About Our Agency
Miracles can be expected through surrogacy
Dear Parents, Surrogates and Egg Donors,
I would like to introduce you to myself and to my program. I am John Weltman, a dad through surrogacy, a lawyer and the founder of Circle Surrogacy. I attended Yale University, Oxford University in England and the University of Virginia, from which I have my Bachelor's, Master's and J.D. (law) degrees. I have practiced law all over the world, and am admitted for all purposes in Massachusetts, New York and California. I was the first to establish the right of couples to get insurance coverage for gestational surrogacy in Massachusetts, and I have repeatedly obtained pre-birth orders, step parent and second parent adoptions for gay and straight couples and singles having children through surrogacy throughout the country. I have also worked closely with lawyers and parents from six continents and over 50 countries to get legal recognition of their children in their home countries.
I take great pride in trying to make a positive impact on the domestic and international surrogacy process. I understand the frustration of thinking I would never have a child of my own. I am passionate about the caring hearts of the surrogates and egg donors that are in my program, and I know from personal experience how wonderful it can be for a child to be able to know how he or she came into the world, and to meet all those who made his existence possible. I genuinely believe that miracles can be expected through surrogacy.
John Weltman, President and Founder of Circle Surrogacy
Cliff Atkins, Executive Vice President
Cliff graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Cliff has many years of experience working in acute psychiatric settings with adults. For the past 21 years, he worked in Psychiatric Emergency Services providing acute assessments and interventions to children, adults and families in crisis. He is a father through surrogacy to two teenage boys and is familiar with the unique challenges that surrogacy brings to families of school-age children. Cliff joined Circle in 2010.
Doug Danzey, Chief Executive Officer
Doug came to Circle as an intended parent eight years ago. He is now a father of two beautiful little boys and was thrilled to join Circle as CEO. Doug brings an extensive history of success at the executive level in a variety of service industries. His excellent problem-solving skills and keen interest in improving satisfaction have helped him transform constructive feedback into improved services throughout the course of his career. He looks forward to working with intended parents, surrogates, egg donors and staff to improve Circle as we constantly strive for success.
Scott Buckley, Director of Legal Services
Scott received a Bachelor of Arts from Boston College and went on to receive his law degree from Boston College Law School. He has worked primarily in the civil litigation field, accumulating experience in court, mediation and arbitration. He also assists individuals and families with estate planning. At Circle, assists clients with the drafting of contracts, birth orders, step parent, and second-parent adoptions; conducts legal consultations; and addresses insurance questions. Scott was recognized as a Rising Star in family law by SuperLawyer in their 2012 New England edition.
Emily Sonier, LICSW, Clinical Director
Emily earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduate school, Emily worked with individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS in Philadelphia. She then worked with adolescents in a residential program, providing individual, group and family therapy. Emily started at Circle as a Journey Coordinator and now supports both the Journey Coordinator team, the Pre-screening and Screening teams and is available as additional support to intended parents. Emily comes to Circle with her own history of infertility struggles and brings this experience and understanding to her role as Clinical Director.
Brian Manning, Manager of Communications
Brian joined Circle after receiving a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University. After beginning in Circle's legal department, Brian now devotes his time to communications and outreach. His work focuses on spreading the message of surrogacy to prospective parents, surrogates, and egg donors. Through social media, content creation, and web design, Brian hopes to bring more members into the Circle family.
Bruce Hale, Outreach Manager
Bruce is a parent through surrogacy, and is thankful every day for the women who have helped him achieve parenthood. He knows that starting the surrogacy process can be a daunting prospect, and wants to use his position as Outreach Manager to help others as they explore this option to create a family. Bruce is also a lawyer, and is fluent in French.
People considering surrogacy may email Bruce with any questions.
Kelly Chandler, LCSW, Manager of Surrogate Screening and Matching
Kelly came to Circle Surrogacy with a wealth of knowledge from her experiences of working with women, children, and families all over Massachusetts. She received her Master of Social Work degree from Smith College School for Social Work and her Bachelor's in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. After graduate school, Kelly provided individual treatment and family therapy for at risk youth throughout the Boston area. She also draws on her previous work as a therapeutic foster care social worker and her clinical training in the field of Ob/Gyn social work at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Kelly now manages a team of social workers in the Surrogate Screening and Matching Department at Circle. She also continues to assist with providing assessments on prospective applicants, as well as provides ongoing clinical support to carriers along their surrogacy journey with intended parents. She values being part of a team that promotes social justice around people’s right to create families.
Alicia Imperato, LCSW, Social Worker
Alicia joins Circle with experience in the legal field as well as social work practice. Alicia earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Political Economy from Fordham University in 2007 and went on to work at law firms specializing in family law and estate planning, international arbitration and dispute resolution. Alicia went on to earn her Master of Social Work degree from Simmons College in 2012. As a Master’s candidate, Alicia received clinical training at a major Boston hospital where she provided coping support and resource referral to patients and families, as well as working in an inner-city school system where she provided school adjustment support to students and served as school liaison to families and outside service agencies. Alicia is excited to utilize her assessment, planning and support skills as a member of the Circle team!
