Exploring Paths of Hope: 36th Annual Infertility, Adoption, & Family Building Summit
Check out our incredible faculty of Midwest Family Building Summit speakers! We are so grateful that they volunteered their time to be at the Summit. (The list below featured the majority of our speakers. A full list was included in the program at the event.)
Dr. Tracine Asberry
Dr. Tracine Asberry is a regular speaker at the RESOLVE Summit for the past 4 years. Tracine is the youngest of 8 children and always dreamed of a large family. After divorcing with two children (2001), Tracine focused on growing her family as a single mother by choice in 2005. She looked into foster care to adopt, adoption and donor insemination as options. These methods increased hope (medical insurance), invited heartbreak (two miscarriages), and eventually, winning an (OMGGGGG) in vitro fertilization cycle worth $10,000 at the 2010 RESOLVE Annual Conference which resulted in a healthy baby boy born in February 2011. This dream deferred seems impossible but that’s exactly why you should hear directly from Tracine and ask her questions yourself. Single Parents by Choice Panel 11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Brad Ash, Fruitful Fertility
Brad Ash is the co-founder of Fruitful Fertility, a mentorship service that helps those struggling with infertility find the empathetic, emotional support they need. After three years, two rounds of IVF and one endometriosis diagnosis, Brad and his wife Elyse finally got their BFP. It took that whole time for them to get on the same page, learn how to communicate and feel respected between injections, meltdowns and massive bills. In the end, Brad and Elyse turned their painful experience into something positive by launching Fruitful and building the service they wish was there for them. Guy Talk 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Samir Babayev, MD, Mayo Clinic
Dr. Samir Babayev is Mayo Clinic’s IVF Clinic Director. Samir Babayev, M.D., is an Assistant Professor, Senior Associate Consultant and IVF Clinic Director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Mayo Clinic. He is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology with specialty certification in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility. Dr. Babayev is the Associate Editor for Human Reproduction, one of the top scientific journals in the field of reproductive medicine and a contributor for multiple other scientific journals. He is a member of the Society for Reproductive Investigation, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ART/Cutting Edge Technology 1:45-3:15 p.m.
April Batcheller, MD, CCRM Minneapolis
Dr. April Batcheller founded CCRM Minneapolis with Dr. William Schoolcraft in 2015. She is board-certified in both reproductive endocrinology and infertility and obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Batcheller currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and as the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Site Director for the University of Minnesota’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program. Her clinical interests and areas of expertise include in vitro fertilization, fertility preservation, and improving outcomes for patients with diminished ovarian reserve. Her research interests include the epigenetic effects of the environment on preimplantation embryo, for which she has received NIH funding. She received her Baccalaureate Degree in Biology and Chemistry from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. Dr. Batcheller completed residency training at William Beaumont Hospital, and fellowship at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Batcheller is a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Society for Reproductive Investigation, the Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technologies. She has published research articles in basic science and clinical medicine, and presents her research nationally. Dr. Batcheller was also named a 2018 Minnesota Monthly Magazine Top Doctor and a 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine Rising Star. Her topic in this session is “Embryo Genomics, Demystified.” ART/Cutting Edge Technology 1:45-3:15 p.m.
Julie Berman, RESOLVE Board of Directors, Summit Co-Chair
Julie Berman and her husband, Hal Kaufman, are the proud parents of two boys who joined their family through local, domestic adoptions. Prior to learning about adoption and choosing it as the way to build their family, Julie and Hal struggled with infertility for three years (Clomid to IVFs to donor egg cycles) and suffered four losses. The information and support Julie and Hal got through RESOLVE’s many services helped them tremendously and let them know they were not alone. Julie is the Marketing Director at My Adoption Advisor. She has been volunteering locally for RESOLVE since 2004 and serves on RESOLVE’s Board of Directors. She received RESOLVE’s Hope Award for Service in 2015. Opening and Closing Remarks
Joshua Bodie, MD, University of Minnesota
Dr. Bodie is a urology physician/surgeon specializing in male fertility and microscopic surgery. He has over 10 years of experience helping couples with any and all aspects of male factor fertility issues such as vasectomy and vasectomy reversal, azoospermia, erectile issues, and low semen parameters (low count, motility, or sperm shape). He sees patients through the M-Health University of Minnesota/ Fairview Health system, as well as the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. Infertility 101 10:00-11:15 a.m.
