Memphis couples create families through embryo adoption

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- November is National Adoption Awareness Month and some moms in Memphis are trying to raise awareness about another adoption alternative.

Embryo adoption is growing in popularity across the country and right here in the Mid-South.  Nearly a dozen moms locally who had children through embryo adoption have even formed a group to help other mothers.

"We are big advocates for spreading awareness, letting people know that this is a wonderful option that has blessed our lives in more ways than we can imagine," said Kim Brents.

Embryo adoption allows you to legally adopt embryos left over from someone else's in vitro fertilization or IVF treatment.

Leslie Hollowell, Kim Brents and Marybeth Francisco all adopted through the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville and all got pregnant their first try.

"I remember calling my mom and saying 'Is this weird to carry somebody else's embryos' and just talking through it and praying a lot about it," said Francisco.

Francisco and her husband did two transfers and had twin girls Maddy and Kinnly, 5, and son Jude, 2.

Leslie and her husband Ron had Hudson, 4, and Kim and her husband had Leyton, 2.

"I was very nervous. Do we want to go down this road, but I would not trade it for anything in the world," said Ron.

The couples were able to choose from a number of donor profiles.  Marybeth and Kim chose open adoptions and the Hollowell's decided they wanted an anonymous one.

"We decided to do open adoption so if one day they want to  meet their biological parents they can and if they want to meet their biological siblings one day they can.  Now, we have not told them they have sisters yet- that is for when they get older," said Marybeth.

After nearly a decade of trying,  Marybeth and her husband found out they were pregnant with a biological son who is now eight months old.

She called it divine intervention and said God wanted to make sure she had Maddy, Kinnly and Jude first.

"I thank him every day for the way he's created our family," said Marybeth.

Right now there are hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos, but not all are available for adoption.

The cost of an embryo adoption is $6,000 - $10,000 which is cheaper than IVF and most infant adoptions.

For more information on embryo adoptions go to, or

To get information from local couples who have gone through the embryo adoption process contact Kim Brents at