Men Having Babies 2022 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo

Chicago, October 15, 2022

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Speaker Biographies


Silvia Schneider Fox, PsyD, board member

Dr. Silvia Schneider Fox is a clinical psychologist and founder of Fertility Resilience, a reproductive psychology practice with offices in the Chicago area. A specialist in the field of reproductive medicine, adoption and family building since 1992, Dr. Fox counsels individuals and couples in various areas of family building, including ART, collaborative reproduction, pregnancy loss, and parenting after infertility. She conducts third party evaluations, facilitates mind/body programs; researches, writes and presents on a variety of topics related to family-building. Dr. Fox has had her own experience with infertility. After undergoing extensive infertility treatment, she and her husband became parents through IVF. Nowadays, she combines her personal, research and clinical experience into one voice, on her Fertility Resilience blog.

Susanna Park, MD

Dr. Park is a fertility doctor double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She spent the first 10 years of her career as a fertility physician at Columbia University in New York City, considered to be one of the leading IVF programs in the USA. She joined the San Diego Fertility Center in 2012 where she combines her extensive experience as an infertility physician with personal care. In 2017, 2019, 2020, and again in 2021, Dr. Park was named "Top Doctor" by the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) in San Diego Magazine.

Steven H. Snyder, Esq.

Steven H. Snyder, Esq., is the founding and principal partner of Steven H. Snyder & Associates, and he is the Director IARC Surrogacy a full-service surrogacy agency, both located in the U.S. in Minnesota. Mr. Snyder is an active leader in numerous professional organizations, including RESOLVE, the American Fertility Association, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the American Bar Association Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee. Mr. Snyder is the author of numerous articles and continuing legal education materials. He is also a frequent national and international lecturer and continuing legal education presenter in the area of assisted reproductive technology law. Mr. Snyder regularly contributes to various media interviews and publications as a legal expert in assisted reproduction and third-party reproduction legal issues.

Shannel R. Adams, MD, FACOG

Shannel R. Adams, MD, FACOG is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist with Vios Fertility Institute. Highly skilled in all areas of reproductive health, Dr. Adams has a particular expertise and interest in third party reproduction, male fertility, onco-fertility, fertility preservation, and holistic care of both mind and body. Dr. Adams graduated from Duke University with an undergraduate degree in Ethics and went on to medical school at Oregon Health and Science University where she graduated in June 2010. She completed residency at the University of Hawai’i John A. Burns School of Medicine and her REI fellowship at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Adams has been recognized with many awards for her contributions to the fields of medicine, reproductive endocrinology, and family planning and has presented numerous times on the topics of oncofertility, fertility preservation, chromosome screening technologies, and infertility.

Juan Alvarez, MD

Dr. Juan P. Alvarez is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He completed his fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center combined program, fulfilled his residency at Emory University School of Medicine, and received his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a physician at Fertility Centers of Illinois he is committed to helping, treating, and advocating for the reproductive health of the LGBTQ community with a specific interest in egg donation, sperm donation, and surrogacy. Dr. Alvarez’s published research has centered around topics such as PCOS, miscarriage, the impact obesity has on egg quality, ovarian function, and fertility potential. “As a member of the LGBTQ community, I want to help, treat, and advocate for the reproductive health of the LGBTQ with a specific interest in egg donation, sperm donation and surrogacy. As a native of Colombia, I am fluent in Spanish.”

Nancy Block, RN

Private Label Surrogacy Founder and Director, Nancy Block, started her career as an OB/GYN nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. In 2000 she founded The Center for Egg Options, a highly sought-after egg donor and surrogacy agency. After helping build families for 15 years, she sold her company to a national agency where she stayed on to assist with business development. Though she loved that part of the business, her heart longed to work with parents and surrogates again; she founded PLS in 2017, alongside an expert team. Nancy has served on the Advisory Board of Parents Via Egg Donation and the Executive Board of the Society of Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy. In 2018, she received the Shining Star award for her lifelong commitment to the industry’s best practices. Nancy has presented at numerous Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) conferences in the US, China, Israel, and Europe and is recognized as an expert in her field by her colleagues, clients, the medical community, and supporting professionals necessary to help clients realize their families.

