Elizabeth is a board-certified specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility that joined Oregon Reproductive Medicine in 2009. Dr. Barbieri has extensive expertise in the field of in vitro fertilization. She is particularly interested in genetic etiologies of infertility, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and egg freezing. As a mother of three small children, she understands her patients’ innate desire to start or complete their family when the time is right for them. “…Having met my husband later in life and knowing the pressures and challenges of trying to get pregnant at that time, it makes me appreciate even more what my patients are willing to go through to achieve the same goal… the joy of parenthood.”
Sr. Associate Attorney & Director, Creative Family Connections, USA
Sr. Associate Attorney & Director, Creative Family Connections, USA
Jen serves as Creative Family Connections’ Senior Associate Attorney. She joined CFC in the fall of 2010, after completing a clerkship with the Prince George’s County Circuit Court. She is a 2009 graduate of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan.
Jen received her BA from the University of Maryland, where she was a psychology major. In her role as Associate Attorney, Jen drafts and negotiates contracts, assists with court filings and petitions, represents our clients in court, and provides ongoing legal research.
Reproductive specialist, Californian Fertility Partners, USA
Dr Guy Ringler
Reproductive specialist, Californian Fertility Partners, USA
Dr. Guy Ringler is a board certified reproductive endocrinologist with California Fertility Partners in Los Angeles. In clinical practice for over twenty years, Dr. Ringler has developed a large and diverse practice that attracts patients from around the world seeking the finest care in reproductive medicine. Dr. Ringler is internationally known for his work in IVF, gestational surrogacy, and gay family building, and his success and patient satisfaction rates are among the highest obtainable. He was honored with a family building award from the American Fertility Association, has been selected as one of the Best Doctors in America, and has been named one of LA’s “Super Doctors” by Los Angeles Magazine.
Fertility Specialist, San Diego Fertility Center. USA
Dr Said Daneshmand
Fertility Specialist, San Diego Fertility Center. USA
Dr. Said Daneshmand is an internationally recognized fertility specialist with extensive experience in providing third-party reproductive services with San Diego Fertility Center. An internationally recognized IVF clinic specializing in Third Party Reproduction. Dr D specializes in complex IVF cases and his research has included work on endometrial receptivity as a way to maximize the probability of success in IVF. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in egg donation and surrogacy and is one of the main providers of third party care in the United States, with patients travelling from more than 35 countries in 2015.
Senior Policy Manager, Assisted Conception & Embryology, Dept Health
Senior Policy Manager, Assisted Conception & Embryology, Dept Health
Steve Pugh is a `career’ civil servant and has spent over 20 years in the Department of Health and it’s Arms-Length Bodies, in a variety of policy development roles. Key achievements include: project oversight of the establishment of the first bowel cancer screening pilot sites; the introduction of the universal infant hearing screening programme, and; the introduction of regulations to allow mitochondrial donation. Steve has worked in assisted conception policy for nearly 8 years and is currently focussed on the surrogacy legislation reform programme.
Colin has specialised in family law since qualifying as a solicitor in 2011. In 2014, Colin received a “Rising Star under 40 in the Legal Profession” award from the LGBT Bar Association and Interlaw Diversity Forum, in recognition of outstanding legal professionals under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves in their field and demonstrated a profound commitment to LGBT equality. Colin is a frequent speaker at conferences both within the UK and internationally on surrogacy law and other areas of family law. He has authored a number of articles in the media and in legal journals and has given interviews to the media, including CNN. He is a member of the P3 Network and a Founding Member of the UK LGBT Family Law Institute. He is an Associate Member of the American Bar Association and the only lawyer from Europe on its Assisted Reproductive Technology Executive Council.
Nir lives in Toronto, Canada with his partner. 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 for CReATe international Ip’s that will help and support their whole surrogacy journey. Nir and his husband are currently going through the process of surrogacy in Canada themselves and love to share their story.