MollyRose Arp-Sandel, LCSW, Social Worker
MollyRose earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Contemporary Critical Theory from Simon’s Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 2004 and her Master of Social Work from State University of New York at Albany in 2009. She joined Circle with nearly a decade of experience as a legal assistant and three years of adoption social work. Her professional focus is on children and families, with a special interest in attachment and early childhood development. MollyRose is pleased to bring her strong clinical skills to her work assessing and supporting surrogates as a member of the Surrogate Screening and Matching Department.
Stacey Schulman, Program Manager
Stacey earned a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Boston University in 2005. She is currently enrolled at Suffolk University working to complete a Master of Science and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Mental Health Counseling. Stacey has a vast range of experience working with adolescents and adults in the mental health field, and has successfully published much of her work. After 6 years of research work, Stacey joined the team at Circle to work with intended parents, surrogates and egg donors and is thrilled to assist them through their journeys.
Elinor Sidman, Program Coordinator
Elinor brings with her a very diverse work history. She was John Weltman's Legal Assistant when Circle Surrogacy was first beginning. Elinor has over 10 years of working experience in the legal field. She spent close to 7 years in the Central Florida area, where she worked in sales. Upon returning home to the Boston area, she rejoined John and Circle as a Case Manager and is very excited about the work that she is doing here. She looks forward to growing with and being a part of the Circle Surrogacy Team for many years to come.
Sarah Abravanelli, French Liaison & Program Coordinator
After moving to the United States ten years ago, Sarah received her master’s degree in International Affairs from Boston University and completed her undergraduate education at UC Davis, in Northern California. Born and raised in Paris, France until her teenage years, she brings to the Circle team her language skills but also multicultural understanding and sensitivity. While in graduate school, Sarah gained invaluable experience in case management assisting refugees and asylees to resettle in the Boston area, as she volunteered for the Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services. Today, she is thrilled to be part of Circle’s dynamic team of Program Coordinators, shaping the future one baby at a time by helping families grow while following her interest for case management.
Lizzy Francis, Program Coordinator
Lizzy attended Boston University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in International Relations. After graduating from Boston University in 2008, she went on to work in the legal field, where she managed the litigation department and supported several attorneys at a Boston-based law firm. She is excited to be working at Circle and is enthusiastic about making a difference in people’s lives by assisting intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors throughout their surrogacy journeys.
Haley Penny, Program Coordinator
Haley attended the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work with a concentration in Social Justice. After graduating from college, she went on to work in the foster care system in New York City. She is the process of receiving her Master of Social Work from Wheelock College in Boston, MA on a part-time basis. Haley is very excited to be a part of the Circle team and to assist egg donors, surrogates, and intended parents on their respective journeys to help create families.
Emily Milstein-Greengart, Program Coordinator
Emily earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Justice from American University. During graduate school, Emily completed an internship at a community center, assisting families with housing stability and access to support services. After graduate school, she continued working with families as a case manager for a permanent supportive housing program in Washington, D.C. Emily is excited to be back in her hometown of Boston and is looking forward to working with the Circle Surrogacy team to help intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors build their families.
Amanda Greenwood, Program Coordinator
Amanda received her Master of Social Work degree from Boston University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Boston College. Before attending graduate school, she spent some time living in Chile and is excited to bring her Spanish language skills and cultural perspective to the Circle team. During graduate school, she completed two internships, one at a non-profit agency serving survivors of domestic violence and the other working with maternity patients at a local hospital. Amanda is excited to be a part of the Circle team and is happy to assist intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors through their journeys to build their families.
Dean Hutchison, Associate Attorney
Dean received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Richmond and his law degree from Suffolk University. He began his professional legal career as a law clerk for Circle Surrogacy in 2004, where he assisted in all aspects of client legal work including drafting surrogate agreements and attending adoption hearings. He worked for Lawson & Weitzen, LLP for six years as a litigation attorney and was named a Rising Star in Massachusetts Super Lawyer and Boston Magazine in 2005, 2009 and 2010. Dean returned to Circle in 2011 and focuses on the legal work necessary to establish parental rights and estate planning for Intended Parents.
Gina-Marie Mariano, Law Clerk
Gina-Marie received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Roger Williams University and is currently a law student at Massachusetts School of Law. As a law clerk, she works directly under the supervision of John Weltman and Scott Buckley, drafting and negotiating the Egg Donor and Surrogate Agreements. She also reviews insurance policies, researches state and country laws and handles pre- and post-birth legal work.
Jessica Lopez, Law Clerk
Jessica received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Villanova University in 2009 and is currently a law student at Suffolk University Law School. Prior to joining Circle Surrogacy, she worked as a legal assistant at an adoption and reproductive technology law firm in Newton, MA. As a law clerk at Circle Surrogacy, Jessica works under the supervision of Scott Buckley and Dean Hutchison, assisting Intended Parents throughout their process in building families and establishing their parental rights.
