Donor embryo recipients experience pregnancy, childbirth and have a baby of their own. While not genetically connected to them, after nine months of pregnancy and bonding, many families state they “gave birth to their adopted child!” Meet two recipient moms who took different paths to “adopting” embryos and to successfully building their families.
Stephanie’s passion for children’s health causes, fitness and marketing come together for her role as Marketing Manager/Presenter with the American Embryo Registry. Previous work with March of Dimes, 15+ years as a yoga/fitness instructor and an extensive career in various communication and marketing roles prepared her for promoting, presenting and educating professionals and hopeful parents about the successful, economical and compassionate family building option of embryo donation.
Originally from Kentucky, she grew up in Las Vegas with the dream of becoming a showgirl; however at 5’1” she didn’t quite make the height requirement. She returned to the South and received her BA in Communications/Advertising from Western Kentucky University and MA in Communications from the University of Tennessee. Stephanie lives in Tennessee at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains, with her son (boomerang child-moved back home after college), daughter (soon to begin college) and Shakespeare, her 200 lb. English Mastiff. While no longer teaching yoga/fitness, she continues to practice and stay active and has recently become a golf enthusiast. She volunteers with March of Dimes when she isn’t travelling to promote embryo donation.
Lisa Russo Pettigrew
Lisa Russo Pettigrew is an artist and fertility advocate. She has piloted, directed, consulted, and facilitated community workshops and classes for various institutions and organizations throughout the country & has taught & performed nationally & internationally for several decades. She holds numerous degrees & certifications & in 2003 founded Forward Movement – an arts & healing collective.
Presently, she has realized the long-term dream of creating a new non-profit organization, The Gutai Foundation, which is dedicated to serving diverse populations using the Arts as Medicine. As the Foundation awaits its 501c3 status, which shouldn’t be long now, you can learn more about the work & foundation by visiting her present site at: lisapettigrew.org or/& be the first to view the NEW site soon by visiting gutaifoundation.org.
Lisa lives with her fabulous husband and two wonderfully wise cats who are all presently awaiting their first baby conceived by an embryo donated frozen IVF cycle. This blessing has inspired them to collaborate on a book, especially for children, that tells the story of this incredible family building journey.