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Sergey joins us from St Petersberg, Russia, having been involved as an entrepreneur in Russia’s hospital & health care industry for many years. His agency Nemama has egg donor programs, gamete shipping, egg freezing and surrogacy. They have successfully overseen 45 surrogacy arrangements and over 100 egg donor IVF cycles. Skilled in Clinical Research, Sergey has a Bachelor’s Degree focused in HR Manager from Russian Academy of Public Administration.
“Dr. Rad” is the Director of Southcoast Psychological Associates, Inc. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been practicing psychology for over three decades. Her extensive background and expertise in the area of surrogacy and reproductive medicine over the past two decades has facilitated the development and implementation of this innovative program. Our goal is for all Couples and Surrogate Mothers to have the optimal experience during the surrogacy journey and especially at the birth of the Couple’s baby. This is accomplished with a combined effort between the psychological team and Building Families, Inc. staff working closely together. This seamless, synergistic relationship between the two programs has resulted in successful and happy outcomes for hundreds of Couples and Surrogate Mothers.
Having pioneered ART law since building her own donor conceived family in 2001, Natalie now heads the UK’s first and only specialist fertility law firm. She and her team acted for the parents in the first UK court ratification of an international surrogacy arrangement and subsequently in most international surrogacy cases which have shaped UK law. Her cases regularly make front page news and Natalie is a well known commentator on the BBC and in the national media.
Natalie is a passionate campaigner for non traditional families. She helped draft aspects of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and has been quoted as an expert in the Houses of Parliament many times, as well as speaking in the House of Lords. She has been named in the Independent on Sunday as one of the 100 most influential gay and lesbian people in the UK.
Kathryn is the co-owner and founder of Agency for Surrogacy Solutions and Global IVF, Inc. A parent through surrogacy herself, Kathyrn understands just how much goes into the journey. heart-wrenching, & expensive Kathyrn wished she had met others who could have advised her. What was missing was an agency that would look out equally for the best interests of the Intended Parents and the Gestational Surrogates. Agency for Surrogacy Solutions, Inc. was her response. Surrogacy and pregnancy are emotionally turbulent, and Kathryn hopes to make the experience as simple and as free of anxiety as possible for everyone involved.
Inspired by his personal struggle navigating the complexities of the surrogacy process, Guy founded Baby Bloom, an international surrogacy facilitator whose sights are set firmly on educating, assisting and empowering all prospective parents along their route to parenthood. Guy couples his medical background (a BA in Medical Sciences and an MA in Psychology and Medical Sciences) with a long-standing commitment to promoting and protecting the human rights of individuals and communities.
Sarah is Director of the Progress Educational Trust , Commissioning Editor of its flagship publication BioNews and Co-Chair of the campaigning organisation Fertility Fairness. She is also a Member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority‘s National Donation Strategy Group, the National Gamete Donation Trust’s Advisory Council and the Association of Fertility Patient Organisations. She represents PET at conferences and in the broadcast media both nationally and internationally as well as in national newspapers, and in biomedical publications aimed at the public and at specialists. Together with Sandy Starr, she organises PET’s public events.
Sarah chaired the steering group of clinicians, scientists, patient support groups and medical research charities which fed into policy for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. She has also been a member of the Education, Engagement and Training Working Group of the UK Government‘s Human Genomics Strategy Group, and she has advised on research projects including Assessing Child Welfare under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act: The New Law and Transnational Reproduction: An Exploratory Study of UK Residents Who Travel Abroad for Fertility Treatment.
Erika co-founded Pride Angel, one of the leading parenting connection websites for single, gay and infertile couples wishing to become parents. As a scientist with personal experience of raising her daughter conceived using a known donor within a same-sex family, Erika is passionate about providing people with unbiased advice about their fertility options. Whether it be finding or becoming a known sperm or egg donor, she believes that openness within donor conceived families, benefits all involved and ultimately the future children.
