This stage is a vibrant and informative area to learn more about LGBTQ+ family building. With fascinating presentations and insightful topics covering a vast range of options which include surrogacy in the UK, surrogacy abroad, donor matching and trends within fertility technology, adoption and fostering process and guidance and fascinating research into donor conceived families and children born to LGBTQ+ people.
*Please note spaces for seminars on this stage are limited, so please book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Andrew Spearman is one of the UK’s leading experts in surrogacy law and practice, working in the field for over 10 years on both UK and international journeys to parenthood. Andrew has an impressive history in dealing with the most complex cases but also helping IPs navigate the route smoothly.
Surrogacy law is sometime old-fashioned, but the best results still always come from the best planning. Andrew’s seminar takes you on a whistle-stop tour of the journey to legal parenthood, highlights of his experience and the common pitfalls that IPs and surrogates alike still encounter but can be avoided with care and foresight.
Sarah brings over twenty years of nursing experience to our team. Fully trained in Fertility Management, she was instrumental in setting up the Egg Sharing and Surrogacy Programmes at Herts & Essex Fertility Centre. She helps with the day-to-day running of the clinic, conducts ultrasound scans, and ensures the smooth running of the Surrogacy and Egg Donation Programmes with Caroline Cayley. Sarah has been a member of the Herts & Essex Fertility Centre nursing team since 2005.
A step by step discussion about the complicated process, timeline and different Surrogacy Journeys from finding an egg donor and surrogate to fertilisation, pregnancy and ultimately achieving the end goal of having a family.
Babies Come True (BCT) is a Concierge and Consulting services designed for International Future Parents who are entering a journey in Canada.
Working with all the agencies in Canada, we have the largest egg donation and surrogacy program in Canada, helping over 2,000 couples with their surrogacy journey.
The cost of a surrogacy journey in Canada is significantly lower than other options.
Our mission is to provide guidance and consulting throughout the journey so that intended parents can make the decision that is right for them after understanding all the options as well as provide support when challenges appear.
Building your Team Canada is not always easy without knowing how to choose so we can help you make some of the most important choices you will ever make.
With our 'private lessons' you will be ready to make your choices.
Nir’s background is in business improvement and marketing however after seeing first hand the obstacles international Intended Parents endure, he felt that his mission and passion is to bring the awareness of the Canadian surrogacy option to IP’s seeking to have a family. He has now dedicated his life to support IP’s around the world to have a smooth and straight-forward journey in Canada. He established ‘Babies Come True’, a concierge service for international IP’s that will help and support their whole surrogacy journey. Nir and his husband have recently welcomed their second baby via Canadian surrogacy and love to share their story.
Nina Barnsley is the Director of the Donor Conception Network, a charity with over 25 years’ experience supporting people considering using sperm, egg or embryo donation. Our focus is on the social and emotional implications of using donor conception, both when making decisions around treatment and, later, when raising a family. We know how important it is to get impartial, non-judgemental information and how essential it is for people to get peer-support from others in a similar situation as well as those a little further along the journey.
Parents can often feel worried or confused about whether, how and when they should explain to their children that a donor was needed to help conceive them. These fears and anxieties are not unusual and are very understandable. Parents can wonder, is it essential to tell the child? Does anyone else need to know? How do children feel about being donor conceived? In this session, Nina will share the thinking and experiences of parents who have been open and detail some of the support resources and services that are available.
A whistle-stop tour through some of the major findings of studies following up donor conceived children and those born through surrogacy. What does the research say about how donor-conceived children fare as they grow up?’
Dr Horsey is Reader in Law at the University of Kent and Senior Research Associate at the London Women’s Clinic.
Hilary Smith is the International Client Relations Consultant for Extraordinary Conceptions Surrogacy & Egg Donation Agency. Based in the UK, part of Hilary's role is to support, educate and guide intended parents from across Europe through the surrogacy and egg donation process in North America, as well as to develop and grow more accessible options internationally.
In this seminar, Hilary Smith from Extraordinary Conceptions will provide an overview of the various Surrogacy options across North America including Canada, USA and Mexico. Learn the differences in each country with regards to the Process, Legal frameworks, Costs, and Timelines.
Mr Al Chami is a fertility consultant at the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health and leads the treatment of surrogacy patients, as well as the Centre's Egg Donation programme. Mr Al Chami is an Advisory Board Member with My Surrogacy Journey and enjoys helping patients from all backgrounds realise their dream of starting a family.
