Exploring Paths of Hope: 36th Annual Infertility, Adoption, & Family Building Summit

Date TBD
Location TBD

2019 Schedule of Events

As you will see below, we had a day chock full of information for our attendees. We intentionally keep our Additional Guest pricing low because we highly recommend that you attend with a spouse/partner and/or a supporter like your parent or close friend. When you are able to experience the day together, it is powerful and inspiring. In addition, the you can choose to split up during breakout sessions to maximize your learning.

8:00AM – 8:45AM Registration, Continental Breakfast, Visit Exhibitors until 3:30PM
8:45AM – 9:45AM Welcoming Words & Keynote Speaker – includes key info and logistics for the day
10:00AM-4:45PM “The Professional Is In” – Various specialists provide consultations at 15-minute intervals. Sign up at the Summit – on a first come, first served basis.
10:00AM-11:15AM Breakout Session 1
11:30AM-12:45PM Breakout Session 2
12:45PM-1:30PM Lunch
1:00PM-1:30PM The Center for Reproductive Medicine will host a session over lunch on Recurring Pregnancy Loss
1:45PM-3:15PM Breakout Session 3
3:15PM Afternoon Snack. Last chance to see Exhibitors.
3:30PM-4:45PM Breakout Session 4
5:00PM-5:30PM Closing Remarks & Giveaway – must be present to win


Professional is In

Midwest Summit Professional Is In Session With Dr. Jani Jensen
Dr. Jani Jensen consults with Summit attendees during a Professional Is In session

Throughout the Summit, various family-building professionals provided private 15-minute consultations. Think reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, mental health practitioners, attorneys, adoption professionals, and more. This is a great way to get a quick perspective on your specific situation and to meet experts in the field. Sign up at the Summit – on a first come, first served basis.

2019 Workshop Sessions and Speakers

We had 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. Please note that all sessions, times, and speakers are subject to change.

1st Breakout Session (10:00-11:15 a.m.)

Taking Control of Your Path: Intentional Decision Making about Medical Treatment, Adoption, and Ending Treatment
Are you at a fork in the road? When faced with infertility, you have three paths: build your family via medical treatment, adoption, or end your quest to become parents. This session will help you pause and be intentional about which path or paths to take.
Speakers: Dr. Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT – partners (in)fertility, and individuals/couples who will share their journeys

Infertility 101
Make sure you’ve covered all the possible bases. Female and male fertility work-up and how to be your own advocate. This session is perfect for newly diagnosed patients and supporters of all patients.
Speakers: Joshua Bodie, MD, Urologist – University of MN; David F. Clay, MD, OB-GYN – Clinic Sofia, and Meg Hopeman, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist – Center for Reproductive Medicine

How to Deal with the Financial Burden of Infertility and Adoption
Are the high costs associated with infertility a stressor in your life? Or are you struggling to figure out how you can afford adoption after spending many thousands of dollars on various infertility treatments? Come and learn about smart ways to save money and handle the complexity of financing infertility and/or adoption.
Speakers: A Certified Financial Planner and an individual/couple who used many creative methods to finance their journey

Adoption Stories: Domestic Infant and Foster Care
This session provides information and insights from adoptive parents that will help attendees understand different types of adoption. Learn how these adoptive parents came to land on their adoption path and hear about their individual timelines and the (general) fee structures they experienced on their personal adoption journeys.
Speakers: Adoptive parents who adopted domestically and/or through foster care

Donor Egg/Donor Sperm
Have you considered using donor egg or donor sperm as a resolution to your infertility? Explore these third-party options with experts and people who have built their family with donor egg or donor sperm. This session covers finding a donor, costs, the relevant laws, mental health considerations and more.
Speakers: Debbie Fischer, M.A. LAMFT – partners (in)fertility, individuals and/or couples who built their families using donor egg and/or donor sperm, a woman who helped another family by donating her eggs

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.
Speakers: Deb Harder – Children’s Home & Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and individuals/couples who built their family via international adoption

2nd Breakout Session (11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.)

Domestic Adoption 101
This session helps attendees understand from adoption professionals the adoption process, adoption law, and other important considerations as they determine whether infant or foster care adoption is right for them.
Speakers: Michelle Chalmers – Ampersand Families, Lynn Ricchio – Adoption Minnesota, and Brittany Shively – Vincent & Shively Law Office

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.
Speakers: Sue Hemme, RNC, APRN, CNP – Center for Reproductive Medicine and individuals/couples who used IVF to build their families

Depression, Anxiety & Infertility: How Do I Get Through This?
Are you afraid you will never be happy again? You’re not alone. Whether you are experiencing primary or secondary infertility, this session will offer you hope and help through your journey.
Speaker: Dr. Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT – partners (in)fertility

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!
Speakers: Men who built their families via medical help and/or adoption and men who ended their quest to become parents

LGBTQ Family Building Panel
Panelists will share their expertise and personal stories of their family building via adoption and/or medical treatment using donor egg, and/or donor sperm. They will share the unique challenges and joys of family building that affect the LGBTQ community.
Speakers: Trisha Falvey, MA, LMFT and LGBTQ individuals and/or couples who built their family via medical treatment and/or adoption

Single Parenting by Choice Panel
Are you considering becoming a single parent by choice? Hear real stories from people who have been there. Panelists will share their journeys to becoming a parent via adoption and medical treatment.
Speakers: Single women who built their family via medical treatment and/or adoption

Lunch Session (1:00 – 1:30 p.m.)