Jane lives in Bristol and joined Surrogacy UK back in 2005. A highly experienced surrogate, she has four children of her own and has undertaken four surrogacy journeys. Jane’s first surrogate journey used her own eggs and nine attempts at insemination over nine months before a baby boy was successfully conceived and born to a straight couple in London in February 2008. Determined to keep helping, her second surrobabe was a girl born to another straight couple from the New Forest in June 2010, conceived on the first attempt through traditional surrogacy. Jane went on to carry a sibling for this family, and birthed in September 2012. Her last surrogacy journey resulted a little boy born in October 2014 for a couple in Nottinghamshire.
Sam is dad to two girls Zoe & Ruby via surrogacy and has become one of the globe’s foremost commentators and researchers on surrogacy trends. He convenes conferences and seminars for intended parents in Ireland, UK, Australia and Scandinavia. Sam consults with singles and couples from around the globe to assist them to plan safe and reliable routes to building families through surrogacy. He has behind-the-scenes knowledge of providers in the US, Ukraine, Greece Georgia and Australia, as well as years of experience with South-east Asian surrogacy. He has seen the best and worst that surrogacy can deliver. He continues to promote best practice through conferences and online resources. He runs a healthcare research consultancy and is the author of three books.
Molly O’Brien has worked in the field of Assisted Reproduction since 2005. In that time, she worked for an Egg Donation Agency and a Surrogacy Agency where she became familiar with all aspects of In-Vitro Fertilization and Egg Donation, including the financial aspects of surrogacy. Since becoming an attorney in 2011, she has gained extensive experience in drafting and negotiating Surrogacy Contracts, Egg Donation and Sperm Donation Contracts, and Embryo Donation Contracts on behalf of her clients throughout the world. Ms. O’Brien has also appeared before many local Judges to help both domestic and international couples finalize their parental rights, and has extensive experience in obtaining all documents necessary for her couples to return to their home country.
Sandra is a qualified Counsellor and has been practising in reproductive health for over ten years in both private and NHS clinics. She has varied work experience in addiction, mental health, bereavement. Her practice is based on the Person Centred Approach, which offers confidential, empathic, congruent and non-judgemental support to clients. Sandra is an Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling MBACP (Accred) and is the Chief Executive of the National Fertility Society and abides by their code of ethics. She is dedicated to continuing her professional development by attending training courses, reading current literature and has regular supervision.
Jen is the Director of Case Management for Worldwide, and has a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Along with Vicki, Jen is the first touch point for intended parents, providing a wealth of information about the matching process, the screening of surrogates, insurance matters, and specific details regarding the surrogacy journey. Jen provides ongoing support and case management to intended parents, and supervises other case managers who assist our intended parents.
In addition, Jen conducts social work assessments and interviews with potential surrogates, and assists intended parents with the coordination of services. Jen is highly dedicated and enthusiastic about making a lasting difference in people’s lives throughout their surrogacy journey.
Helen has worked in fertility, donation and surrogacy for a decade and has extensive contacts with agencies, medics and lawyers in the UK and internationally. She is director of Brilliant Beginnings, a leading UK based surrogacy and egg donation agency. She is one of the few international members of the American Bar Association’s Assisted Reproduction and Technology Committee. Helen has long experience managing professional services for families created through ART and supporting campaigning and policy work on surrogacy and donation.
Sarah joined Surrogacy UK over 12 years ago, as a potential surrogate who believed in lasting relationships with those she carried for. She gave birth to her first surrogate baby in 2004, her second in 2005 and after completing her own family, returned to give birth to her third surrogate baby in 2013. She can count her three sets of IPs as true friends, andher children see them as special Aunts and Uncles. Sarah has volunteered with Surrogacy UK for many years and joined the Board of Trustees in 2013.