Nidhi Desai, Esq.

Nidhi Desai of Desai & Miller focused her practice on advocating for, and working with, families navigating adoption, gamete donation, embryo donation and surrogacy law since 1998. Nidhi worked closely with the Illinois legislature to help draft and pass first of its kind legislation in 2005 protecting all families created through gestational surrogacy, and legislation to protect children born of gamete donation in 2017. Nidhi serves as Deputy Director of Assisted Reproductive Technology for the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys and serves on several boards including the legal professional group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Nidhi authored the chapter on surrogacy for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education Practice Handbook on Illinois Adoption Law and has been appointed to committees to provide education and recommendations regarding federal embryo donation policy. She is a frequent speaker on infertility legal issues, locally, nationally and internationally. She remains passionate and committed to helping clients navigate their journey to parenthood and ensuring the process is as safe and legally secure as possible.    

Mohamad Irani, MD

Dr. Mohamad Irani, of Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago, completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. He is double board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility as well as Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Mohamad Irani’s clinical expertise comprises all aspects of reproductive medicine, including IVF, ICSI, preimplantation genetic testing, recurrent implantation failure, previous unsuccessful IVF cycles, fertility preservation, egg freezing, ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination (IUI), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), amenorrhea, diminished ovarian reserve, premature ovarian insufficiency, endometriosis, male infertility, recurrent miscarriage, egg donation, surrogacy, and LGBTQ+ reproduction. He is a skilled surgeon and performs minimally invasive laparoscopic and hysteroscopic procedures to treat uterine, tubal, and ovarian pathologies. His certifications from the American Board of Bioanalysis and the American Association of Bioanalysts in Andrology and Embryology provide him with extensive knowledge of laboratory procedures to formulate treatment plans and reach great outcomes."

Jennifer McArthur

Jennifer McArthur is the Director of Case Management for Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists, and has a Master's Degree in Social Work. Along with Victoria Ferrara, Esq. who is the founder and legal director of Worldwide Surrogacy, Jen is the first touch point for intended parents, and a primary source of communication throughout the journey. By providing a wealth of information about the matching process, screening of surrogates, insurance matters, as well as many other important details regarding the surrogacy journey. Jen provides ongoing support and case management to intended parents, and supervises other case managers who assist our intended parents with similar matters. In addition, Jen conducts all social work assessments of surrogates and further assists intended parents with the coordination of services. By conducting interviews of all our potential surrogates and working closely with intended parents, her goal is to ensure a good match for all parties involved. Jen is highly dedicated and enthusiastic about making a lasting difference in people's lives throughout their surrogacy journey.

Sarah Paige

Sarah Paige has been in the insurance field for the past 10 years. As COO of ART Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions, Inc., she remains current on all insurance issues pertinent to the ART field and works with her clients to find the best solution, whether it be through commercial insurance, specialty products, or financial case management. With ART Risk Solutions licensed in all 50 states, this allows her to work with clients regardless of location in the U.S. as well as internationally. With her extensive breadth of knowledge and expertise in the Assisted Reproductive Technology insurance industry, Sarah has been requested as a guest lecturer or expert witness with both the American Bar Association Section of Family Law and the Nevada State Assembly. Focusing on offering clients the knowledge to help them better understand their liability exposures and the best available financial risk management solutions is always one of Ms. Paige’s highest priorities.

MHB team

Michael Doyle, MD, board member

Dr. Doyle is the founder of CT Fertility where he served as medical director for 25 years. During that time he was responsible for the successful surrogacy journeys of hundreds of gay men both in the US and abroad, and in his career helped in the creation of over 7,000 babies. He was an early advocate for safe and ethical surrogacy treatment and a strong proponent of non-anonymous egg donation. He also led one of the first and largest frozen donor egg banks in the US. After retiring from clinical practice in 2017, Dr. Doyle now devotes some of his time to several non-profits which are focused on educational access and community development, and he currently plays lead roles in both philanthropic and VC groups which invest in and assist social entrepreneurs around the world. He is thrilled to join the Men Having Babies board and hopes to focus on both development efforts and advocacy initiatives aimed at legalizing surrogacy anywhere where it currently faces opposition.

