SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Eight-month-old Santino Stavrikikis is impossibly cute. But the story of how he came to be is extraordinary.
Santino’s dad, 50-year-old Dino Stavrikikis runs a popular pizza parlor on Fillmore Street in San Francisco. He’s a confirmed bachelor with no plans to marry.
But he really wanted a son.
So Stavrikikis looked for parenthood in a Petri dish. He would need two women, one for her eggs, and the other to carry his baby.
“The hard part was at the beginning, I wasn’t that internet savvy. But once I got a grip on it I was so determined,” Stavrikikis said.
It’s a complex way to make a baby, but it’s happening more often than in the past. Success rates are way up.
“Pregnancy rates have gone from 5–10 percent to now maybe 60-70 percent,” said Dr. Carl Herbert of the Pacific Fertility Center.
The key to success is a good egg.
Stavrikikis used ‘The Donor Source’ to find an egg. It’s a service that screens and lists women who will give up eggs for a fee.
For Stavrikikis, it wasn’t easy an easy pick.
“They could be pretty, but they could be crazy too. I’m already crazy. I don’t need another crazy one running around. I asked her questions – her sleep patterns, what she liked as a baby. I was shooting for the happiest and healthiest kid,” said Stavrikikis.
He finally chose 27-year-old Shayna Parisi of Florida.
“I wanted to do it to help others,” said Parisi.
With Starvikikis’ sperm in a test tube, Santino was almost here. He just had to pick a womb for hire.
Starvikikis found Dusty Kenney of Los Angeles to carry his child. And it wasn’t cheap. The total cost to father Santino was $135,000.
“The biggest expense is the carrier. A donor gets paid $7,000. There’s her agency that has put in advertising, so they have a fee,” according to Dr. Herbert.
Stavrikikis paid even more to make sure his baby was a boy – an extra $10,000. Scientific advances in fertility labs are making that possible.
Stavrikikis has no regrets. Santino’s family includes the customers of his dad’s pizza parlor. And Stavrikikis isn’t shy about telling everyone how Santino’s life began. He can’t wait to let Santino know either.
“I want him to know everything. He’s really well adjusted. He’s an old soul,” said Stavrikikis.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)