Exploring Paths of Hope: 33rd Annual Infertility & Adoption Family Building Summit

Saturday, November 18, 2017
7:45AM – 5:15PM
Bloomington, MN

Register today!

Schedule of Events:

7:45AM – 8:30AM Registration, Continental Breakfast, Visit Exhibitors
8:30AM – 9:30AM Welcoming Words & Keynote Speaker
9:45AM-4:30PM “The Professional Is In” – Various specialists provide consultations at 15-minute intervals. Must sign up day of conference – on a first come, first served basis.
9:45AM-11:00AM Breakout Session 1
11:15AM-12:30PM Breakout Session 2
12:30PM-1:15PM Lunch with Table-Talk Discussions
1:30PM-3:00PM Breakout Session 3
3:00PM Afternoon Snack
3:15PM-4:30PM Breakout Session 4
4:45PM-5:15PM Closing Remarks & Giveaway (must be present to win)

Midwest Family Building Summit Logo
Midwest Family Building Summit

Workshop Sessions and Speakers

We have an incredible line up of family-building professionals and people who have been there! Sessions are led by various experts in the family-building field including reproductive endocrinologists, mental health practitioners, attorneys, complementary medicine practitioners, adoption professionals and by individuals and couples who have built their family with the help of medical treatments, through adoption, or have chosen to live child-free.

You will be able to choose any combination of 4 workshops per person. We will post updates to this page as we finalize this year’s schedule.

Sample schedule from 2016 is below. Updates to come soon.
Please note that all sessions, times, and speakers are subject to change.)

1st Breakout Session (9:45AM-11:00AM)

Topic: Description: Session Speakers:
Specialty Topics in Medical Treatment This introductory session will cover the information on fibroids, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) from experts who specialize in these areas. Dr. Jewelia Wagner, Clinic Sofia
Infertility 101 Make sure you’ve covered all the possible bases. Female and male fertility work-up and how to be your own advocate. What to expect emotionally. This session is perfect for newly diagnosed patients and supporters of all patients. Dr. Colleen Casey, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Center for Reproductive Medicine
Third Party Reproduction 101 Have you considered using donor egg, donor sperm, donor embryo or a gestational carrier as a resolution to your infertility? Explore these third-party options with experts. This session covers finding a donor/carrier, working with agencies, costs, the relevant laws and more. Chauntae Nichols, Fairfax Cryobank
Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT, Partners in Healing of Minneapolis
Steve Snyder, Snyder Law Firm and International Assisted Reproduction Center
Adoption Stories: Domestic Infant, MN Waiting Child, and International Hear real stories from those who’ve been there. This session provides info and insight from adoptive parents on domestic infant adoption, adoption from the MN Waiting Child program, and international adoption. Adoptive parents who adopted domestically, through foster care, and/or internationally
Will This Child Be Mine? Family Bonding and Attachment in Adoption Gain an understanding of how bonding and attachment happen in adoptive families, the similarities and differences with parenting by birth and by adoption, and the common fears about loving a child who was adopted. Judy Eckerle, Adoption Medicine Clinic (AMC) at the University of Minnesota
Joanna Ivey, Our Chosen Child, Adoption Profile Design
Hal Kaufman, My Adoption Advisor
People who adopted will share their experience with bond and attachment

2nd Breakout Session (11:15AM – 12:30PM)

Topic: Description: Session Speakers:
Guy Talk Going through infertility and/or considering adoption can feel very different for men versus women. This session is led by men who have been there. A safe place for guys to go and talk about anything! Men who built their families via medical help and/or adoption.
IVF Overview: From Start to Finish Walk through an IVF cycle from the nurse’s and the patient’s perspective, learning how to plan your life around it, including both the typical process and how to manage the unexpected. Jessica Bleess, PA-C, Mayo Clinic
Individuals and/or couples who have built their family via IVF
Domestic Adoption 101 Come hear about the full adoption process, things to consider, and the legal aspects from adoption professionals. Michelle Chalmers, Ampersand Families
Judith Vincent, Attorney at Law
Lynn Ricchio, Adoption Minnesota
Complementary Options: Panel of Experts Come learn from a panel of experts about different treatment options. Jennifer Colletti, Jennifer Colletti Yoga & Wellness
Nicole Lange, LicAc MAOM, Life Healing Life Acupuncture for Women’s Health & Fertility
Depression, Anxiety & Infertility: How Do I Get Through This? Are you afraid you will never be happy again? You’re not alone. This session will offer you hope and help through your journey. Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT, Partners in Healing of Minneapolis
Single Parenting by Choice Panel Hear real stories from people who have been there. Single women who built their family via medical treatment and/or adoption.
LGBTQ Family Building Hear real stories from people who have been there. LGBTQ individuals and/or couples who built their family via medical treatment and/or adoption.