Michelle has been a member of Surrogacy UK for 4 years. She is a wife and mum to her own 2 children and a proud surrogate to twin girls born in March 2015 for a heterosexual couple. She is currently pregnant with a boy due in December to help create another family via SUK’s friendship-based model
Lisa is 33 years old and started surrogacy in 2013. She is a single mum to three children and is very happy with the size of her family. Still, she wanted to use her womb for others given her pregnancies and births had always been straight forward. Lisa choose straight (traditional) surrogacy as she viewed her eggs as another thing she was wasting each month so why not give them to a couple who needed them? Successful after each first attempt, Lisa carried identical twin boys in 2014 and a little boy in July 2017 for the same couple. She and her IPs have a real friendship and still keep in contact and visit each month. The twins call her auntie. However four months after her last journey Lisa was diagnosed with PostNatal Depression, which has been hard for her family to fully understand as it has been months since having the baby. Lisa will discuss the feelings of uselessness and loneliness which hit her after he last journey and what she would have done differently
Kirsty is a legal academic with University of Kent Law School. Her research interests lie primarily in the area of the regulation of human reproduction and genetic technologies, particularly where these overlap with issues in Family Law; and the law of obligations, in particular those obligations based on ‘relationship’ and/or imbalances of power. Kirsty played an integral role in TheSurrogacy UK Working Group on Surrogacy Law Reform and the resulting report.
Cathy is surrogate Tricia Hunt’s wife. They have been together 8 years, have 4 children together and run their own business. Cathy has been an amazing support during Tricia’s surrogacy journeys and will talk about being the partner of a UK surrogate
Carol has been facilitating surrogacy arrangements since 1991. She is the first contact for the Intended Parents when they begin their journey into the Surrogacy Process. Carol is involved in and supervises every surrogacy case. In her many years of practice, Carol has established long standing relationships with reproductive endocrinologists, psychologists and attorneys whom are leaders in the field of third party reproduction. Her association with these and other professionals has assisted her in offering a comprehensive surrogacy program as well as receiving up-to-date information on any changes in the industry that could affect Intended Parents and their Surrogate Mother. Carol was a Surrogate Mom herself, delivering a baby girl in July 1993.
Paula graduated from the University of California in 1978, and passed the California Bar that same year. Eventually, she went into private practice with her husband and her first case was an independent adoption. That experience became the initial step in what has become a long and storied journey. Paula was part of a small group of legal practitioners who helped merge bold new ideas in Family Law with innovative medical technologies in infertility. Today those efforts have become the cornerstone of a huge medical-legal industry in California that attracts people from all over the world in need of surrogacy services and/or egg donation, sperm donation and embryo donation. Paula has specialized in the area of Reproductive Law for over twenty-five years and has worked with some of the best doctors, medical clinics, and agencies in the state of California. Paula has worked successfully with all types of prospective parents and is experienced in the myriad laws necessary to establish parentage. Paula has hundreds of happy clients who, with her help, have achieved their life-long dream of becoming parents.
Alec & his partner David are London-based dads who created a family through egg donation and surrogacy in the USA. They worked with Oregon Reproductive Medicine and NorthWest Surrogacy Center in Portland, Oregon. Alec will share their journey and a ton of tips to provide insight into the US surrogacy process for foreigners
Due to ovarian cancer, Julie was not able to use her own eggs or carry a child. She joined Surrogacy UK with her hubby in 2011. Although Julie was on a wait list at Manchester Care for donor eggs, another SUK surrogate offered to donate eggs. Their first egg collection was successful, leading to the birth of a boy via surrogacy in 2014. However none of the remaining embryos survived so their same egg donor did a second egg collection. Their second son was born just before Christmas 2017 with the help of a second surrogate.
Rosa is a Medical Doctor trained in Italy and the U.K. and also a qualified Nutritionist (UK), a Holistic Fertility Consultant and Coordinator of EmbryoClinic’s surrogacy programme.Rosa has many years of experience at Senior Level in managing International patients seeking cross-border Fertility Care and Surrogacy. She is Italian and speaks fluently English, Italian and Greek and has good knowledge of Spanish and French.
Gina is an independent Gestational surrogate living in the South East (Kent) married to Ian with 3 children, 20,15 and 10. She carried a baby girl for her IPs born July ’16 and they are intending to start a sibling journey later this year. Gina works in precision engineering and loves reading, ballet and painting. She is an active member of her church and they and family and friends provide great support. Gina has found the surrogacy process very straightforward in the U.K. She is looking forward to sharing her experiences.