David F. Clay, MD, Clinic Sofia OBGYN
Dr. David Clay is an obstetrician/gynecologist with Clinic Sofia OBGYN, which has office locations in Edina and Maple Grove and both operates and performs deliveries at Fairview Southdale Hospital and Maple Grove Hospital. While Dr. Clay enjoys working with patients in all areas of obstetrics and gynecology, he particularly enjoys helping women who are struggling with fertility issues to not only determine a cause of the problem but also to work towards achieving the ultimate goal of having a child. A native of Ohio, he completed his residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, OH after attending The Ohio State University College of Medicine and completed his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. He is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. Infertility 101 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Michelle Chalmers, Ampersand Families
Michelle Chalmers is the co-founder and Executive Director of Ampersand Families, Minnesota’s only private agency focused exclusively on achieving permanency for older youth in the state’s child welfare system. In 2012, the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota recognized her as their “Hero for Children.” Domestic Adoption 101 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Jennifer Colletti, Fertile Well
Jennifer is a Fertility Health & Hormone Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher, and Author. In 2009, after her own fertility journey through three rounds of IVF, multiple tests, procedures, and surgery, she decided to combine her knowledge of yoga and wellness with her experience in infertility and create wellness classes and workshops for women going through the same journey she was. These workshops educate, foster community, and heal through knowledge, mindful breath, meditation, and movement. Jennifer coaches women 1:1 to optimize their fertility through nutrition and lifestyle changes. She also teaches the Fertile Well 8-Week Coaching Circle in Minneapolis. Check her website for more information on classes, Fertility Health Coaching, and her upcoming book “A Holistic Guide from Infertility to Pregnancy.”Treating the Whole Self 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Mark Damario, MD, Center for Reproductive Medicine
Before joining the Center for Reproductive Medicine in 2015, Dr. Damario was the medical director at the Reproductive Medicine Center at the University of Minnesota Medical School for more than 10 years, and a consultant and professor with the Mayo Clinic for 6 years. He has been consistently awarded the “Top Doctor” distinction by local area magazines. Dr. Damario enjoys his free time by running, traveling, cooking and spending time with his family. He is hoping to requalify for the Boston Marathon again in the future! Dr. Damario’s topic for this session is “Assisted Reproduction Treatment for Single Men and Same-Sex Male Couple.” ART/Cutting Edge Technology 1:45–3:15 p.m.
Shelly Damm, Choicemom
Shelly Damm is a Choicemom. That means she built her family on her own. Her first born son is hers biologically who was conceived with a known donor. To grow her family she considered foster care, adoption, and home insemination with donor sperm. Shelly’s adopted her second son in a domestic, trans-racial, open adoption. He is African-American. At the age of 16, Shelly’s niece, adopted from China came to join her family through kinship foster care. Shelly believes that openness in adoption is the right of the child. Single Parents by Choice Panel 11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Anthony and Roger Deeb began their adoption journey in 2014, by looking at the many different ways to grow their family. In 2015 they adopted their son, Isaac, through domestic infant adoption, and are currently working on their second adoption. They love having an open relationship with Isaac’s birth mother. Adoption Stories 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Amy DePoint, L.Ac., partners (in)fertility
Amy DePoint, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist specializing in women’s health, fertility and pregnancy for over 10 years. She works with you to get to the root of the issue, bringing about true health. Also, as a lesbian momma with 2 children conceived through IUI with donor sperm, she has talked about her journey at conferences and also does fertility coaching around the world helping bring awareness and education of one’s cycles and how to holistically optimize fertility and timing when trying to conceive. LGBTQ Family Building 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Daonna Depoister has been volunteering with RESOLVE for 20 years. She has a passion for others experiencing infertility because of her own journey through IVF. She has lead faith-based support groups in her home for 10 years. She also served as chair/co-chair for the local RESOLVE Advocacy Committee and has been working with the RESOLVE advocacy team to further important legislation for the infertility community and to protect RESOLVE’s interests from unfriendly legislation for over 17 years. Daonna is a past president of the Minnesota Chapter of RESOLVE. She and her husband, Andy Start, are the proud parents of Zachary, 20, and Andrew, 16. She also has a passion for children with special needs. She has recently started a non-profit organization called Upside Down, Inc. a Christian organization created to help people with Down Syndrome live up to their fullest potential. She also sits on the board of Hospitality Center for Chinese. She and her husband have hosted over 50 Chinese students in their home since 2008. Daonna was recognized for her many contributions to RESOLVE with the Infertility Hero Award in 2015. Session Facilitator
