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Pathways to Parenthood

March 8, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Come hear a panel of experts discuss pathways to parenthood – from surrogacy, to infertility treatment, to adoption. The panel will share information and answer your questions!  Hear from congregants Rachelle Schneider and David Mandell who have taken this journey with their families. A light dinner will be provided.  

Co-sponsored by pRiSm, RS Women, Families with Young Children, and Young Friends.  

Register here

Meet Our Panelists

Galia Godel is the program manager of the LGBTQ Initiative at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia and the director of J.Proud, the Philadelphia consortium of Jewish organizations committed to LGBTQ inclusion.  She is a Philadelphia-based sexuality educator, who holds a Masters Degree in Human Sexuality Education from Widener University, She works as a sexual behavioral specialist for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Dr. Jacqueline N. Gutmann is a Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University.  She is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.  She is the recipient of the Path2Parenthood Joyce M. Vargyas Visionary Award and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine Women’s Council Distinguished Service Award.

Tara Gutterman, Esq. is Adoption ARC’s founder.  Previously, she served as adoption ARC’s executive director from 1994-2009.  She began her career as an attorney with the City of Phladelphia Law Department, where she handled hundreds of child abuse and neglect cases.  In 1994, she became a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and also founded the agency in the same year.  In her career, she has handled over 1500 adoptions and has the pleasure of watching the children and families grow.

Stephanie Haynes is the executive director of Philadelphia Family Pride, which offers educational programming through Paths to Parenthood classes, as well as an annual Family Matters Conference on topics ranging from adoption options to assisted reproduction. . She has been an advocate for LGBTQ families  in Philadelphia for many years. 

Dr. David Mandell is the Kenneth E. Appel Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Columbia University and a doctorate of science from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.  He and his wife Jamie Kudera adopted their first child and look forward to sharing their adoption story.

Rebecca Levin Nayak, Esq. is a partner with Jerner Law Group, P.C., whose practice is focused on assisted reproduction law, adoption law and mediation. Rebecca also handles cases involving legal parentage issues. She is licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Rebecca is an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys.

Merle Gutterman Parker, M. Ed., MS, is Adoption ARC’s Executive Director.  She has worked informally with Adoption ARC since its inception in March 1994.  In 2005, Merle returned to graduate school for Counseling Psychology, and she is a member of the American Counseling Association.  In September 2008, Merle began working full-time for Adoption ARC as a birth parent counselor and administrative supervisor.  While at Adoption ARC, she was able to combine her counseling and administrative skills together to grow with the agency.  She took over as executive director in 2009.

Rachelle Lee Schneider is a realtor at Space & Company, photographer, and the author of Speaking OUT:  Queer Youth in Focus.  She and her wife Megan are the parents of two children, Avi, age 5 and Golda, age 3.  Rachelle and Megan had a three and half year long fertility journey, utilizing many medical and community resources.  After success using reciprocal IVF, they adopted their birth and biological children.



March 8, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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Congregation Rodeph Shalom
615 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123 United States
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