Jennifer Skarinka, Executive Assistant/Events and Marketing Coordinator
As Marketing and Events Coordinator for Circle Surrogacy, Jennifer plays a pivotal role in Circle's marketing and branding efforts. She manages all aspects of Circle's domestic and international group meetings, educational seminars, trade shows and conferences. In addition and as part of Circle's marketing team, she contributes to Circle's media and community outreach, corporate marketing material, and provides content across all digital platforms. As Executive Assistant to President of Circle, John Weltman, and Executive Vice President, Cliff Atkins, Jennifer provides administrative and time management support as well as being responsible for reviewing all incoming legal agreements and contracts. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Anthropology/Sociology from Plymouth State College.
Kayla Mossien, Communications Coordinator
Kayla attended University at Albany and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a minor in psychology. After graduating in 2006, she went on to work at and become Editor-in-Chief of PARENTGUIDE News, a monthly magazine that caters to expecting parents and families. Shifting her focus to marketing and communications, Kayla is excited to join Circle as the company’s Communication Coordinator. She's excited to help create loving families by spreading Circle's message through content creation, social media and marketing campaigns.
Rachel Campbell, LCSW, Social Worker
Rachel earned her Master of Social Work degree from Boston University in 1999. She worked in the child welfare and adoption fields prior to joining the Circle team in 2005. Rachel has held a variety of roles and responsibilities during her time with Circle, including screening and matching donors and surrogates and supporting intended parents through the surrogacy process. She currently provides clinical support to surrogates throughout their journeys and moderates the Intended Parent Forum. She is excited to have the opportunity to continue to help create and support families through their surrogacy journeys.
Mariya Kubishyn, Manager of Surrogate Application and Processing
Mariya was born in the Ukraine and attended law school at Ivano-Frankivsk, where she earned a degree to practice law. For two years, she worked for the Department of Justice in the Ukraine. She was responsible for reviewing and replying to field complaints for the Division of Marital Assets, Child support, and registering political parties. In 2009, Mariya moved to the United States and worked at the Harvard/Ukraine Research Institute at Harvard University. In 2010, she joined Circle as an Administrative Assistant. Currently, she assists Circle's social workers with receiving, reviewing and processing supporting documents for surrogate applications.
Fatima Zaheer, Associate Attorney
Fatima joined Circle’s legal team in 2012 after receiving a Juris Doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Law. Born in Bangladesh and raised in New York City, Fatima brings to the Circle team her language skills – she speaks Bengali, Urdu, and Hindi, and reads and writes in Arabic – and also a multicultural understanding and sensitivity. Her work at Circle involves health insurance review, assistance with estate planning, conducting legal consults and drafting agreements. She looks forward to continuing her work with the legal department and growing with the Circle Surrogacy team.
Jeni Denhof, Surrogate Outreach Coordinator
Jeni joined the Circle Surrogacy team after her own amazing surrogacy journey with Circle, carrying twins for a couple from New York. Previously an elementary school teacher and business owner, Jeni became passionate about all things surrogacy over the course of her journey and is thrilled to begin her career in this field. Jeni is honored to be able to communicate with surrogates as they begin their own journeys. She proudly assists women throughout the pre-application and pre-screening process. She feels incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing women on a daily basis.
Liz Connor, Egg Donor Coordinator
Liz has been working in the fertility field since 2006. Over the years she has developed a passion and focus for Third Party Reproduction. She is committed to providing compassionate care and education to intended parents. She comes to Circle with extensive knowledge of Egg Donor coordination, through her work at Village Fertility Pharmacy where she was the Third Party Reproduction Coordinator for the last 5 years. She has developed great working relationships with IVF Centers nationwide and their respective Third Party Teams. Liz is very excited to join the team at Circle and help facilitate and continue to grow our Egg Donor Program.
Nancy Weatherby, Client Development
Nancy has had two beautiful children through the surrogacy process. The joy that her children have brought her, coupled with the amazingly successful journeys she experienced, instilled in her the desire to help other couples and surrogates achieve the same joy.
Brett Griffin-Young, UK Representative
Brett is delighted to be working with Circle as its UK Representative. He is a father to a gorgeous little boy thanks to Circle and his surrogate. Based in Leicestershire in the United Kingdom, Brett is in prime position to assist Circle's Intended Parents in the UK with advice and support before, during and after their journeys. Brett was born in Africa and moved to Britain 15 years ago, where he met his husband Matthew. They now joke about their international family, as all three of them were born on different continents!
Norma DeHarte, Surrogate Outreach
Norma is very excited to be a part of the Circle team. After spending a few years working in the IVF field, Norma left the workforce to pursue a Master’s in Nursing. Norma brings to Circle a strong desire to help families though egg donation and surrogacy. Her desire to help families led her to become a four-time egg donor, and a surrogate mother. Norma carried a baby boy for a wonderful international couple that she met through Circle. Norma proudly states she was honored to help them achieve their dream of parenthood. She will be working with our surrogate mothers and egg donors during their screening process, and post delivery.