tennessee. Before Charlene completed her own family, she endured a very traumatic loss that resulted in emergency surgery that nearly cost her her life and that left her, for a moments time, considering surrogacy for herself. She has firsthand experience and an understanding of how stressful this decision can be, and how emotionally and financially challenging this is. She is truly happy and blessed to support and help dreams come true.

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.

Angela Richardson-Mook

Between the personal experience of closed adoption and the years of the infertility roller coaster that followed, a calling to third party reproduction seemed inevitable for Alcea Co-Founder and Executive Director Angela Richardson-Mook. With a successful corporate project management background, fifteen+ years of third-party reproduction expertise, and professional connections to alternative family building nationwide, she has brought her dream of a female-owned, full-service, holistic surrogacy agency to life. As an adopted woman, a gestational carrier, an egg donor, and a mother via IVF, she has a unique outlook on the mechanics of what truly composes a family. By leveraging her knowledge as a corporate executive and as an active member of the surrogacy community, she built unique bonds with a community of people all experiencing different nuances of infertility, yet with all the same dissatisfaction with the status quo. Personal relationships with intended mothers and fathers, surrogates, donors, and agency employees, evolved into the collective creation of a decidedly different surrogacy agency strategy.

F. Nicholas Shamma, MD

Dr. F. Nicholas Shamma is a founding member of IVF Ohio Fertility Centers and the founder of Gift of Life Surrogacy Agency located in Sylvania, Ohio. Dr. Shamma is one of the leading reproductive endocrinologists and infertility specialists in Ohio and Michigan. Dr. Shamma is American Board Certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He has performed over 8,000 IVF cases and has helped several thousand couples achieve their dreams of parenthood. Dr. Shamma has over 150 publications and abstracts in the fields of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Infertility. Along with consistently delivering personalized care and compassion, he understands the emotional aspects of infertility. Throughout your unique journey, Dr. Shamma and the team at IVF Ohio is here to support you build your family.