Jody DeSmidt, DeSmidt Rabuse PLLC
Jody DeSmidt is partner at DeSmidt Rabuse PLLC. She was admitted to the Minnesota State Bar and the U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota Bar in 1982 and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar in 1994. She practices in the areas of family, juvenile, adoption, and assisted reproduction law. She has been a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys since 1992. She has been repeatedly designated as a Super Lawyer by Law & Politics. Donor Egg/Donor Sperm 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Trisha Falvey, MA, LMFT
Trisha Falvey, M.A.,LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a practice in Edina, MN. She enjoys working with individuals and couples to increase self care and strengthen relationships as they navigate the road of family building and beyond. Each Fall, she has the privilege of facilitating the Maybe Baby workshop series, a four-week series for LGBTQ people considering parenthood and exploring options for family creation. She knows there are numerous ways to become parents! She is grateful to RESOLVE for providing information, advocacy and providing connections which disrupt the isolation that is common for people experiencing infertility. Session Facilitator
After a year of failed fertility attempts and three years of waiting for a domestic adoption, Heather and partner Jeff are now the adoptive parents of 4-year-old twins Joseph and Matthew. With many networking strategies used, and lessons learned along the way, Heather and Jeff now enjoy a semi-open adoption relationship that they hope may become more for their sons and birth mother in the future. Adoption Stories 10:00-11:15 a.m., Keys to a Faster Domestic Adoption 1:45-3:15 p.m.
Debbie Fischer, MA, LAMFT, partners (in)fertility
Debbie Fischer, M.A., LAMFT, holds a Master of Arts in marriage and family therapy from St. Mary’s University of MN. A bereaved mom, who endured the roller coaster of infertility, she felt called to help others who are faced with reproductive health challenges. A specialist in infertility, pregnancy loss, and alternative family building, Debbie prepares straight and gay couples and single women and men who wish to pursue IUIs, IVF, donor eggs, donor sperm, donor embryos, and surrogacy. She works with fertility clinics, OB/GYN clinics, surrogacy agencies, and egg donor agencies around the country. She evaluates gestational carriers and egg donors. She is an active professional member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), is affiliated RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, and she is honored to be on the advisory board of Fruitful Fertility. Donor Egg/Donor Sperm 10:00-11:15 a.m., Embryo Donation 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Meta Getman, Fertility Coach
Meta Getman helps family-focused, responsible, and thoughtful women and couples who have found themselves feeling isolated in the infertility journey and struggling to get the support they need to think and talk through the process that feels lonely, unknown, and scary about what the future holds so that they can feel confident in their decisions, prepared to raise their child to feel normal and deeply loved and build a strong family bond, without having to worry about losing their relationship with their spouse, other people’s judgments, and not having a community of support to address the unique issues that arise with fertility struggles. Meta and her husband Michael went through their own infertility challenges and after four IUIs and three rounds of fresh IVF, they achieved their dream of a family through using donor eggs. They are now parents to 3-year-old twin girls. Letting Go of the Biological Dream 3:30-4:45 p.m
Deb Harder, Children’s Home Society & LSS of Minnesota
Deb Harder is an adoption information coordinator for Children’s Home & Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, which in 2012 combined to provide complementary adoption services, high standards of quality and experience creating and supporting families. Together the agencies offer pregnancy services and programs in domestic and international adoption. Deb will provide current statistics and trends in international adoption.
Sevann Helo, MD, Mayo Clinic
Dr. Sevann Helo is a Urologist at who recently joined the Mayo Clinic as their Male Infertility specialist. After completing medical school at the University of Virginia, she went on to complete her residency training at Albany Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in Male Infertility and Sexual Medicine at Mayo Clinic. Prior to working at the Mayo Clinic, she was an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Her clinical interests include sperm retrieval procedures and vasectomy reversals. Dr. Helo’s topic for this session is “Male Fertility: Diet/Lifestyle Factors.”ART/Cutting Edge Technology 1:45–3:15 p.m.
