New, Free Program Answers Questions on Embryo Donation and Getting Pregnant Via Adopted Embryos

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Medical and social work experts are "on call" at no charge to assist with embryo donation questions

Funded by a new grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Embryo Donation Services Center (EDSC), provides answers and guidance to families and medical, legal and social services professionals who have questions and concerns about donating embryos or the families hoping to become pregnant through embryo adoption (ED/EA). This service is free to those seeking clarity on a wide range of issues surrounding this life giving choice.

Independent physician Reginald Finger and social worker Nancy Lesslie are available to answer pertinent ED/EA questions, either by phone or email. They will respond as soon as possible, but no later than the following business day. EDSC can also address questions and concerns regarding the legal and ethical aspects of ED/EA. EDSC can be contacted at (719) 213-7680, reg(dot)finger(at)hotmail(dot)com. Ms. Lesslie can be contacted at 865-296-2022, nancy(dot)lesslie(at)tds(dot)net.

Through the success of fertility treatments and reproduction technology over the past three decades, there are now an estimated 600,000 frozen human embryos in the United States. While most are retained for future children by the genetic parents, approximately 2-3% remain in limbo with uncertain futures. Embryo disposition options available are – thaw and dispose, donate to research or donate them to other infertile couples hoping to have a baby. The EDSC provides free support for those faced with their embryo disposition dilemma, those hoping to become pregnant and have a baby through embryo adoption, as well as the medical, legal and adoption professionals who assist them.

“The overall goal of EDSC is the expansion of embryo donation services,” says Dr. Finger. “To that end, we offer phone and e-mail consultation from a knowledgeable research physician and a knowledgeable and experienced social worker, quickly and conveniently available at no charge, to any person with a question about embryo donation. We also offer in-person visits or office televisits at no charge to any professional who has clients/patients that may have an interest in donating or adopting embryos.” The office visit for professionals is designed to be a two-way exchange of information, communicating the latest developments in the field, and discussing the availability of different national and local agencies who are involved with embryo donation/adoption.

While Dr. Finger and Ms. Lesslie are very knowledgeable about embryo donation and adoption, their consultations do not constitute the practice of medicine or social work, and are not intended to replace individual services provided by a fertility clinic or non-profit agency trained in embryo donation and adoption services.

About Reginald Finger, MD, MPH
Dr. Finger received his medical education and residency training in public health at the University of Washington in Seattle. From 1985-1997 he served as communicable disease director and state epidemiologist in Kentucky. Since 1997 Dr. Finger has lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he has served in a variety of assignments including local public health investigations, research and medical writing. Since 2006, Dr. Finger has worked as an independent medical researcher, primarily in the field of embryo donation and adoption. His responsibilities included outcomes research, writing and editing for both newsletters and professional journals, literature reviews, teaching and lecturing in settings from high school classrooms to conferences at major medical centers.

About Nancy Lesslie, BS
Nancy Lesslie brings 25 years of adoption experience to the EDSC. She began her career in adoption when she served as a child welfare worker and case worker supervisor at a state public child welfare service program. After rearing her own children, she returned to adoption practice and became the founding director of the local office of Bethany Christian Services in Knoxville, TN. While with Bethany, she counseled birthparents considering adoption placement and prepared and assessed couples desiring to receive a child by domestic, international or embryo adoption. She also assisted the National Embryo Donation Center in developing the protocol for their Embryo Donation and Adoption Program. Since 2010, she has been providing supportive services to families specifically considering embryo donation and adoption.

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STEPHANIE MOYERS
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