The organization, now celebrating its 10th year anniversary, has already provided guidance and financial assistance to thousands of prospective gay fathers across the globe. The Midwest Advocacy & Research Forum will focus on ethical surrogacy practices and the organization’s work to eliminate discriminatory legal and financial barriers faced by prospective LGBTQ parents. The Forum is provided as part of the expanded format annual MHB Midwest Surrogacy Conference in Chicago, October 14-15, 2022.
CHICAGO, Oct. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Known for its unbiased, comprehensive conferences for gay men, the international nonprofit organization Men Having Babies (MHB) returns to Chicago in cooperation with The Center on Halsted, along with over 20 reputable gay-friendly agencies, clinics, law firms, and other surrogacy providers from the Midwest and beyond. About 150 gay men from 20 states will gather (in-person!) to learn how they can have children through IVF and surrogacy.
This year there is a major addition to the conference: the organization’s highly popular Advocacy and Research Forum will be offered in Chicago for the first time. This is a community-wide gathering to discuss advocacy initiatives that are related to same-sex parenting, and the sharing of best practices and recent research findings among advocates worldwide. These community gatherings that already occur annually in San Francisco, New York and Europe for several years now, often result in new collaborative advocacy and research initiatives and clearer understandings of the complex social, medical, legal, and political aspects of parenting through surrogacy and by LGBTQ parents.
This advocacy work is part of MHB’s primary goal to broaden access to affordable parenting options for gay men. Beyond the Forum, several conference sessions will be dedicated to ways in which prospective parents can budget smartly, take advantage of financial assistance and discounts for MHB members, and discover opportunities to receive coverage of surrogacy related medical costs as part of their employee benefits.
Other additions to the annual conference agenda include a session on the effect of the new limits on abortion care on surrogacy, and a special support-group-style session for prospective single gay dads.
Last year, Illinois became the first U.S. state to make surrogacy considerably more affordable for same-sex couples and singles with its amendment to the state’s definition of ‘infertility,’ which resulted in inclusion of same-sex couples in insurance coverage for a part of the process. But there’s still work to be done – both in the state and nation-wide – to achieve full Fertility Equality.
Given the prevailing public health conditions, and its immersive conference format, MHB’s conferences currently include on-site rapid COVID-19 testing to all attendees, and safe catering protocols.
Dr. Angeline Beltsos, CEO Clinical and Medical Director at Kindbody, a Platinum Sponsor at the conference, said, “Illinois and Kindbody are both leading the march for powerful fertility insurance coverage and language expansion. We are proud that Illinois recently redefined ‘infertility’ to include ‘a person’s inability to reproduce either as a single individual or with a partner without medical intervention,’ opening the door to fertility benefits to gay men. At Kindbody with our own doctors and employer benefits, we are thrilled to be here with MHB to democratize fertility care for all and support each person build the dream of family.”
Proceeds from the conference’s sponsorship fees benefit MHB’s Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP), which provides dozens of prospective parents with over a million dollars’ worth of cash grants, discounts and free services on an annual basis, from over 130 leading service providers.
The majority of the 21 exhibitors at the MHB Midwest conference are supporters of GPAP, as well as the organization’s Membership Benefits Program, including Platinum sponsors Kindbody and IARC Surrogacy, and additional conference sponsors: IVF Michigan and Ohio, San Diego Fertility Center, Same Love Surrogacy, Circle Surrogacy, Pinnacle Fertility / California Fertility Partners, Fertility Specialists of Texas, Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists, and Golden Surrogacy, The Law Office of Ryan Ferrante, Art Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions, Family Choice Surrogacy, Desai and Miller, and Gift of Life Surrogacy.
[Registration for the Midwest Men Having Babies Surrogacy Conference & Gay Parenting Expo and more information is now available at menhavingbabies.org/chicago.
Full event information:
Men Having Babies 2022 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo
October 14, 2022 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM and October 15, 2022, 9:00 AM- 7:00 PM
Center on Halsted, 3656 North Halsted, Chicago
See here for full COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Yan Dekel, Men Having Babies, 1111111111, [email protected]
SOURCE Men Having Babies