Sue Hemme, RNC, APRN, CNP, Center for Reproductive Medicine
Sue Hemme has been a certified women’s health nurse practitioner for over 22 years, and has been caring for fertility patients for over 27 years. She has worked in OBGYN clinics where she developed and ran fertility programs, in an IVF clinic where she developed and managed a donor egg program, as an infertility consultant, and has been the lead nurse practitioner at the Center for Reproductive Medicine in St. Paul for the past 9 years. She also is the onco-fertility nurse practitioner at CRM. She is passionate about patients understanding their whole situation, what their treatment options are, and walking their journey alongside them. Outside of work, she loves running with her two golden retrievers, watching her kids’ collegiate games, being outdoors, giving back, and spending time with family and friends. IVF Overview 11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Meg Hopeman, MD, Center for Reproductive Medicine
Dr. Hopeman joined the Center for Reproductive Medicine in 2017 after finishing her fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania where she was awarded an NIH T32 grant in Reproductive Epidemiology. This grant supported clinical research into how chemotherapy alters reproductive function, specifically ovarian reserve. During her fellowship at Penn, she also completed a Master of Science degree in Clinical Epidemiology. She grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota and is thrilled to return home to practice medicine. In summertime, her free time is spent with her husband and daughter on outdoor adventures such as catching crayfish on stream hikes. During the winter months, she escapes cabin fever on the ski slopes or keeps warm practicing yoga. Infertility 101 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Lisa and her husband, Rob, struggled with infertility for 4½ years due to severe endometriosis. After 6 laparoscopies, 1 miscarriage, 1 GIFT procedure and 5 IVFs, Lisa and Rob delivered twin girls (now 23 years old). Two years later, after the joy of conceiving on their own, they suffered the grief of another miscarriage. The roller coaster of emotions they experienced are devastatingly common in those going through infertility. A year later, they welcomed a baby boy to the family; conceived without medical intervention. Lisa found RESOLVE after building her family and realized how much this organization would have helped her and Rob. She has been involved with RESOLVE since 1999. Summit Co-Chair
Leslee Jaeger, Voyage Healthcare
Leslee has given birth to 3 sons, adopted 2 daughters from Korea and China and served as an egg donor for a friend, which resulted in the birth of triplets 28 years ago. Both families have been open with their children about their origins and look forward to spending time together. As an OB/GYN physician, Leslee sees successful families formed in many different ways. Donor Egg/Donor Sperm 10:00–11:15 a.m.
Jani Jensen, MD, Reproductive Medicine & Infertility Associates
A Wisconsin native, Dr. Jani Jensen graduated from the University of Wisconsin medical school and completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado followed by fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She is board certified in both general Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Jensen practices in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Jensen is a member of RESOLVE’s Physicians Council. Dr. Jensen’s topic in ART/Cutting Edge Technology is “INVOCell: A New Fertility Treatment.” ART/Cutting Edge Technology 1:45–3:15 p.m. Ask the Reproductive Endocrinologists 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Brandon Johnson, Infertility Isn’t Inferior
Brandon Johnson is a registered and licensed therapist and coach with over a decade of experience working with adults with various mental health issues. After going through his own infertility journey, he understood how lonely the walk can be and founded Infertility Isn’t Inferior, a male focused mental health service. He specializes in infertility therapy, depression, and anxiety. Guy Talk 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Joshua Kapfhamer, MD, Center for Reproductive Medicine
Dr. Kapfhamer joined the Center for Reproductive Medicine in 2018. He has presented both locally and nationally on a number of topics including the evaluation and treatment of infertility, pediatric and adolescent gynecology, ovarian torsion, management of endometriosis, and chronic pelvic pain. His publications and research interests include cellular signaling in reproduction, optimizing IVF outcomes through single embryo transfer, ultrasound imaging in early pregnancy, and informed consent. As an instructor and mentor, Dr. Kapfhamer has given back to the medical community in the areas of ethics and professionalism, laparoscopic suturing and advanced endoscopy, fellow, resident and medical student education, and child psychology. Outside of work, he is an avid runner and enjoys spending time with family and friends; listening to, learning about, playing, and discovering new music; and exploring the local food, art, coffee, and craft beer scenes in cities throughout the world. Ask the Reproductive Endocrinologists 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Hal Kaufman, My Adoption Advisor
Hal Kaufman and his wife, Julie Berman, adopted their two sons through open, domestic adoptions in 2005 and 2007 after experiencing three years of infertility (5 IUIs, 4 IVFs, donor eggs, frozen embryos, ICSI, 2 miscarriages, a chemical pregnancy, and an ectopic pregnancy). They enjoy incredibly strong relationships with their boys’ birth families. In 2008, Hal started My Adoption Advisor, LLC and since then has helped adopting parents who are trying to fulfill their parenting dreams connect with expectant parents who want to place their child for adoption. My Adoption Advisor provides profile, website, and advertising services for adopting parents. In addition to coordinating adoption panels at this Summit from 2009-2018, Hal continues to educate thousands of high school students across Minnesota through Bellis, a Minnesota-based, non-profit organization that focuses on adoption education and support. In 2019, Hal was nominated by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Dean Phillips and chosen as a Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Honoree.Taking Control of Your Path 10:00–11:15 a.m., Keys to a Faster Domestic Adoption 1:45-3:15 p.m.