The treatment options available to surrogacy patients in the UK are among the most progressive in the world. This seminar will look at the treatment pathways available to patients considering surrogacy and help answer your questions on the factors to consider before, during and after surrogacy treatment in the UK.
Antonia Canning is the Interim Service Manager at Islington Fostering Service, Islington Council with 23 years social work experience.
Walt Utz is Crisis & Conflict Manager, Chef, Housekeeper, Lifestyle Coach, Stylist, IT Support, Personal Shopper, Room Service Manager, Human Shield, Entertainments Manager, Friend, Story Teller, Listener, Financial Advisor and so much more to a teenager - AKA an experienced Foster Carer for London Borough Islington.
Fostering is about opening your heart and home to vulnerable children who are unable to live with their family. Our children come from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds and so we value and welcome carers from all backgrounds, ethnicities and sexualities. We are incredibly proud of our amazing fostering community and always in need of more caring families who want to make a difference. Join us and find out more about the rewards of fostering.
The Agora Educational Hub is a wonderfully inclusive space with specially designed content created by The Agora Fertility Clinic in Brighton. Here you’ll find real life journeys to parenthood told with authenticity and emotion, featuring special guests including Freddy McConnell and Trystan Reese from the US. Impressive educational content covering a wide range of topics such as IVF/IUI, treatment options, fertility preservation and trans parenting, solo parenting, and even choosing a sperm donor.
*Please note spaces for seminars on this stage are limited, so please book in advance to avoid disappointment.
In this session, Carole will walk you through the key steps involved in family building through sperm donation. You will learn about the most useful fertility screening tests you might want to consider before starting your treatment and your different treatment options including donor sperm insemination, donor sperm treatment using IVF and shared motherhood, where you donate your eggs to your partner. The session will also cover your options if you plan solo parenthood or fertility preservation using donor sperm.
In this session, Violetta will explain how sperm donors are assessed and screened to be compliant with the requirements of the UK regulatory body, the HFEA and how this differs outside the UK. She will take you through the process of selecting a sperm donor online, including tips on how to interpret donor sperm profiles and the pros and cons of genetic carrier screening. She will also go through what is involved if you want to use a known sperm donor. She will give you plenty of practical advice on how you can select and purchase your donor online and have your samples delivered to your clinic. The session will finish with an informative presentation by California Cryobank providing an overview of how their donor sperm bank operates.
Christopher Marino is Director of International Business Development for Generate Life Sciences, based in Los Angeles, California.
Generate is a life sciences company helping to grow and protect families through reproductive, newborn stem cell, genetic screening, medical device and healthcare technology services. It serves families from preconception to post-birth. Their brands – California Cryobank, CBR (Cord Blood Registry), Donor Egg Bank USA, NW Cryobank, ReadyGen, Kitazato USA and Donor Application are pioneering leaders, helping to grow and protect nearly 1 million families.
Chris brings more than 25 years of global executive, sales and management experience to his clients, including as Managing Director of Fallingwater Consulting Group, an advisory firm that helps manufacturing companies with international business development and strategy. He has also served in various roles with Pelican Products, a leading manufacturer of portable lighting systems and technical packaging products used in both the professional and consumer markets.
Chris holds a BA in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton, and an MS in Strategic Management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
An interactive Q & A session hosted by Michele Gilling-Ulph (Clinical Care Coordinator and Operations Manager at The Agora Clinic) who will be joined by four parents who have taken the donor sperm journey to parenthood. Laura-Rose Thorogood (Founder of LGBT Mummies Tribe and Lesbian mother of three children conceived through donor insemination and IVF), Lisa Smith (non-binary solo parent thought IVF and donor sperm) and Rebecca and Kelly Tindall (Lesbian couple and parents to Marley conceived through IVF and egg sharing)
A step-by-step guide to preparing for your future reproductive options if you are trans or non-binary. Carole will explain the different ways eggs and sperm can be collected and frozen in a fertility setting so that they can be legally used later to help you have a family. She will also explain the potential impact of gender confirming hormones on eggs and sperm and the best time to consider fertility preservation. She will finish by covering the future treatment options you might want to consider once you have completed physical transitioning.
Freddy McConnel, journalist, writer and star of the critically acclaimed documentary 'Seahorse' will support Carole's presentation with his lived experience as a Trans Man who has given birth and now is pregnant with his second child. He will be on hand to answer any questions as part of the Q&A via video conferencing.
In this session Francesca will give an overview of a co-parenting arrangement and how this takes place through a fertility clinic including the consent and screening pathway and all documentation required. She will also look at legal parenthood and parental responsibility and what you might want to consider including in your co-parenting agreement.