Kate is the moderator of a popular surrogacy forum called Hope where becoming a parent begins. She is married to Rebecca who have five children between them you youngest been carried by Rebecca conceived using a known sperm donor. Kate is a traditional surrogate ( using own eggs ) and carried a girl in March 2013 for a same sex couple , followed by another girl in July 2016 for a Nigerian / British couple and is now matched with another same sex couple and trying to conceive.
David and his partner Dennis are an international same sex couple living in London. Their first daughter was born via traditional surrogacy in Nov 2015 in the UK after they were burnt by a shonky operator in Mexico. The couple have also recently become dads to a boy which their same surrogate Donna carried as a ‘sibling’ project. They experienced much heartache along the way, losing their twin Ben at the age of 4 weeks.
Hannah (38) and James (42) live in England have been together for three years. Hannah was born with MRKH, which means she was born with no womb, therefore she knew from the age of 17 that if she wanted to have a family then adoption or surrogacy were her only options. They chose to proceed with surrogacy and explored agencies in the UK, US and Canada. They felt the Canadian option suited them best and was introduced to a gestational surrogate in August 2016 by Canadian Fertility Consultants and with the help of CReATe clinic they now have a son, Zachary, born in August 2017. They’re still pinching themselves that their dreams of becoming parents has become a reality
Tracy Akoun, an assistant manager in a care home, suffered repeated miscarriages, before having a bad experience with a surrogate con woman, who tricked them out of 400 pounds. Then she and her Nigerian partner Pete decided to find a surrogate via UK social media. They were lucky enough to match with not one but two UK host surrogates – Kate & Tricia – concurrently. With 200+ miles separating all of them, Pete travelled up and down the country, often driving through the night to provide his sperm if Kate and Tricia ovulated close together. Both women fell pregnant – using syringes and a Mooncup to carry the sperm – in Autumn 2015.
“We were absolutely ecstatic” Tracy recalled. “I don’t think Pete took it on board at all. I think he was worried that something might go wrong.” Tracy will share their extra-ordinary journey which led to the birth of two girls just a month apart, including how she found the matching process and their current relationships with their surrogates.
Tricia is an independent surrogate who carried a baby girl born in 2016 via traditional surrogacy. She is matched again this time as a gestational surrogate with a gay couple in London, one of whom is French. She is now 22 weeks pregnant for this couple! Tricia and her wife Cathy have four children of their own – two boys aged 14 & 7 (Trish carried) & twin girls aged 3 (Cathy carried) with the help of IVF and a sperm donor. Tricia is an administrator of the HOPE surrogacy forum.
Caz is a Trustee and surrogate with Surrogacy UK. She joined the organisation in 2013, and has given birth to two little girls for two couples (both via ‘straight/traditional’ surrogacy). She lives in Chester, and has a 13 year old daughter of her own called Aimee. Caz is currently trying to conceive (straight again) for a third couple who she also met through Surrogacy UK.
Alex is 16 yrs old and studying A Levels in preparation for going into Medicine, his interests are Taekwondo, Rugby and playing the guitar. He is working towards his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and volunteers at his local Doctors Surgery to support his Uni application. He has been very supportive of his mum’s surrogacy journey and has a good relationship with both Intended Parents especially Mark with whom he shares a love of sport.
Ian is 43 and is an Insurance Account Executive working in the South East/London area. He enjoys Football and teaches Taekwondo in his spare time. He also volunteers at the Local Church and has been a great support during the Surrogacy process.
Linder is 36, married with a daughter and step-daughter and from North East England. Her surrogacy journey started in Summer 2015 when she was a Gestational surrogate for her friends. After two transfers, Linder became pregnant and gave birth in March 2017 to a beautiful little girl. Linder is now helping a gay couple as a Traditional surrogate. She was fortunate to conceive on 1st round of inseminations and is now pregnant with their baby, due in September 2018.