Nicole is a corporate marketer by day and happy drool wiper by night. But, it wasn’t always that way. Nicole and her husband struggled with infertility for years because of PCOS before having their son, Kase, via IVF this year. She started documenting her journey on Instagram for family and friends but saw the need for infertility awareness. She went “public” two years ago and continues to share her adventures with infertility, miscarriage and motherhood, finding humor and light in it all. How to Deal with the Financial Burden of Infertility and Adoption 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Kate is a birth mom to a happy and much loved 2-year-old son who was adopted by her friends from college. The adoption is open where Kate and her daughter have a relationship with her birth son and adoptive parents. There is never enough love to go around in this unique and incredible “family.” Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents: Open Adoption Panel 1:45–3:15 p.m.
Tamara Kyhos and Mark Reilly
Over a four-year period, Mark and Tamara completed four IVF cycles with ICSI, one of those with a donor egg and another with donor sperm. During that time, Tamara underwent two laparoscopic procedures and they began counseling to help them through their journey. After the fourth cycle, they decided to pursue their family dream through open adoption. Today they are the proud parents of an 11-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son, and have open relationships with both extended families. Letting Go of the Biological Dream 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Nicole Lange, L.Ac., MAOM, Acupuncturist, Life Healing Life
After exclusively working with fertility and trauma since 2006, Nicole Lange, acupuncturist and educator, firmly believes the very best fertility outcomes happen from a healthy, abundant, supported life (that also utilizes the very best both eastern and western medicine has to offer when needed)! She promises to always keep your true goal of a not just “a baby,” but an amazing life and thriving whole family at the heart of everything she does. Please, see her website for more info about how she can serve YOU with truly big picture, whole person, education-based care including acupuncture, day of embryo transfer care, and so much more. Treating the Whole Self 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Angela went through three IUI and five IVF treatments at three different clinics. She and her husband have various medical issues (DNA fragmented sperm, severe endometriosis, cysts, high thyroid, older in age). Their situation is even more complicated because their eggs and sperm do not fertilize. They’ve sought fertility counseling, have used donor sperm, and considered adopting. In the end, they found the right clinic. Their doctor took her time with them and they conceived during their fourth and fifth IVF treatments. Her last round of IVF resulted in only one embryo; that miracle is now four months old. Angela has shared her story publicly and helps other women through their journey to offer support and hope. This winter Angela will be certified to become an Infertility Doula. There is so much more to her story, come hear it. IVF Overview 11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Ben and Ariane Laxo
Ben and Ariane are a happy, childfree couple after several years of trying to conceive, two losses, and a diminished ovarian reserve diagnosis. At the end of 2017, Ariane had her tubes removed, solidifying their choice to embrace life as a family of two. Ariane took a three-week solo road trip in 2016 to work through her grief, and the trip was a big part of how they reached the childfree choice. Taking Control of Your Path 10:00–11:15 a.m.
