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Dr. Mark Leondires & Gay Parents To Be Team Travel to Europe for Family Building Conference Blog Feature
Lisa Rosenthal

By: Lisa Rosenthal on September 21st, 2016

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Dr. Mark Leondires & Gay Parents To Be Team Travel to Europe for Family Building Conference

LGBT Family Building

Brussels Family Building ConferenceBig news for Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) and Gay Parents To Be (GPTB). Dr. Mark Leondires, Medical Director of both RMACT & GPTB explains why he and GPTB team member James Speer, M.S, LCGC are going to Europe.

Whether you are gay or straight, or prefer not to be identified either way, this is news. It's broadening the scope of how families are built, making education and information more easily accessible.

Regardless of sexual orientation, many of us dream of having children. Whether the barrier is infertility, or the necessity to use third party reproduction, we all deserve to be treated with respect and to have the most up to date information possible. - Lisa Rosenthal

Gay Parents To Be Will Participate at Men Having Babies Conference in Brussels, Belgium

Mark Leondires, M.D., and Genetic Counselor James Speer, M.S., LCGC, Will Conduct In-Person Consultations about Surrogacy

Gay Parents To Be (GPTB) at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) will be participating at the Men Having Babies (MHB) Conference in Brussels, Belgium from September 24 – 25, 2016. During the Conference, attendees will learn about surrogacy through a variety of speakers and breakout sessions, including discussions about the process, how to choose providers and current laws within Europe. While in Brussels, Mark Leondires, M.D., and Jamie Speer, M.S., both of GPTB at RMACT, will be available for free consultations to discuss surrogacy with members of the LGBTQ community and others based in Europe on September 23 – 25. 

“Under the best of circumstances, surrogacy can be overwhelming for patients because there are so many questions and challenges to consider,” says Dr. Mark Leondires, who is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist at RMACT and has two children with his husband. “This is especially true in Europe, where gay men face serious cultural, legal and financial hurdles. We want to bring hope and answers to anyone considering surrogacy.” 

What: Consultations and Conference about Surrogacy and Family Building

Who: Biological Parenting Options for European Gay Men and Couples Interested in Surrogacy

When: September 23 – 25, 2016

Where: Hilton Brussels Grand Place
Carrefour De L'europe 3, Brussels, 1000, Belgium

RSVP required for consultation: http://www.gayparentstobe.com/Brussels/

Dr. Leondires, Medical Director of GPTB at RMACT, married his husband in 2011 and has two sons through surrogacy. The combination of his professional and personal experience with surrogacy gives him a unique perspective when working with patients. Dr. Leondires has earned numerous accolades, including Castle Connelly “Top Doctor” for his work in the field of reproductive endocrinology.

James Speer, formerly of CT Fertility, is a certified genetic counselor with over 10 years of experience of working with fertility patients and donors (sperm and oocyte) for third-party reproduction. As a genetic counselor, Speer’s role is to obtain detailed health and family histories, identify conditions with genetic components and risk factors, discuss inheritance patterns, and provide information regarding genetic testing options. It is important to understand the genetics of the donor as well as the intended parents to fully understand any inheritance risk factors.

“Representatives of LGBT associations from across Europe will be at the conference to discuss the currently limited fatherhood options gay Europeans have, and to join MHB’s call for wider access to ethical and effective surrogacy options,” said Ron Poole-Dayan, Executive Director at MHB. “The vision we will present is based on a new Framework for Ethical Surrogacy, which was developed with the assistance of an advisory committee comprised of surrogate mothers, and has already been endorsed by several major LGBT organizations in the USA and Europe.”

About Gay Parents To Be (GPTB) at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT)

GPTB is an informational resource and link to gay parenting services for the LGBT community. Through its partnership with RMACT, GPTB provides full service care by working with an established professional network, including gestational carrier (surrogate), egg donor and sperm donor agencies to help LGBT persons build families.

GPTB patients benefit from the experience and services of RMACT, which specializes in the treatment of infertility, including assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS). RMACT, Fairfield County’s largest fertility clinic and egg donation center, is one of 11 leading In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) centers nationwide chosen by In Vitro Sciences to participate in its Centers of Excellence program. RMACT has offices in Norwalk, Danbury, Stamford and Trumbull, and affiliate New York fertility clinics serving Putnam and Dutchess counties.

About Men Having Babies (MHB)

With over 4,500 future and current gay parents worldwide, the international nonprofit Men Having Babies (MHB) is dedicated to providing its members with educational and financial support. Each year over a thousand attendees benefit from unbiased guidance and access to a wide range of relevant service providers at its monthly workshops and conferences in NY, Chicago, Brussels, San Francisco, Dallas and Tel Aviv. The organization’s Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) annually provides dozens of couples with over a million dollars worth of cash grants, discounts and free services donated by over fifty leading service providers. Collaborating with an advisory committee made of surrogates, MHB developed a framework for Ethical Surrogacy that has received endorsements from several LGBT parenting organizations worldwide. In addition, MHB offers extensive online resources, a directory with ratings and reviews of agencies and clinics, a Surrogacy Speakers Bureau, and a vibrant online community forum.

About Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.

Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.

Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.

Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.