After Florida lawmakers passed a bill that restricts instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, a non-profit that helps gay fathers become parents, is refusing to boycott the Sunshine State.

There were calls by some to not come to Florida given the current climate. But Men Having Babies (MHB) will return to South Florida this weekend for its 4th annual Southern Surrogacy Conference and Expo. The organization said in the face of bigotry, this was an opportunity to double down on its mission.  

“It's a no-brainer for us that we want to continue helping prospective parents and quite frankly, provide support for surrogates from Florida who want to help people for our community, and others become parents,” said Ron Poole-Dayan, executive director of Men Having Babies. “We've obviously seen a lot of anti-gay sentiments in our lifetime. What's happening right now is punitive politics. It's the politics that they think that if they make life miserable enough for us, then we'll just cease to exist or cease to be gay or something like that.”  

Politics aside, the conference is an opportunity for any prospective parent to learn the ins and outs of surrogacy from people with first-hand knowledge.  

“It's an event where people can immerse themselves with the peer advice, expert advice, peer support, personal stories and resources that they need to first evaluate whether this is right for them,” Poole-Dayan said. 

Attendees can also learn about budgetary concerns, ethical considerations, medical issues, and the legal aspects of surrogacy. They will have an opportunity to dive into details, numbers, and facts. They can hear from parents who have successfully navigated the surrogacy journey.  

“The exhibitors to our conferences are not only gay friendly, but experienced in helping the LGBTQ community,” said Poole-Dayan. “Almost all of them provide discounts and financial assistance to our members. A majority are members of GPAP, the Gay Parenting Assistance Program, which means that they provide discounts to people with demonstrated financial need.”

More than 100 people are expected at Saturday’s event at the Pride Center. There are COVID protocols in place for safety. All attendees are required to be vaccinated and rapid tests will be available to all.


There is still time to register and walk-ins are welcome too. Please visit https://menhavingbabies.org/surrogacy-seminars/south/ for more information on how to attend.


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