The Center for Reproductive Medicine presents Recurring Pregnancy Loss
Dr. Dan Lebovic will share the typical work up for recurring pregnancy loss, discuss management options, and answers your questions.

3rd Breakout Session (1:45 – 3:15 p.m.)

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.
April Batcheller, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist – CCRM Minneapolis. Topic: Embryo Genomics, Demystified
Mark Damario, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist – Center for Reproductive Medicine. Topic: Assisted Reproduction Treatment for Single Men and Same-Sex Male Couples
Sevann Helo, MD, Urologist – Mayo Clinic. Topic: Male Fertility: Diet/Lifestyle Factors.
Jani Jensen, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist – Reproductive Medicine & Infertility Associates. Topic: INVOCell: A New Fertility Treatment.

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.
Speaker: Ryan Plasch, Psychotherapy & Healing Associates

Keys to a Faster Domestic Adoption
This session shares information that many adopting parents never learn about or only learn about after a lot of time has passed. The focus of this panel is on the things that adopting parents can control and that can significantly impact their outcome – understanding potential birth parents, creating a great adoption profile, and getting that profile in front of as many potential birth parents as possible.
Speakers: Hal Kaufman – My Adoption Advisor, Nicole Witt – The Adoption Consultancy, and adoptive parent(s) who found success through less traditional approaches

Birth Parents & Adoptive Parents: Open Adoption Panel
This session is a must if you are considering domestic adoption. “Open adoption” falls on a spectrum like any other relationship. This panel offers a unique opportunity to hear personal stories from adoptive parents and birth parents as they describe the initial meetings, discussions they had about ongoing contact, their time at the hospital, how their relationships continue to evolve, and much more.
Speakers: Birth parents who made an adoption plan for their child and adopting parents who built families via domestic adoption

Surrogacy/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. This session also covers finding a carrier, working with agencies, costs, the relevant laws and more. An agency professional, a lawyer, a mental health practitioner, parents and a gestational carrier will share their expertise and personal stories in this session.
Speakers: Taylor Rolf, Esq. – Steven H. Snyder & Associates, Clare Sorman – The Surrogacy Center, Dr. Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT – partners (in)fertility, and individuals and/or couples who built their family using a gestational carrier, and a woman who has helped others build their families as a gestational carrier

4th Breakout Session (3:30 – 4:45 p.m.)

Ask the Reproductive Endocrinologists
Come and get answers from several reproductive endocrinologists.
Speakers: Samir Babayev, MD – Mayo Clinic; Jani Jensen, MD – Reproductive Medicine & Infertility Associates; Joshua Kapfhamer, MD – Center for Reproductive Medicine; and Wael Salem,MD – CCRM Minneapolis

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.
Speakers: Dr. Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT – partners (in)fertility, individual and/or couple who has ended their parent quest and is living child-free, individual and/or couple who has built their family via adoption and/or donor options

Treating the Whole Self
Holism is about treating of the whole person, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease. This session allows you to hear about and experience a few holistic options in a casual, supportive environment. Try out a few yoga poses, feel acupuncture through acupoints, hear about how to feel more connected through sex and intimacy, learn about herbs, and experience techniques to help you cope.
Speakers: Jennifer Colletti – Fertile Well, Nicole Lange, Acupuncturist – Life Healing Life, Julie McCormick, L.Ac. – Selby Acupuncture, Kara Yorkhall – Fertile Ground Women’s Health and Fertility Center

Facing Your Fears about Adoption
This session will offer an open dialogue from adoptive parents as they share about the very real fears couples face when considering adoption. Some of the topics will include finances, attachment and bonding, adopting outside of your race, potential drug exposure, and birth parent relationships. Learn how these couples worked through their fears to build their forever families.
Speakers: Brooke Overland – EVOLVE Adoption & Family Services and adoptive parents who will share their experiences

Embryo Donation
Come hear from a family who used embryo donation to become parents. They will share their story and be open for questions. A mental health expert in this field will offer guidance on issues to consider and best practices in this area.
Speakers: Individuals and/or couples who built their family via donor embryos

Sessions topics, times, and speakers subject to change.