Despite the continuing COVID-19 crisis, gay men in Florida and around the country are still working to build families.
Men Having Babies (MHB), a nonprofit organization that helps prospective gay fathers with guidance, financial assistance and advocacy, has moved online to continue helping amid the pandemic. Before the pandemic the organization offered large in-person conferences annually in Fort Lauderdale, in collaboration with the Pride Center, Equality Florida, South Florida Family Pride, The Orlando LGBTQ Center and other community organizations.
On Feb. 27 MHB is offering the 2021 MHB South seminar with a focus on the unique characteristics of Florida, Texas and other southern states as a surrogacy destination. More than 120 attendees from the USA and elsewhere have already registered and will have an opportunity to get to know, evaluate and connect with regional surrogacy agencies, IVF clinics, law firms and additional gay parenting resources.
Included in the program is a personal stories panel, featuring gay fathers and a surrogate living in the south. Ron Poole-Dayan, MHB’s executive director, stated that “Even in the virtual format, attendees will have ample time to ask questions and network with these panelists and the many participating expert speakers. Among other topics they will learn how the pandemic affected surrogacy and IVF, and why now may actually be the best time to start a parenting journey.”
Leila Rodriguez, administrative director at Family Formers, an agency based out of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and one of the Platinum sponsors at the MHB South seminar, shared that, “In 2020, once it became evident the pandemic is not going to be a short term scenario, we once again saw many Intended parents determined to move forward with starting a family, which remained their top priority."
The event will utilize the specialized REMO platform that allows for presentations, expo “tables” and effective personal interactions. MHB has already used this platform successfully in several of our 2020 and 2021 events.
Admission for the 4-hour event is FREE. For more information and registration, visit menhavingbabies.org/south
For gay men who want to become parents through surrogacy, MHB educational conferences are a rare opportunity to get access to a wealth of information, advice and a wide range of relevant service providers — and from an unbiased non-profit organization. Before the COVID-19 pandemic the organization offered large in-person conferences annually in Fort Lauderdale, in collaboration with the Pride Center, Equality Florida, South Florida Family Pride, The Orlando LGBTQ Center and other community organizations.