Brussels, Men Having Babies "Parenting Options for Gay Men" Conference

Erin Colonnese

5/14/15

Three of our Worldwide team members, Jennifer McArthur, Maria Martucci and I (Erin Colonnese) were fortunate enough to travel to Belgium a few weeks back for the Parenting Options for European Gay Men conference hosted by Men Having Babies (MHB). Although we have attended many of MHB's conferences in the past, the format of this particular conference was one we particularly enjoyed.

Aside from indulging in Belgian chocolate and French fries, (or more commonly known as Frites in Brussels) we met with so many great people from all over the world including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, and many more. The opportunity to travel 4,000 miles to Brussels alongside various other United States based companies, whether they were fertility clinics or other surrogacy matching agencies, was compelling. 

Collectively, we were able to provide a vast amount of information and resources to an abundance of people from all different backgrounds.  Their hopes and desires of becoming a parent one day were closely aligned with our objective: to provide a means through which parenthood is possible. Through our breakout sessions and private consultations, we aimed to help future intended parents envision this reality. It was also truly gratifying for us, (as I am sure it was for the conference attendees) to see a real-life example of fathers who had gone through the surrogacy process with their surrogate, and their boy/girl twins at the conference. By having them there, it truly conveyed the process full-circle as the fathers started the process just as the conference attendees did, by gathering information and meeting with various clinics and agencies.  These were the initial steps that made having their twins possible, and better yet, they were there at the conference, riding around on their bicycles to prove it.

Overall, our trip to Brussels was a huge success. Being able to provide an avenue to those we met there to build their family by being matched with a surrogate, and ultimately have their child(ren), is indescribable. To say that our job is truly rewarding is an understatement.

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