Dan Lebovic, MD, Center for Reproductive Medicine
Dr. Lebovic joined the Center for Reproductive Medicine in 2016. He was raised and educated in California, although he has been fortunate enough to enjoy other great towns in the USA throughout his career. After his fellowship, he obtained tenure at the University of Michigan, where he performed NIH-supported research on endometriosis. He then moved to the University of Wisconsin–Madison as the REI Division Chief, where he became full professor and successfully rebuilt their IVF program. He has authored a handbook entitled Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility: Handbook for Clinicians and has contributed chapters to reproductive medicine textbooks as well as Up-To-Date®, a peer-reviewed online publication for physicians. Dr. Lebovic is an Oral Board Examiner with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has been appointed to serve on American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) committees: Committee Practice Bulletins-Gynecology and the Clinical Document Review Panel – Gynecology. He has been consistently awarded the “Top Doctor” distinction by local area magazines. When he’s not at work, Dr. Lebovic enjoys sports, biking, riding his ~20-year-old Vespa and unwinding with his wife and family: A Juilliard School-trained violinist wife, two small children, and a Bernese Mountain Dog (who may one day be joined by a German Shorthaired Pointer).Lunch session presented by Center for Reproductive Medicine: Recurring Pregnancy Loss
Julie McCormick, L.Ac., Selby Acupuncture
Julie McCormick has been practicing Chinese medicine for the last 12 years, with a specialty in treating infertility and women’s health. She is the owner of Selby Acupuncture with locations in Saint Paul, and a second location in Richfield opening this fall. Julie is licensed by the Minnesota Medical Board, is board certified in both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, (NCCAOM), and is a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM). She holds a Master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Roseville, Minnesota, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota – Morris. Combining a passion for Chinese medicine and health education she offers natural, effective healing options using the tradition of Chinese medicine. Julie is a member of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM), the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Association of Minnesota (AOMAM), RESOLVE, the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA), and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Treating the Whole Self 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Brooke Overland BSW, CSW, LSW, EVOLVE Family Services
Brooke Overland is a Licensed Social Worker with EVOLVE Family Services in their Pregnancy Services, Adoption, and Foster Care programs. Brooke is licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin and has worked with children and families in many roles, including child protection, interpersonal violence, and advocacy. Facing Your Fears about Adoption 3:30 – 4:45 p.m.
Erica Patten, The Inconceivable Podcast
Erica Patten and her husband have had their dreams fulfilled through embryo donation. After five years of infertility, PCOS, one surgery, two miscarriages and three rounds of IVF, they knew their path to parenthood would be different. Now Erica is the proud co-host of The Inconceivable Podcast, hoping to raise infertility awareness and show support for those who are struggling. Embryo Donation 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Ryan Plasch, Psychotherapy & Healing Associates
Ryan Plasch, MS is a mental health therapist in the Twin Cities who understands the struggles faced by those with infertility and birth complications. He is practicing at PHA Wellness and the Infertility Counseling Center. He works with men and couples to heal from family building complications. His passion for doing this work comes from his personal experience with being infertile. Working Well as a Couple 1:45-3:15 p.m.
Kate Raddatz is an award-winning reporter for WCCO-TV and a frequent guest co-host on The Dave Ryan Show on 101.3 KDWB. She and her husband, John, have had a remarkable journey to parenthood. Kate will share the ups and downs and triumphs and losses they experienced while building their family. Keynote Speaker
Lynn Ricchio, Adoption Minnesota
Lynn Ricchio is an adopted adult who has worked in the adoption field for over 28 years. She had worked with birth parents for 11 years, then adoptive parents for 12 years, and since 2015 is the Executive Director of Adoption Minnesota, a local private agency that provides services in domestic adoptions. Domestic Adoption 101 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Taylor Rolf, Esq., Snyder Law Firm
Taylor A. Rolf, Esq. is an associate attorney at Snyder Law Firm and IARC with a primary focus in Assisted Reproductive Technology Law. She graduated cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law in 2016 and was admitted to practice law in the State of Minnesota in 2017. Ms. Rolf works primarily in the area of Assisted Reproductive Technology providing in-depth assistance to clients relating to parentage establishment proceedings and medical insurance coverage analyses associated with third party family building. Ms. Rolf also practices in stepparent and second parent adoption. Surrogacy/Gestational Carriers 1:45–3:15 p.m.
Wael Salem, MD, CCRM Minneapolis
Dr. Wael Salem is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is Board Eligible in Reproductive Endocrinology. He joined CCRM Minneapolis in 2018 after practicing Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in Los Angeles. He received his undergraduate degree from University of California in Berkeley and his medical degree from Mayo Medical School College of Medicine. Dr. Salem also holds two master’s degrees – one in Public Health from the University of Cambridge and the second is in Clinical, Biomedical and Translational Investigations from the University of Southern California. During his residency for Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California in San Francisco, Dr. Salem received the Outstanding Resident in Minimally Invasive Gynecology award. After his residency, he completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. In addition to presenting his research at prestigious medical conferences around the globe, Dr. Salem has authored numerous publications for notable peer-reviewed journals, including the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and the Journal of Surgical Oncology. He was also named a 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine Rising Star. He is fluent in Arabic, French and is conversational in Spanish. Ask the Reproductive Endocrinologists 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Brittany Shively, Vincent & Shively, P.A.
