Hundreds of families are gathering in Iowa City for an unusual family reunion Saturday — as none of them are related to one another. The reunion at University Hospitals is for families that all had children there through invetro fertilization, or I-V-F.
Pam Funke, who works in the I-V-F program, says it’ll be an enormous gathering. The hospital has invited more than 3,200 people and more than 1,100 RSVP’d that they would attend, so it’ll be a very big event. Funke says the program is marking its 20th year at the University of Iowa’s medical center, so those who are attending the event will be wide-ranging in their ages.
Some children who are products of I-V-F at the event will be in their late teens, while others will be newborns only a few months old. Funke says the children, and the couples, all share a unique bond. Funke says, "It’s such an emotional and binding process with the faculty and staff and it’s just a very emotionally charged event in life, they’re just real excited to re-connect and also they’re excited to connect with other families that have gone through this process as well."
A host of activities are planned for the event at Kinnick Stadium from 2 to 4 P.M. Saturday, including food, rides, games and live music. More than 3,200 I-V-F babies have been born since the program began in Iowa City two decades ago.