3rd Breakout Session (1:30PM – 3:00PM)

Topic: Description: Session Speakers:
ART/Cutting Edge Technology New infertility methods and technologies are constantly improving pregnancy rates where there is an initial infertility diagnosis. This session provides information about what’s new, how it works and what its effects are. Dr. April Batcheller, Reproductive Endocrinologist, CCRM Minneapolis. Topic: Elective Single Embryo Transfer
Dr. Mark Damario, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Center for Reproductive Medicine. Topic: “Preimplantation Genetic Screening for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Is there a role?”
Dr. Yulian Zhao, Embryologist, Mayo Clinic. Topic: It Takes Two to Implant – Matching Embryo and Endometrium
Surrogacy and Gestational Carriers What is it like to have another person carry your child? What is it like for the gestational carrier? How do people make the decision to go this route? Hear from people who have been there. Parents and gestational carriers will share their stories in this session. Individual and/or couple who built their family using a gestational carrier
A woman who has helped others build their families as a gestational carrier
Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT, Partners in Healing of Minneapolis
Keys to a Faster Domestic Adoption Come learn how to safely get a lot more exposure to potential birth parents through personal outreach and working with multiple agencies and/or attorneys both inside and outside your state. Hal Kaufman, My Adoption Advisor Joanna Ivey, Our Chosen Child – Adoption Profile Design
An adoptive parent with experience in personal outreach
International Adoption 101 This session provides an overview of the international adoption process from adoption professionals, as well as real-life stories from adopting parents who adopted internationally. Deb Harder, Adoption Information Coordinator, Children’s Home Society & Lutheran Social Service of MN
Adopting parents who built their family via international adoption
Working Well as a Couple Through Infertility/Family Building Gain insight into the dynamics and complexity of couple decision-making, learning how to weigh each other’s preferences and how to arrive at a decision that works for both partners. Krista Post, M.A., Licensed Psychologist, The Infertility Counseling Center
A couple who will share their struggles and successes

4th Breakout Session (3:15PM – 4:30PM)

Topic: Description: Session Speakers:
Letting Go of The Biological Dream: Moving on to New Dreams How to let go of the dream of a biological child and move on to resolve your infertility through adoption, third-party reproduction or choosing to live without parenting. Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT, Partners in Healing of Minneapolis
Individual and/or couple who has ended their parent quest and is living child-free Individual and/or couple who has build their family via adoption and/or donor options
Ask the Reproductive Endocrinologists Come and get answers from several reproductive endocrinologists. Dr. Mark Damario, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Center for Reproductive Medicine
Dr. Phoebe Leonard, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Reproductive Medicine & Infertility Associates
Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, Reproductive Endocrinologist, Mayo Clinic
Donor Egg, Donor Sperm and Embryo Donation Come hear from families who have used donor gametes to become parents. They will share their stories and will be open for questions. A mental health practitioner will facilitate this session and offer guidance on issues to consider and best practices in this area. Krista Post, Licensed Psychologist, The Infertility Counseling Center
Individuals and/or couples who built their family via donor options
Birth Parents & Adoptive Parents: Open Adoption Panel This session is a must if you are considering domestic adoption. Listen to both birth parents and adoptive parents as they share their stories about the initial meeting, discussions about ongoing contact, what the hospital time was like, and how relationships continue to evolve. Adopting parents who built families via domestic adoption
Birth parent(s) who made an adoption plan for their child
Complementary Options: Experiential Sampler This session allows you to actually experience a few complementary options in a casual, supportive environment. Attendees in past year’s have tried out a few yoga poses, felt acupuncture through acupoints, participated in a needle demonstration, and experienced techniques to help them cope. Jennifer Colletti, Jennifer Colletti Yoga & Wellness
Kara Yorkhall, Fertile Ground