Brittany Shively is an attorney with Vincent & Shively, P.A. a boutique law firm focusing exclusively on adoption law. After initially working as an Assistant County Attorney in the area of child protection, she began practicing adoption law more than 15 years ago and is a member of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. Brittany considers it a privilege to help couples build their families through adoption. Domestic Adoption 101 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Keegan works on the communications team at Best Buy. He and his husband, Paul, married in 2016 and spent 3 years on their journey to building a family through adoption. In October of 2019, Keegan and Paul finalized the adoption of their baby girl, Poppy, who is now 5 months old. Keegan and Paul went through a local Minnesota-based adoption agency to complete their domestic adoption. The two credit much of their adoption success to maintaining a positive attitude and utilizing social media to find a match. LGBTQ Family Building 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.,
Dr. Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT, partners (in)fertility
Dr. Deborah Simmons practices at partners (in)fertility. Dr. Simmons has provided specialized counseling for infertility, pregnancy loss, and assisted reproduction for more than 20 years. She evaluates gestational surrogates and egg donors. She is a consultant to the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Minneapolis. She is a professional member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), the Star Legacy Foundation, Pregnancy After Loss Support, and Fruitful Fertility. Taking Control of Your Path 10:00-11:15 a.m. Depression & Anxiety 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Surrogacy/Gestational Carriers 1:45–3:15 p.m. Letting Go of the Biological Dream: Moving on to New Dreams 3:15-4:30 p.m.
Clare Sorman, The Surrogacy Center
Clare has 20+ years of experience organizing and managing offices for corporate, political, and nonprofit organizations. Her work as an Office Manager, Case Manager, and Paralegal for local Minnesota businesses specializing in therapy and family law, as well as a Development Officer with Planned Parenthood, has given her a wide berth of knowledge on how to manage complex, multi-level business entities where she is adept at fitting together a variety of moving parts resulting in the highest standards of professional and organizational principles and positive outcomes for her clients. As a former board member of Gift of Adoption and a volunteer for many social service organizations, her passion is helping to build families and to assist them by providing resources toward living the best possible lives with their children. Clare has lived in the Twin Cities area for almost 20 years and is married to a local family building attorney. They have 2 little boys and a variety of pets. Surrogacy/Gestational Carriers 1:45–3:15 p.m.
Sara is not sure where the idea of adoption was sparked from, but it changed her life forever. She had just turned 18 when she found out she was pregnant. She decided to make an adoption plan for her son Nate in 2007 and they have been on this journey together since. She is very open to any and all questions about adoption and the unknowns of open adoption. She has a very open adoption with Nate and a wonderful relationship with his family. Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents: Open Adoption Panel 1:45–3:15 p.m.
Janine Stiles, Mandala Midwifery Care
Twin Cities midwife Janine Stiles, CPM, has been supporting families through pregnancy and birth in some fashion since 2006. She provides home birth, fertility and insemination care in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and beyond. Her midwifery training was grounded in the apprenticeship model, learning the traditional midwifery model of care from local and international midwives. In addition to attending hundreds of births as a doula and midwife, Janine has an extensive background teaching childbirth classes and conducting trainings for other birth professionals. She is passionate about serving all family types and is committed to providing culturally competent and appropriate care no matter how individuals identify. Janine is a Minnesota midwife that loves watching families grow and bearing witness to the amazing transformations they can undergo. She lives with her family on their “urban farm” in Minneapolis. LGBTQ Family Building 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Kari and her husband, Chad, have a seven-year-old son. Kari’s sister was their gestational carrier. They just finished another surrogacy journey with a close friend as their carrier and their daughter was born in September. Surrogacy/Gestational Carriers 1:45–3:15 p.m.
