The Holmes Community College Alpha Lambda Sigma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is hosting an Embryo Adoption Awareness Event in the McGowan Workforce Training Center multi-media room on the Ridgeland Campus Thursday, Oct. 19, from 6-8 p.m. The two keynote speakers are Dr. John Isaacs, reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist, and Ashley Pittman, J.D., LL.M., an attorney specializing in reproductive and infertility law. The event is free and open to the public.
A physician at Women's Specialty Care (part of the University of Mississippi Medical Center), Dr. Isaacs will give an overview of infertility causes and treatments, detailing the IVF process and embryo adoption. Pittman will discuss the legal process of adopting embryos, explaining several embryo adoption options and associated costs.
"Phi Theta Kappa officers and members have spent the last few months studying this topic and are proud of the expert speakers they have secured for this event," said Erin Renfroe, one of the Phi Theta advisers. "According to our research, only about 2,000 babies are born through embryo adoption in the United States. That is about .0005 percent of the population. Regardless of these statistics, our Phi Theta Kappa group found a mother of one of these special babies, Alisa Roost, to speak to us."
Roost gave birth to a son whom she conceived via embryo adoption. She will be sharing at the event via Zoom video conferencing. Additionally, her son's genetic donor, Jennifer Vesbit, will be joining the event via Zoom from Oregon. Vesbit underwent IVF and gave birth to twins. Several years later, she donated her remaining embryo to Roost, which makes Vesbit's twins and Roost's son full biological siblings.
"We are thrilled that these women have agreed to share the emotions they experienced through their journey with our students and community," Renfroe said.
The event will also include personal testimonials from Leigh Keener, an anonymous embryo donor from Arkansas, and Erin Murray, an expectant mother in Florida whose adopted, anonymously-donated embryo is due early next year.
There will be a Q&A session following the speakers' presentations. Light refreshments will be served following the event, as well.
The current officers for Phi Theta Kappa, largely responsible for putting this event together, include: Slade Allgood, president; Mackenzie Danaher, vice president of college projects; Lydia Allen, vice president of Hallmark Awards; Johnna Davis, co-vice president of outreach; Sarah Donahoo, co-vice president of outreach and Melanie Owah, participating member.
For more information about the event, contact Donahoo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Lambda Sigma Chapter (housed on the Ridgeland Campus), contact either adviser Blair Booker at email@example.com or (601) 605.3304 or Renfroe at firstname.lastname@example.org or (601) 605.3393.