Exploring Paths of Hope: 35th Annual Infertility & Adoption Family Building Summit

Saturday, November 9, 2019, 7:45AM – 5:15PM

Calvary Lutheran Church (Conference Wing)
7520 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55427
RESOLVE is not religiously affiliated. 

Registration opening soon!

Schedule of Events:

8:00AM – 8:45AM Registration, Continental Breakfast, Visit Exhibitors
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. Must sign up day of conference – 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 with Table-Talk Discussions – sign up for your topic(s) during registration
1:45PM-3:15PM Breakout Session 3
3:15PM Afternoon Snack
3:30PM-4:45PM Breakout Session 4
5:00PM-5:30PM 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. Please note that all sessions, times, and speakers are subject to change.

Information below is from our 2018 Summit. Updates coming soon.

1st Breakout Session (9:45-11:00 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 or 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

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, DeNae Marquart, RN — Center for Reproductive Medicine; and individuals and/or couples who built their families using donor egg and/or donor sperm

Bonding and Attachment in Adoption
This session will help attendees gain an understanding of how bonding and attachment happen in adoptive families, the similarities and differences with parenting by birth and parenting by adoption, and the fears some share about loving a child who was adopted. This panel skews toward foster care and international adoption, although it covers infant adoption, as well.
Speakers: Hal Kaufman – My Adoption Advisor and adoptive parents who will share their experience with bonding and attachment

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.
Speakers: Colleen Casey, MD – Center for Reproductive Medicine, David F. Clay, MD – Clinic Sofia, Krista Post, MA, LP – The Infertility Counseling Center, and Aaron Milbank, MD – Minnesota Urology

Adoption Stories: Domestic Infant, Foster Care, and International
This session provides information and insights from adoptive parents that will help attendees understand the different types of adoption (Domestic Infant, Foster Care, International).
Speakers: Adoptive parents who adopted domestically, through foster care, and/or internationally

2nd Breakout Session (11:15 a.m. – 12:30 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: John Buchholz – Buchholz Adoption & Surrogacy Law, Misty Coonce – Ampersand Families, and Lynn Ricchio – Adoption Minnesota

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

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

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

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.
Speaker: Dr. Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT — partners (in)fertility

LGBTQ Family Building Panel
Panelists will share their expertise and personal stories of their family building via adoption and/or medical treatment using gestational carriers, 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, Janine Stiles – Mandala Midwifery Care, and LGBTQ individuals and/or couples who built their family via medical treatment and/or adoption

3rd Breakout Session (1:30 p.m. – 3:00 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.
Speakers: Joshua Bodie, MD, Urologist, University of Minnesota, Joshua Kapfhamer, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist – Center for Reproductive Medicine, Wael Salem, MD, Reproductive Endocrinologist – CCRM Minneapolis, and Dr. Yulian Zhao, Embryologist – Mayo Clinic

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.
Speakers: Pradeepa Narayanaswamy – Pradeepa Fertility Coach, Krista Post, MA, LP – The Infertility Counseling Center, and a couple who will share their struggles and successes

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

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

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

4th Breakout Session (3:15 – 4:30 p.m.)

Ask the Reproductive Endocrinologists
Come and get answers from several reproductive endocrinologists.
Speakers: April Batcheller, MD – CCRM Minneapolis, Mark Damario, MD – Center for Reproductive Medicine, Phoebe Leonard, MD – Reproductive Medicine & Infertility Associates, Ebbie Stewart, MD – Mayo Clinic

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

Holistic Options
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 Mayan Abdominal Therapy, and experience techniques to help you cope.
Speakers: Jennifer Colletti – Fertile Well, Nicole Lange, Acupuncturist – Life Healing Life, Julie McCormick, L.Ac. – Selby Acupuncture, Jessica Noble – Fertile Ground Women’s Health and Fertility Center

Embryo Donation
Come hear from families who have used donor embryos to become parents. This panel also features the perspective of an adult who was created via donor embryo. Panelists will share their stories and be open for questions. An expert in the field will offer guidance on issues to consider and best practices in this area.
Speakers: Ruth Ellen Saul – Fertile Ground Psychotherapy, individuals and/or couples who built their family via donor embryos, and an individual who was conceived via donor embryo

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: Hal Kaufman – My Adoption Advisor, adopting parents who built families via domestic adoption, and birth parents who made an adoption plan for their child