Laura McCarty Tufano
Laura and Amanda Tufano always felt that both biological family formation and adoptive family formation would be wonderful. Laura attempted to conceive with donor sperm, using med-assisted IUIs for a year and one IVF round. Adoption was a beautiful choice, and Laura and Amanda are committed to raising their son with a loving relationship with his birth family and a positive racial identity. LGBTQ Family Building 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Lisa Tuttle, CFP®, Farcical Fertility
Lisa and her husband Matt welcomed their beautiful (now 23-month-old) twins Ivy and Maddix after 5 cycles of IUI, followed by 6 rounds of IVF which included 3 miscarriages and genetic testing. Lisa is also a CFP® (Financial Advisor), and given her background, she can shed some light on how to handle the financial burden of infertility. She also started a non-profit to spread laughter and provide financial grants to help pay for the high costs of IVF. Farcical Fertility will give away its first ever grant at this year at the conference! How to Deal with the Financial Burden of Infertility and Adoption 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Patrick and Bethany Van Osdel
In 2007 Patrick and Bethany decided it was time to start a family. After five years of spending countless hours with doctors, trying many different types of treatments, and enduring 14 IUI Cycles, two miscarriages and one failed IVF cycle, they chose adoption as their path to build their family. In October 2012, they adopted their son, Keaton from Alabama and in December 2016, they adopted their second son, Kendrick, from Minnesota. They will share how they dealt with the five-year struggle of coping with infertility and how it brought them closer to one another, stronger as a couple, and more united as parents. They will share their story of how they came to choose adoption and the process of shifting their dreams from “achieving a pregnancy” to “becoming parents.” They will also share openly about the many fears they faced on the path to adoption—and—most importantly, how those fears were overcome. Patrick and Bethany are also partners in planning the adoption sessions for the RESOLVE Family Building Summit. Opening Words, Patrick – Guy Talk 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Bethany & Patrick – Facing Your Fears about Adoption 3:30–4:45 p.m.
Holly and her husband, Rhett adopted 3 children from Bogota, Colombia in 2010. When beginning the adoption process, they were open to a sibling group but never really thought about a sibling group of three all at one time. Today, they are proud parents of two sons and one daughter who are biological siblings. Holly welcomes any and all questions about adoption. International Adoption 101 1:45-3:15 p.m.
Kati and Patrick Vos, pkvPrint
Kati and Pat survived five years of failed infertility treatments before chance stepped in. They took in a 6-month-old baby foster girl to help a couple of foster parents from a neighboring county with some respite. Fast forward to today and they’ve been Foster Parents for nearly 5 years and have adopted three amazing girls! Kati and Pat continue to support those in family building by volunteering for RESOLVE and advocating for those on their journey. Adoption Stories 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Glenn Wear and his wife Ashley were married in 2011 and on the path to start a family shortly thereafter. In the coming years their unexplained infertility was misdiagnosed and led to several surgeries that unfortunately resulted in the removal of Ashley’s fallopian tubes and a diminished ovarian reserve. After spending nearly their entire marriage in clinics and hospitals and enduring three failed rounds of IVF, they decided to look to a future as a family of two – plus two bulldogs, of course. They continue to share their story and advocate for others by volunteering and starting a Walk of Hope in the Twin Cities that will celebrate its fourth year in 2020. Guy Talk 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
After many years battling infertility (PCOS, fibroids, and tumors), Janelle and her husband started down the adoption journey. After going through a very difficult adoption in 2014, today they are proud parents of one daughter and one son who joined their family through domestic adoption. They have an open relationship with one birth family and currently exploring openness with their son’s birth family. Facing Your Fears about Adoption 3:30 – 4:45 p.m.
Nicole Witt, MBA, The Adoption Consultancy
Nicole Witt has been the Executive Director of The Adoption Consultancy for over 15 years. The Adoption Consultancy is an unbiased resource serving pre-adoptive families by providing them with the education, information and guidance they need to safely adopt a newborn, usually within 3 to 12 months. Nicole has helped several hundreds of people to realize their dream of becoming parents. Nicole is also a frequent speaker on adoption and infertility, serves as an Expert Witness in adoption-related cases, and is a regular media source having been interviewed by Today, World News Tonight, Daytime, Redbook, More magazine, E! Online, WebMD.com, CBSNews.com and many radio programs. Her articles have been featured in local and national publications. She is an active professional member of RESOLVE who co-founded the Tampa chapter of the organization in 2007 and continues to lead that group’s meetings. Keys to a Faster Domestic Adoption 1:45-3:15 p.m.
Kara Yorkhall, L.Ac., MaOM, FABORM, Fertile Ground Women’s Health and Fertility Center
Kara is a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner, specializing in the treatment of infertility for the past 12 years. She founded Fertile Ground Women’s Health & Fertility Center in 2007 and leads an exceptional team of practitioners in providing the best that the Twin Cities has to offer in holistic reproductive care. Fertile Ground offers Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Maya Abdominal Therapy, and Therapeutic Bodywork, with a focus on empowering patients towards their family-building goals and life-long health. Kara is board certified by the NCCAOM and licensed by the Minnesota State Medical Board. She has completed the comprehensive training and examination to become certified by the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM).Treating the Whole Self 3:30-4:45 p.m.