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March 17, 2015

Single straight men turn to IVF to start families

By Kate Aquillano

A growing number of single straight men are reportedly turning to IVF and surrogates to become fathers.

In the wake of the recent Dolce & Gabbana controversy, in which the legendary designers praised “traditional” families and referred to IVF children as “synthetic,” the “Today” show spoke with a straight man who says the designers have it all wrong.

It was that assisted reproductive technology that allowed Dr. Conrad Cean, a 43-year-old straight man from New York City, to start a family. “I grew up in a very close family with two sisters, parents in Queens and cousins,” he told “Today.” “We’ve always been a tight family and I always wanted children.”

Cean, who is a pain specialist, told the morning show his busy schedule has prevented him from finding the right woman — but that was not going to foil his dream of becoming a father. Cean used his own sperm, IVF and a surrogate to welcome twins on Aug. 30, 2013. “I was ecstatic. It’s other worldly, worth a thousand bucks, a million bucks. It’s hard to put into words,” he said on “Today.”

“Today” also spoke with Melissa Brisman, a prominent surrogacy lawyer, who says the trend of straight men turning to IVF continues to grow. “About five years ago we started seeing some single men and each year we see more and more single men coming to our office,” Brisman said. 

Men are willing to pay well over $100,000 to have a baby through surrogacy, but the final cost depends on the number of IVF treatments necessary and how much is paid for by insurance.

“The desire to be a parent is similar, whether you are gay, straight, in a relationship or not,” Dr. Philip Werthman, director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Vasectomy Reversal in Los Angeles, told “Today.” “For these men, they are getting older, they have the resources and the love to give and they want to go ahead. Technology gives them the ability to have children outside traditional means.”