Ron Poole-Dayan, board member / Executive Director

Ron is the executive director and founder of Men Having Babies. He has over 20 years of experience in marketing and business strategy development both in the USA and internationally. Ron earned his Masters degree in political economy and comparative politics from Columbia University, and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ron is married to Greg Poole-Dayan, the COO of the Wartburg, a leading provider of senior healthcare and residential services in NY. The couple met in 1994, and are among the first same-sex couples in the nation to father children through gestational surrogacy. The twins, born in 2001, were conceived with the use of eggs donated by Greg's sister, and carried by a gestational carrier. Ron has been the MHB program coordinator since 2005, and was appointed as the Executive Director of Men Having Babies upon its incorporation in July 2012.

Brian Blitzer, GPAP Benefits Coordinator

Brian is the benefits coordinator for MHB. He has been affiliated with the organization since 2016, when he first attended a MHB conference in New York City with his husband Matt. Prior to that, he (and Matt) knew little about gestational surrogacy. After attending additional MHB meetings and completing a successful surrogacy journey that resulted in the birth of their son Gabe, Brian works to share his accumulated real-life knowledge about becoming a father with future intended parents. He has many years of experience in the real estate and mortgage industries, where he listened/advised clients and prepared financial documentation. Since Brian’s journey to fatherhood is recent, he remembers having to manage uncertainties of the surrogacy process, including a chemical pregnancy and a miscarriage. He and his husband were GPAP Stage II recipients.

Vanessa Breedlove, Finance & Administrative Coordinator

Vanessa joined MHB in May 2020 as an Administrative Coordinator.  Vanessa’s professional background is in television news, and she has over a decade of experience leading non-profit organizations in coordinating and marketing programs and events.  Vanessa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Miami with a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science.  She lives in Central Florida with her husband and two teenage children.

Sara Miller, Director of Business Development

Sara joined the Men Having Babies team in June of 2020 as the Director of Business Development. Her primary focus is to expand and strengthen strategic partnerships with fellow third party reproductive professionals, to allow continued growth and education of the Men Having Babies' mission. Sara has a Bachelor's Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, and completed two years of an MD program at The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine before opting to discontinue her medical studies to spend more time with her growing family. Sara spent 10 years doing consulting work for a leading biotech company, before working as a Case Manager followed by Program Director and COO for a surrogate and egg donation agency. Additionally, Sara is a one-time surrogate, delivering in 2019 for a same-sex couple in Spain.

Lisa Schuster, Director of Programming

Lisa joined the MHB team in January of 2018 as the Stage II GPAP Case Manager and has grown in her role to become the Programming Director. Lisa’s responsibilities include managing the Gay Parenting Assistance Program and Membership Benefits Program, developing and implementing content for educational programs, and working with partner organizations to help fulfill MHB’s mission. Lisa’s professional background is in business development and government contracting, and she also served as treasurer and financial planner for a local non-profit. Lisa was a gestational carrier twice for an international same sex male couple, and she lives with her husband and three children in Maryland.

Breakout sessions

Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer is the Founder and Owner of Same Love Surrogacy, a global leading egg donor and surrogacy agency based in Los Angeles. Brad and his husband have twin boys conceived through IVF with the good fortune to have a family member as their egg donor and an exceptional gestational carrier. It was his personal journey that helped build a full service agency in 2014 that is owned and operated by gay fathers. Brad is globally known for providing best in class services to LGBTQ individuals seeking to become parents through assisted reproductive technology. He has successfully helped LGBTQ individuals build their families, including HIV-positive gay men. Brad works closely with the leading IVF clinics, attorneys and insurance companies in the US. Brad was born, raised and resides in Los Angeles. Prior to founding Same Love, he worked as a successful investment investor for 20 years and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Finance from California State University Northridge. Brad is an active supporter and volunteer for The Trevor Project, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth.

Anthony Brown, Esq.

