Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo


Chicago, October 9, 2021


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Presenters


Angeline N. Beltsos, MD

Angeline N. Beltsos, MD is the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Vios Fertility Institute. She is double board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI). Dr. Beltsos completed medical school at Michigan State University. Shen then went on to do her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Loyola University in 1995 followed by a fellowship in REI at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, completed in 1997. Dr. Beltsos is also part of the Clinical Research team at Vios and participates in a number of research projects and scientific publications. She has received numerous awards in teaching and has been honored as “Top Doctor” from Castle Connelly for several years. She is a popular speaker, both nationally and internationally, and a frequent media resource on the topic of infertility. Dr. Beltsos is the executive chairperson for the Midwest Reproductive Symposium International, an international conference of fertility experts.

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.

Victoria Ferrara, Esq.

As the Founder & Legal Director of Worldwide Surrogacy, Vicki leads the agency with a passion for law and the family formation process. She brings over 25 years of experience practicing assisted reproductive technology law and surrogacy law to help people make their dreams of family come true - just as hers have. She and her spouse, Michelle Loris, have two sons, Sal and Nick. Vicki has been practicing assisted reproductive technology, surrogacy, and family law for over 25 years, and serves as the Founder & Managing Partner of Ferrara Law Group, PC. One of Vicki’s greatest achievements is the landmark decision of Raftopol v. Ramey, a Supreme Court case that created a new way to establish legal parentage in Connecticut. The case determined that an Intended Parent was granted rights to a child via a valid gestational agreement regardless of genetic connection to the child to be born to the gestational surrogate. 

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.

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.

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

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.

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."

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.

Heather Ross

Heather Ross co-founded the law firm of Ross & Zuckerman, LLP in 2005 to focus solely on legal issues surrounding assisted reproductive technology. Heather is past chair to  the Legal Professional Group of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.  She is also a member of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, a professional member of Resolve, Family Equality Council, The LGBT Bar, and a committee member of the American Bar Association’s Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee. Heather has represented thousands of clients in gamete donation, embryo donation, gestational surrogacy arrangements, co-parenting agreements, parental orders and co-parent adoptions. She is a frequent lecturer and writer in the area of ART law and has presented numerous CLE courses to attorneys, medical professionals and law students practicing in this field. Heather is also a Village Trustee in her hometown of Northbrook, Illinois, where she lives with her spouse, and 3 teenage girls – all of which are the successful outcome of assisted reproductive technology.


MHB team


Sherman L. Taylor II, Chairman of the board

Sherman is a technology manager in the Research & Development organization of Procter & Gamble, based in Cincinnati, OH. Sherman received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces from Carnegie Mellon University. Sherman leads of group of scientists and engineers to create new and improved consumer products; he has worked across a variety of brands in his career including Pampers, Vicks, PuR, Swiffer, Magic Erasers, Bounce and Downy. Sherman also leads the design of corporate training programs to accelerate the growth and development of New Hires upon entering the company. Sherman and his husband Andrew have two sons via surrogacy, born in 2013 and 2017.

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.

Amy Cameron, GPAP Coordinator

Amy joined the Men Having Babies team in November 2019 as the GPAP Application Coordinator. Amy's responsibilities include processing GPAP applications and renewals, answering questions about the Gay Parenting Assistance Program, and compiling resources for GPAP applicants.  Amy's professional background is in administration, and she currently serves as the assistant treasurer for a local nonprofit.  Amy lives in Maryland with her husband and two 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.

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.

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.


Jennifer Benson, MS, APRN, CNM

Jennifer Benson brings over 18 years of experience providing care to patients as an advanced nurse practitioner to her role at Fertility Centers of Illinois. As a clinician and educator, her vast expertise spans fertility care to birth and postpartum care. Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in midwifery from Columbia School of Nursing, as well as a PhD(c) in public health from University of Illinois at Chicago. She guides and supports patients and their families throughout their treatment journey by performing fertility assessments and testing, explaining medication, and sharing self-injection education, and providing hands-on care during ART procedures such as IUI, IVF, and ICSI. As a member of the LGBTQ community, she is a strong advocate for making reproductive health services accessible to LGBTQ couples and individuals and helping others in the community build their dream families.

Anthony Brown

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

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.

Roohi Jeelani, MD, FACOG

Roohi Jeelani, MD, FACOG provides quality, compassionate care to patients in Vios Fertility Institute's Hoffman Estates and Wicker Park offices. A highly-skilled reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist focusing on all areas of reproductive health, Dr. Jeelani has a special interest in onco-fertility, toxins impact on reproductive function, chemotherapy and oocyte cryopreservation to give those facing cancer a better chance of seeing their dream of parenthood come true. Dr. Jeelani, a graduate of Ross University School of Medicine, completed both her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and her fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Wayne State University – Detroit Medical Center. During her medical training, she received numerous awards in the areas of fetal medicine and reproductive medicine, including the Excellence in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Award from Wayne State. In addition, she has authored a variety of publications and book chapters in well known journals highlighting cutting-edge REI advancements, from preimplantation genetic diagnosis to enhanced embryo transfer, and has presented at national/international conferences and symposiums focused on advancements in women’s health.

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.