Anthony Brown is a Parent Intake Consultant for Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, as well as an Attorney and the Chairman Emeritus of Men Having Babies. He graduated from Brooklyn Law School, where he served as research assistant to Nan Hunter, the founder of The Gay and Lesbian Project at the ACLU.  Anthony and his husband were the subjects of CNN's, "In America, Gary and Tony Have a Baby”, a documentary about their journey of having a child through surrogacy. He is also a member of The Family Law Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers Association, and the Committee for Assisted Reproduction of the American Bar Association. Anthony enjoys meeting with intended parents and sharing his personal experience with surrogacy. 

Ryan C. Ferrante, Esq.

Ryan C. Ferrante is a Reproductive Law attorney, founder of Law Office of Ryan C. Ferrante, with a unique perspective on the intersection of assisted reproduction and the law. Once an intended father himself in a gestational surrogacy arrangement, Ryan brings intimate awareness of the challenges each one of his clients face in growing their families. He combines a breadth of experience in assisted reproductive technology law with firsthand knowledge of the difficulties in starting or growing a family. His practice is focused on representation of intended parents, gestational surrogates, and donors in all collaborative reproduction matters. Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Ryan is a proud graduate of Ohio University and earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. He is a professional member of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, the American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, and a volunteer advocate for RESOLVE’s federal advocacy efforts to increase access to family building options. Ryan resides in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago with his wife Lyndsie, son Eddie, and daughter Josie.

Frank Golden

Frank Golden has a B.S. in Management and over 19 years of expertise in consumer psychology. Throughout his career in various roles Frank was tasked with developing innovative processes to streamline the customer experience. Inspired by the success of his own journey to become a Dad, Frank established the third-party reproduction consulting agency, Golden Surrogacy. Frank works passionately to assist all loving couples and individuals who wish to follow in his footsteps. Previously, Frank has served as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for the American Fertility Association and is now a Board Member Emeritus with Family Equality Council. In addition, Frank is a professional member with RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association. In furtherance of his support and dedication to gay parenting options, Frank’s firm is a consistent supporter of the not-for profit organization Men Having Babies; listed as one of their highly rated service providers year after year. Frank has become a leading resource for those who wish to pursue a path to parenthood through gestational surrogacy.

Zara Griswold

Zara Griswold is a Surrogacy professional dedicated to helping Intended Parents and Surrogates create families. Her own journey through Surrogacy and Egg Donation and the birth of her boy and girl twins in 2003, ignited Zara’s obsession with family building through Assisted Reproduction. Zara’s personal history and knowledge enabled her to establish her career and the founding of Shining Light Baby. Zara believes all people who want to be parents should have the opportunity to do so. She enjoys developing relationships with her clients and is honored to work with people during this important time in their lives. Zara has a master’s degree in Education from Northern Illinois University, a bachelor’s degree in English from Eastern Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Illinois State University.

Kyle Dean Massey

A co-founder of Elevate, Kyle Dean was essential in creating Elevate’s operational infrastructure.  He returns to the agency after serving as a National Business Developer for one of the nation’s largest fertility clinics and currently serves as Elevate’s Director of Surrogacy. As a parent through egg donation and surrogacy himself, Kyle Dean is understanding of the process from an Intended Parent perspective while offering insight and experience from handling hundreds of cycles each year. Kyle Dean spent many years starring in Broadway shows, and has brought that collaborative spirit and creative philosophy to his passion for assisted reproduction. Whatever your reasons for coming to Elevate, he hopes to work with you to make your journey joyful and successful. Kyle Dean graduated Magna Cum Laude from Missouri State University.

Alan Osborne

As Director of Client Development for Family Source Consultants, Alan Osborne works closely with hopeful intended parents, fertility centers, and fellow reproductive professionals within the field of Third-Party Reproduction. Alan is dedicated to sharing FSC's mission with others, focusing on exceptional client services in family-building utilizing a compassionate, empathetic, and individualized approach. As a father to two young girls, Alan has experienced IVF struggles firsthand. He has found Third-Party Reproduction to be his most gratifying career endeavor and is passionate about helping people realize the same joy he and his wife shared in starting their family.